Awilda Lopez-Yolich

Kindergarten Teacher

Name: Awilda Lopez-Yolich

Education: Bachelor in Education from National Louis University
                  Masters in MulticulturalEducation from Columbia College

Where were you born and raised? I was born and raised in Chicago.

Position and Start Year at IAMS: I am a kindergarten teacher and I started teaching at IAMS in 2006.

Why are you in education? My passion has always been teaching and working with children. Ever  since I was a teenager I have always worked in programs that promoted education. As the years went on I have realized that teaching is what I love to do and am passionate about.

What are your hobbies and interests? I like dancing, cooking and spending time with my 3 children.

What was the last good book you read? The Lovely Bones

What are your guiding principles? Honesty and Compassion!

What are the traits you admire most in others? I admire people who are self-motivators. I enjoy being around funny people because I like jokes. I also admire people who are always positive no matter how hard life gets.

What profession,other than education, could you also see yourself doing? A professional dancer! I love dancing and enjoy all different types of dances.

Who has been the largest influence on your life? My mother! She is my best friend. She has always been there for me. She has taught me right from wrong and made sure I made good decisions in my life. She's loving, caring and accepting. Her values are the same values I instill in my children today.

What do you believe your main role is as mother and as a teacher? To give my children and my students the tools to be successful. To prepare them to enter a world where there will be challenges. To teach them how care for one another. I believe children can be successful if enriched academically and socially.

Where did you learn Spanish/English? Both of my parents are from Puerto Rico. They came to Chicago at a young age. They met, married and had their children here in Chicago. Although it wasn't "cool" to speak Spanish back then, my parents made it a point to continue speaking to us in Spanish and expected us to speak to them in Spanish as well. I lived and went to school in Puerto Rico for a few years during my elementary years. I learned how to read and write Spanish while I lived there. I learned English in school in Chicago.

What attracted you to a dual-language program? All students learn how to be bilingual/bi-literate in both Spanish and English. Both languages are important and valued.

What do you think is the greatest benefit of being bilingual? It is truly having the best of both worlds. The people you meet, the places you visit, and the cultures and traditions that inspire you to share with the world.