My name is Sandy Carrillo. I was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, also known as the Sun City. I currently work in the Canutillo Independent School District where I am the early childhood and new teacher coordinator. My love and passion for early childhood education began at the tender age of 5, when I first set foot into Ms. Standiford’s kindergarten classroom. From that first day I knew that I was destined to become a teacher — specifically, an early childhood teacher.
I was a classroom teacher for 14 years, 9 of which were in kindergarten. I was fortunate to have also taught first, second, and fourth grades. I loved the years I spent teaching in the classroom. Upon completing my fourteenth year, I took a short leave of absence to devote time to being a stay-at-home mom to my five young children. During this break from the classroom, I decided to go back to school. I earned my master of education degree as an instructional specialist in early childhood education.
After four years, the time had come to reenter the workforce. During the Texas Prekindergarten Textbook Adoption, I worked as a curriculum specialist where I met prekindergarten teachers in various capacities, from across our region. Shortly, after the textbook adoption ended, I was hired as an early childhood coach under a grant called the Texas School Ready Project. As a coach, I worked with pre-k teachers in Head Start classrooms, public schools, and childcare facilities. It was wonderful! I was not only able to support teachers and assist them in improving their practice, but I was influential in ensuring that our youngest learners were (and are) given every opportunity to grow and develop in an environment focused on best practices and age appropriate learning. It was the best of both worlds! In addition, I acquired a position as an adjunct faculty member to teach early childhood courses at the University of Texas at El Paso — Home of the Miners! Being able to mentor pre-service teachers has been a blessing.
After three-and-a-half years of working as a coach, I was offered an amazing opportunity to take on the position of early childhood and new teacher coordinator here in Canutillo ISD. This position has afforded me the opportunity to positively impact pre-k through second grade classrooms. In our district, we are focused on providing our children with a solid foundation in the early grades, because we know this is where it all begins.
I am excited that the demand for high quality early childhood programs has significantly increased. As a doctoral student at the University of Texas at El Paso, I am committed to adding to and continuing the research that demonstrates that high-quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood programs produce short- and long-term positive effects on children’s cognitive and social development.
I love spending time with my family. Needless to say with our daughter, Sarah, and four sons, Christian, Nicholas, Andrew, and Anthony, there is never a dull moment! But, my husband Davy and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I am especially excited and honored to be able to share my experiences of living and teaching on the border. After 23 years in education, I remain as passionate as ever about the importance of investing in very young children. A child’s early years lay the foundation for a successful future!