Kayla Orozco-Madrigal is in just her second year working in Northwest Community Schools. But she definitely is not a newcomer.
“I have been a Mountie my whole life,” she said.
Orozco-Madrigal previously worked as a special education aide at Northwest Early Elementary School and now works as a substitute teacher. “Be The Person You Needed When You Were Younger” would be the name of her autobiography.
“So many students have a lot going on in their home life that people may not know,” she said. “I know when I was younger, I needed someone that was my safe person, the person that I knew would be there for me no matter what. If I made a mistake they would be the person still cheering me on and loving me through everything.”
Orozco-Madrigal does her best to fill that role with Northwest students.
“It is my goal to be these kids’ safe person,” she said. “The person that will make sure I tell them I love them because they might not have heard it today. The person that will always be open-armed and ready for a hug. The person that is willing to listen to them even if they already told me the story and. believe me, I am going to act like I never heard the story before. I am the person that I needed when I was younger.”
Orozco-Madrigal said her first year in the district – the 2018-19 school year – couldn’t have gone better for her. She made friendships that will last a lifetime and made great connections with students. The defining moment of her young career is something she’ll always remember.
“There was a student in kindergarten that was having some medical problems,” she said. “Myself and another staff member put on a whole event for him. It was so wonderful seeing our community come together to support the student and his family. Visiting him in the hospital is a day I will never forget.”
It didn’t take long for Orozco-Madrigal to make a positive impact. She was named a Northwest Schools 2019-20 Nurtured Heart Award winner. That award goes to an outstanding educator who lives and breathes the Nurtured Heart Approach in their classroom, in the hallways and possibly in all parts of their life. This is a colleague who helps kids feel great about who they are and creates successes that would not otherwise exist.
Here are five more things to know about Kayla Orozco-Madrigal:
If you could learn to do anything what would it be?
“I would love to learn to fly a plane. I think it would be awesome to be able to jump in my plane and fly it to different places around the world.”
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
“Deposit money in my children's account. I want them to be able to attend whatever college they would like without having to worry about money.”
What three traits define you?
Bubbly, loving and passionate.
How do you define success?
“I would define success as reaching the goal you have been working toward.”
What advice do you have for kids struggling in school?
“Don't give up. It may be hard now but I promise in the end it will all be so worth it.”