‘I wanted to be able to give back’

Lusica Sanchez joins the Pascack Valley Special Education Spanish and English departments for the 2021-22 school year

Luisa+Sanchez

Olivia Jackson

Luisa Sanchez joined the Pascack Valley Staff for the 2021-22 school year, filling in for Dayna Lane in the Special Education Spanish Department until January. At that time, Sanchez will switch over to the English department, teaching special education. “I am really there to support the students,” Sanchez said.

Megan Austin, Social Media Editor

Luisa Sanchez’s grandmother was a teacher in Peru for 20 years before immigrating to the U.S. in 2001. Now, Sanchez will be following in her grandmother’s footsteps, joining Pascack Valley High School this year to teach in the Special Education Spanish Department and the Special Education English Department. 

Sanchez said her grandmother has “always instilled with me a passion for learning and teaching.”

Sanchez explained how she developed a fondness for teaching students with special needs through tutoring. As a teenager, Sanchez tutored two boys in the neighborhood with autism and saw how they always had a drive for learning, despite their learning disability.

“I got my love for special education from them, especially from their mom because they were a really big family who wanted to get better at whatever they were doing,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez explained that the mother of the boys always worked hard to learn more about special education and was a role model for Sanchez.

“For me, it was a really good experience because I got to learn about what special accommodations [kids with special needs] required and how I could support them,” Sanchez said. 

With those tutoring experiences in her teenage years, she went on to attend Montclair State University focusing on special education. Sanchez earned a master’s in teaching with a certification in special education in English and in English as the second language. 

Sanchez said while she intended on teaching middle school, she “also wanted to teach high school because the kids are a lot more mature.”

Sanchez is filling in for Dayna Lane while she is on maternity leave till December. In January Sanchez will switch over to the English department to teach special education. 

Through her teaching of special needs students, she said that “[she wanted] to be that person for those students who might need somebody to talk to.”

Sanchez explained how she may not have had a wonderful middle school or high school experience, but “[she’s] really there to support the students.”

“I went through a lot of things, so for me, I wanted to be able to give back,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez shared how she struggled with both family members’ health issues and mental health during middle and high school.

I struggled with school because at the time [when my mother was in the hospital, school] was the last thing on my mind,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez explained how she also developed Borderline Personality Disorder which is related to depression. 

“I started going to therapy which helped me a lot and I believe people should always take care of their mental health,” Sanchez said.

Megan Austin