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You are here: Community Features Christopher Trujillo is Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe’s ‘Teacher of the Month’

Christopher Trujillo is Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe’s ‘Teacher of the Month’

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Former baseball athlete changes careers to help math students

Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe’s has named Christopher Trujillo, a ninth and eleventh grade teacher at Gallup High School, their Teacher of the Month for March.

Trujillo, like many teachers who have been nominated in the past, expressed surprise that the community recognized his hard work and dedication as a teacher.

“I was really excited when you guys called and told me, I thought that was awesome,” Trujillo said. “We work so hard and it’s good to be noticed about that, so I appreciate that. It never entered my mind and I thought this would never ever happen.”

Hailing from Gallup, Trujillo received his Bachelor’s degree in secondary education at Grand Canyon University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education. Trujillo is currently pursuing his master’s degree in special education.

Trujillo began college on a baseball scholarship, intending to go professional with the sport. He played well at Gallup High School but struggled to make a team after graduation. It was after taking education classes in college that Trujillo knew where his path in life would take him.

“I thought since I couldn’t become a professional baseball player, I’ll be a professional teacher instead,” Trujillo said. “I want to work my hardest and get to the top where teaching can take me in education and help the students. That’s my number one goal.”

Trujillo teaches resource math, a class for students who have trouble with mathematics. Trujillo says it’s his job to move students past that struggle and advance them in the subject. He wants his students to do a lot more in math, and bring them up to a level they never thought they could reach.

“Right now I believe we are keeping up with the regular class so that’s really good, so when testing comes they will be ready to go,” Trujillo said of the progress his class has made this year.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

Trujillo began his teaching career at Gallup Middle School, and has been teaching at Gallup High School for just over a year. He says his mom, Debbie Trujillo, deserves all the credit for his carreer success.

“My mom is a teacher and when I was at Grand Canyon University, I really wasn’t aware of this education field because I went there to go play some baseball,” he said. “One day I showed up to a couple education classes and my mom told me that I was going to be a teacher because of those education classes. I took them and really enjoyed them and told my mom thank you for inspiring me that I was headed on my way to become a teacher.”

Trujillo studied for four years to become a teacher like his mother, who has been teaching for over 33 years at Gallup High School.

Along with his mother, Trujillo also sites school administrators as inspiration, who push him with their leadership.

“I’m not just saying that because I’m here,” he said with a laugh. “But I feel I can learn from them and grow in their leadership, which means a lot to me.”

Trujillo, who says he loves being a teacher, offered advice to others thinking about joining the field: “One of the biggest things I feel is don’t do it for yourself but do it for others. Your goal should be that you want to be the best teacher that out there. Stick to that and you can help so many people become more than they have dreamed of.”

Trujillo continued to say that the success of a student takes more than just good teachers. Parental involvement is also crucial for a a child to succeed.

“Once the parent is involved this makes our job a lot easier, because once the student realizes that they can’t mess around it really changes the atmosphere,” Trujillo said. “So, parent involvement is huge. I noticed that sometimes the teacher is always the one to be blamed for the academic failure of the student, but if we can just get the parents involved again, this would make a huge difference.”

By Dee Velasco
For the Sun