Welcoming Claudia Lee: Foothill Tech’s newest Spanish teacher


Luigirey Guce

Claudia Lee, the new Spanish teacher at Foothill Tech, stands in front of the flag of Spain.

Claire Hadley, Writer

On Aug. 24, 2022, the first day of school after a long summer break, students entered Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) to find the friendly face of a new faculty member, Claudia Lee. Lee is the newest Spanish teacher at Foothill Tech.

Lee attended university in Sinaloa, Mexico, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Law. In Mexico, she worked as a lawyer for five years, in addition to 10 years spent teaching there. 

In 2006, Lee immigrated from Mexico to California and was faced with the challenge of not knowing any English. Lee said,“I started with zero. I came here with zero english.” In response to not knowing the most commonly spoken language in the United States, Lee began to take English classes in West Covina. 

Lee decided not to continue her career as a lawyer because it would require starting her law education all over. Lee stated that, “Laws in the US are different and the credentials did not apply over here.” Instead of being a lawyer in the United States, she knew that she wanted to teach her native language to youth. 

After taking English classes, Lee became a paraeducator. “I was a paraeducator for five years and my teachers, my mentor teachers, were encouraging me to become a teacher because they knew that I was strong in Spanish and I said ‘why not?’” 

Lee continued to work hard to become a teacher, and eventually achieved her goal. She persevered through both the struggles of learning a foreign language and starting over with a new career. She has been teaching now for six years in the United States and is at the end of the process of receiving all of her teaching credentials.

When asked what the most enjoyable part of teaching was, Lee states that, ”My favorite part of being a teacher is contact with young people because you guys are so energetic and cool and you teach me a lot of things. It is fun to have time with young people . . . I like that I can share my language with others and they can be able to speak with Latin American people in other countries and I want to give my heritage to you guys.”

Outside of teaching, Lee likes to cook, bake and read. When it comes to cooking, Lee loves cooking a large variety of international foods. Her favorite cuisines are Indian food, Mexican food and Mediterranean food. 

When reflecting on her time in California and at Foothill Tech, Lee remarks, “I have found very nice people in California, a lot of people to help me with this process. I am very thankful for that, here I am in this really cool high school . . . I feel very comfortable working here.”

Students and teachers should continue to work to make Foothill Tech an inclusive campus where everyone feels comfortable. When walking through the halls, make sure to stop by and greet this incredibly kind, hardworking teacher and welcome her to Foothill Tech. You won’t regret it!

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