“He is an amazing teacher” Professor from Idaho named to “Great immigrants, great Americans” list
MAGIC VALLEY – Jorge Pulleiro grew up in Argentina and became a teacher at the age of 18, a year after graduating from high school.
At the age of 24, he was accepted to Brigham Young University and moved from Buenos Aires to Utah.
This year, he was not only named Idaho Teacher of the Year 2021, but was also named on Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Great Immigrants, Great American’s list. A list honoring immigrants and their contributions.
“Growing up in a third world country, I didn’t have a lot of hope, and now I’m here because I kept going,” Pulleiro said.
Pulliero faced bullying issues when he was in elementary school and says even some of his teachers made the problem worse. But it was his third grade teacher who changed his life and made him want to become a teacher.
“She changed my life because at the age of eight I already knew that somehow I was going to be found in a classroom teaching,” Pulleiro said.
What he did ; Pulleiro started teaching Spanish at Wood River Middle School eight years ago. Prior to that he was teaching in Oregon. But this year was his final year of teaching and will now be the new vice-principal of Twin Falls High School.
He hopes he has inspired his students as much as his third grade teacher has inspired him.
“I love my students, and because a teacher loved me so much, it changed my life. We have to love our students, ”Pulleiro said.
Some of his former students say he was that teacher to them, and they looked forward to his class every day.
“I mean he’s an amazing teacher, and you’d expect him to. He’s just amazing. The way he teaches and the way he relates to his students. It’s amazing, ”said Kimberlynn Sanchez, Pulleiro’s former student.
“I always felt like he was very open and made sure everyone knew they could always go talk to him if they had any problems,” said Brett Poggi, former student of Pulleiro.
Last year was Pulleiro’s last year of teaching, but he says saying goodbye was the hardest part.
“It was my last day in eighth grade and the last time I’m probably going to be in class with him it was a lot of fun but also exciting and sad because I’m now leaving college and I’m going to miss him a lot,” he said. Sanchez said.
On the final day, a student also expressed to Pulleiro how eagerly he looked forward to his class every day because he knew it was a safe place where he wouldn’t be bullied.
“Sometimes you wonder if it’s worth it? All the sacrifices, all the time. Is it worth it? And that was the answer, “Pulleiro said.
Pulleiro was one of 33 other people from around the world recognized on this list.
“It’s what I love about teaching that my students are there and they don’t know it, but they teach me more than I could teach them,” Pulleiro said.