When Irasema Cantu arrived in Spring Branch ISD from Mexico, Ms. Braastad welcomed her into her classroom with open arms. She made Cantu feel important and empowered her to believe she could accomplish anything she set her mind to.
“Ms. Braastad did not ever make me feel like being a second language learner would hold me back from achieving my dreams,” said Cantu. “Her encouragement greatly impacted my life in a positive way.”
Years later, Cantu graduated from Northbrook High School and pursued a career with SBISD.
Cantu’s career with SBISD began at The Wildcat Way School as a teacher assistant. She notes that this is where her love for education began, as she realized she was very passionate about educating the world’s future professionals. Her biggest inspiration has been Cary Davis, a Wildcat Way teacher she worked alongside for nine years. Cantu mentions that Davis saw potential in everyone and inspired her to continue her education.
Cantu’s Limitless Curiosity keeps her learning and growing. She considers herself to be a lifelong learner and is always seeking opportunities to learn new skills that will help her be a better resource to those she serves.
When she was searching for growth opportunities, Cantu came across the Multilingual Department. Today, she feels fortunate to serve Emergent Bilingual students, especially because she “was once in their shoes.”
“As a compliance specialist, I love having the opportunity to get to know our newcomer students and their families,” said Cantu. “I love that I am able to learn about their journey before they enter the classroom. I hope to have a positive impact in their lives just as my SBISD teachers had on me.”
Cantu advocates for Emergent Bilingual students and ensures they are placed in classrooms that meet their needs. Her goal is to continue helping Every Child and make a difference in their future. Cantu thanks Dr. Aylin Martinez, Multilingual Department director, who constantly encourages her team to reach goals and be committed to serving all students, teachers and families.
To her high school self, Cantu tells her to always believe in herself, regardless of the obstacles in her path.
“I would tell her to be a thinker and a believer!” said Cantu. “In the future, she will look back at her journey and be thankful for all the experiences that led her to where she is today.”
Learn about Spring Branch ISD staff and their commitment to Every Child. Read their stories here.