Influencer of the week: Taise Camargo, Panther Lake Elementary School

Taise Camargo is a paraprofessional English learner at Panther Lake Elementary. Camargo provides staff support with bilingual communication, works with children and provides basic reading and spelling instructions, translates to parents, helps communicate with students and more. Principal Christine Szymanski said while Camargo works with students who speak a variety of languages, she has a special bond with the Portuguese students as it is their mother tongue. “She works really hard to make our students and families feel comfortable at school while they learn English and adjust to a new culture,” Szymanski said.

What drew you to your school?

After being a housewife, I continued to work towards my degree to help others. After graduating from high school, my son was old enough to start school and I wanted to get back to work. I found a place here at Panther Lake Elementary where I could help others, much like others helped me when I moved to the United States.

What do you love most about your school?

I enjoy seeing the impact I have not only on the children I work with but also on their families and my colleagues. The children always smile and say “good morning” to me as we pass each other in the hallways.

What is your motivation?

I would say my family is my motivation. You have all been so supportive of everything I do. I’m trying to bring that same support to my workplace.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The children! When I find a way to gain their trust and help them in a difficult situation, it relates to me and to wanting someone to be there to take care of my own child.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spend time with my family, do chores around the house, discover new cooking recipes to try, or go on a short weekend getaway.

Who was your favorite teacher when you were in school?

I didn’t really have a favorite teacher. The people (who) had the most impact were the support staff. Why? I felt the support staff had this benefit of working one on one with me. I wasn’t just one of the students in a class.

What did you want to be as a kid when you grow up?

I always wanted to be a doctor. Why? I wanted to help people. It was only after I embarked on this path that I was able to find another way to help others.

What is your favorite children’s book and why?

“The little Prince.” This book is full of life lessons.

What are your hobbies?

I love to travel, create new projects on my Cricut, and hunt for deals.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

teleportation. If I could teleport, I could visit anyone and everyone in an instant.

If you could only listen to three bands or artists for the rest of your life, which would they be and why?

Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5 and Coldplay. They don’t just have one style, they always have something for every mood.

What was your lunch as an elementary school student? Any favorite snacks or special treats that you remember?

Coxinha – these are from Brazil. Closest compared to chicken croquettes.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Christmas. Light, decoration and family togetherness.

Who was your best friend in school and why? Are you still in touch?

Nathalie. No, we’ve lost touch over the years.