By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor
Silvia Hurtado was born and raised in Mexico where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in law. She began her career as a teacher as a lecturer in Spanish at Purdue University before becoming an elementary school teacher’s assistant, and a teacher for a bilingual program in Chicago. She has six years of experience in the Ann Arbor Public School childcare program. Hurtado lives in Ann Arbor and has a husband, son, and cat. She enjoys traveling and experiencing novel food and foreign cultures.
Zachary Brannock, Extended Day Program Supervisor for Community Education and Recreation, says Hurtado has proven to be an asset to the Extended Day Program at Abbot Elementary.
“Silvia is not only dedicated to the students, their families, and the staff within the AAPS community, but she makes it her goal to build a relationship with each and every person she connects with,” he says. “She is extremely organized and eager to learn new things.”
Child care worker Kevin Elzinga says Hurtado is a great leader, knows her strengths, and is quick to delegate when appropriate.
“She always has some sort of project ready to go, and is willing to bring in music, which I think is important to keeping the kids happy,” he says. “The kids like her very much.”
Why did you decide to become a child care worker with AAPS?
I decided to become a child care worker because I moved here from South Carolina and I wanted to learn more about the culture of Ann Arbor. Later on, I fell in love with the interactions with children and the job also let me be a substitute teacher, something which I did for many years.
What’s a typical workday for you?
A typical day for me begins at 5:30 a.m. with a warm shower and a cup of joe. My morning shift starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 9 a.m. The evening shift is from 3 to 6 p.m. In between those two shifts is the time which I use to exercise, do chores around the house, take my Italian language classes, and gym brain.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of working before school, and then after?
An advantage of working before school is that I get to wake up early and then schedule appointments, hang out with friends, and continue my education in the noon hours.
How is this year going so far?
I am so blessed to have a family which is healthy and employed. My family in Mexico is also healthy and we’re all doing well.
What do you like most about the job?
What I like most about my job is that every day brings a new experience and it also allows me to guide the development of the kids.
What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest challenges are dealing with the many and varied personalities and cultures which are all interesting.
AAPS really needs child care workers right now. How would you encourage them to join the team?
I would encourage them to take advantage of the flexible hours and medical benefits. Many college students could take advantage of the flexible hours to work their studies into the work here.
What’s the happiest part of your day?
The happiest part of my day is that feeling when I come home at the end of the day to my loving husband and then sit down and enjoy the home-cooked meal he has prepared for me.
What’s one of your hidden talents?
My hidden talents are my ability to adapt to new teams and situations. I like to work in teams and learn to find different solutions to any problems I might encounter.
If you could know the definitive answer to any one question, what would that question be?
The answer that I would like to know is the answer to the question asked by my kids every day.
What makes working at Abbot unique?
Abbot is unique because I can interact with the girls I worked with in Peace and Abbot lets me do my job well.
How do you spend your summers?
I like to visit my family in Mexico City over the summer.