2019 Teacher of the Year:
As a child immigrant from El Salvador who grew up in public schools, Sarahí Monterrey recognizes the pivotal role teachers play in students’ lives. Wisconsin’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, Monterrey is an English Learner teacher at Waukesha North High School in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Monterrey’s approach to teaching embodies a genuine belief that every student has the ability to learn and grow, and every educator has an obligation to tearing down the barriers that stand in the students’ way.
Monterrey developed her school from offering a single bilingual study skills class into a thriving, integrated learning community in which the school now offers three levels of English as a Second Language, and staff co-teach English, math, and science classes. She also fostered a school culture in which EL students take Advanced Placement coursework, helping them gain college readiness skills. Sarahi co-developed Spanish IV, the first dual language class at Waukesha North, which became the foundation of the district's dual language course offerings. The school was the first in the state to offer Wisconsin Seal of Biliteracy awards, which recognize students who have demonstrated advanced achievement in bilingualism, biliteracy, and sociocultural competence.
Monterrey supports students, families, and her community as an active and committed advocate, teacher, and bilingual translator. She is the creator of "Girl Talk", a club with a mission to inspire and empower students. Sarahi leads professional development sessions to staff and parents, focusing on the impact of immigration policies, serving EL students, equity, and culturally responsive practices.
Monterrey holds a Bachelor of Science in Spanish and Bilingual Education and a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.