San Gabriel Mission Elementary School

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Circa 1950

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HUMANS OF SGMES...Meet Ms. Dapra!

I've always questioned and wondered about my path in life- did I make the right choices? Am I supposed to be where I am today? I'm a dreamer just like my mom. We have the 'grass is always greener' syndrome. Sometimes, I wish I hadn't given up dancing. I miss it and could've gone far if I would've stuck with it. So what led me into teaching? I had just graduated high school and was off to PCC. Like many others, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do as a career. However, I knew that I wanted to help people in some way and so I pursued psychology. I've always gotten along well with all types of people and consider myself to be a good listener. I'm not really sure what changed my mind about psychology, but after three years, I then decided to explore the medical field. Wow, those classes were difficult! They challenged me academically to a whole new level. For some reason though, I did really well in physiology and anatomy. I organized and led several study groups. And when it came time to dissect a cat and memorize every single part of its body, I was able to help some of my classmates who were struggling. They were so grateful and felt much more confident about the class. That's when a lightbulb went off....why don't I become a teacher?!

Well, the rest is history. I've been teaching now for almost 18 years. It's hard to believe all of the children that I've gotten to know and see grow up. So many different personalities that come with their own strengths and weaknesses. So many frustrations and rewards along the way. It's even more exciting and surreal to see them later on as young adults- and they remember you or something that you did in the classroom. I'm far from being the perfect teacher, but hopefully I've made a difference in some of their lives and helped to prepare them for the future.

HUMANS OF SGMES...Meet Ms. O'Reilly!

Ars longa, vita brevis - The art so long, the life so short to live.

These are the passions that are constant in my life: learning, music, the architecture of childhood, education, literature, and art. I’ve always loved school and took pride in my work, whether it was writing or math. I’ve always embraced the opportunity to learn, no matter how pointless a subject may seem. I’ve always believed that knowledge is pure access to the world. And though I may not live long enough to know all things, the pursuit itself is what is most fruitful.

During my senior year of high school, I was in a class centered on social justice issues. We read excerpts of Jonathan Kozol’s The Shame of the Nation, and my perspective on education was forever changed. I was deeply troubled by the fact that here I was, sitting in a beautiful classroom learning about the injustices in our world while others in the same country went to school without running water or toilet paper and mice running across their feet during their math lessons. A sudden passion was within me, and I knew that if I would not be a singer, I would become an educator. I would ensure to pursue initiatives that protect children and make certain that each child is given their right to a safe and well-rounded education.

People often ask me, “Did you always want to be a teacher?” And I often reply, “No. Not at all actually.” On the contrary, I wished to be a singer and actress few years ago. But after realizing a theatre degree wasn’t quite for me, LMU’s School of Education fell into my lap. Four years later, I find myself exactly where I want to be: at a beautiful school with a wonderful community, gracious leadership and staff, and excited students. I, as a teacher and human being, cannot wait to share my love for learning with you all.

HUMANS OF SGMES...Meet Mrs. Olvera!

Ms. Mc Coy was the strictest teacher in my whole elementary school and in 4th grade, she was my teacher. I was so nervous about having her because of the horror stories I had heard. Turned out that those stories were a bit exaggerated. Little did I know she would impact my life and pave a new road for me forever. Ms. Mc Coy had high expectations but she was also kind and so patient. 4th grade was the year that I had difficulties with reading. Ms. Mc Coy challenged me in ways no other teacher had. She kept me after school and worked with me. She taught me songs to help me retain important information and she made me feel powerful, smart and like I could accomplish anything. By the end of the school year I had not only met grade level expectations, but had exceeded them. I’ll always be so thankful that I had a teacher who cared enough to help me, to push me and to challenge me. More importantly, I will never forget the way she made me feel.

I often think of Ms. Mc Coy and each time I say a prayer of thanksgiving. It is because of her that I too am a teacher today. My goal is to reach each one of my students in the ways they need it. My students may not remember everything I have said to them, but my hope is that they remember how they felt in my classroom.

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Student News

Academic "Decathletes" Hard At Work

Mission Elementary's Academic Decathlon team has been hard at work receiving guidance from teammates, teachers, parent and staff mentors. Each student, or team, meets weekly to review material, study and lend support to each other in preparation for the upcoming event. Our entire school community is so proud of these decathletes and we ask you to keep them in your daily prayers as they prepare! GO SPARTANS!

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Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight

My name is Ms. Kelly Nunez and not only am I the 8th grade homeroom and junior high Math/Science teacher, but I am also a proud SG Mission Alumna, Class of 2000!!  Mission has been a part of my life since birth, having an older brother that attended Mission Elementary as well.  This is my 3rd year teaching and nothing makes me happier, excited and proud, than to be back at the place that instilled so many values in my life.  
My time spent in the San Gabriel Mission School and parish has taught me many important life lessons that still hold truth and value in my life today.  Mission not only strengthened my Catholic faith, identity and education, but it also prepared me for success at a college-prep high school.  I learned leadership skills from being on Student Council throughout my time in Jr. High, and the value of being a part of a team and building a strong work ethic from playing the many different sports offered.  I also learned about building strong friendships, and am still friends with many of my Mission classmates currently.
I love to give back to the school that gave me so much, and volunteer most of my time towards extra curricular activities because I believe in the skills that they teach our students.  I am one of the Academic Decathlon moderators, the girls’ softball coach, and can often be found at the different sporting events cheering on our Spartans!  Although my time this year has been limited due to going back to school to work on my Masters in Education, I still try to find a balance and support our students in all that I can.  
Once a Spartan, ALWAYS a Spartan! 

My Mission is...