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The News Website for Glendale High School


The News Website for Glendale High School


Always a Nitro: Ms. Sotelo

Our fourteenth in a series on GHS staff members who also attended our school.

Ms. Thalia Sotelo is the newest special education teacher at Glendale High School, and she also graduated from our school in 2012. Outside of school, she is a program development director, and she does summer and winter camps for kids on the autism spectrum, And once a month, Ms. Sotelo does special events for kids, especially during the holidays. She always saw herself working with kids, but she saw herself as a therapist before she became a teacher.

Ms. Sotelo enjoys running and fitness, but she doesn’t like cooking and has never been very good at it. She also likes to travel and go on cruises, and she has been to Canada, Mexico, Alaska, Arizona, and Idaho. “I’ve been to just little parts [of those places], to see what that city and place has,” Ms. Sotelo said. “And [I enjoy] meeting new people and socializing.”

When she was a student at GHS, Ms. Sotelo competed in varsity cross country and track and field during her freshman and junior years, and her favorite teacher was Mr. Livingston. “All my teachers were great and they were very supportive,” she said. 

“They were understanding, because I had track meets and cross country,” she added. “But what I really liked was their personality and that they reached out when I needed help…They wanted the best for their students; they wanted us to be able to go to university or community college…Even though some of them  were strict, they had a good heart.” 

Ms. Sotelo has lived in Glendale all her life. She went to Cerritos Elementary School and Roosevelt Middle School, before coming to GHS. But when she was fifteen years old, Ms. Sotelo lived with her father in the San Bernardino area for nine months after her mom was deported. 

After graduation, Ms. Sotelo went to Pasadena City College, and she then transferred to California State University, Northridge. She didn’t see herself coming back to our school as a teacher, but she only saw herself returning as a volunteer. Before coming to GHS, Ms. Sotelo worked at College View School, and she really liked it, so that led her to come back to teach at her alma mater.

Ms. Sotelo’s favorite thing about being a student at GHS was the Best Buddies Club, and she was able to get over 100 kids to join. During their first club meeting, over fifty people attended. They couldn’t fit everyone into the classroom, so people were lining up outside. 

During her senior year, Ms. Sotelo did over 200 hours of community service, working as a teacher’s aide in Ms. Telles’ special education room. She spent her time walking the students around, and she took them to sporting events, like football and basketball games, and all the events the school held. 

One of the students wanted to be on the football team, so Ms. Sotelo asked the coach for help, and the boy was made a waterboy. He got his own jersey and wore it with pride. Another one of the students, who was in a wheelchair, wanted to be a cheerleader, so Ms. Sotelo arranged it so that the student was able to be on the field and cheer during a game.

Ms. Sotelo also spent most of her senior year fundraising, so that her special education students could go to a regular prom. She really wanted them to have a normal high school experience, and it worked, as thirty-one students were able to attend the event. They even had to order two party buses to take them all. “It was the best time of my life having them dance, [and] having them able to be well-rounded and be part of our school events,” Ms Sotelo said. 

The motto, “Once a Nitro, always a Nitro”, definitely applies to Ms. Sotelo! We are so lucky to have her on our teaching staff!

About the Contributor
Evie Richardson, Staff Writer
Evie is a freshman at Glendale High School. She is a new member of the journalism class and has been a part of the JDL for nine years. She enjoys reading and painting.
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