Michelle Sotelo has taught for 20 years. After teaching kindergarten, 2nd and 3rd grade, she has spent the last six years at Apollo Middle School where she teaches Language Arts.

“I love it. I’ve found my niche,” says Sotelo. “I love teaching 7th grade because I can act like a silly 12-year- old. I enjoy the crazy roller coaster of emotions that 12- to 13-year-old students experience,” she adds.

Her husband is a teacher at Drexel Elementary, and Sotelo says this gives them the unique and fun opportunity to share students as they move from elementary to middle school.

When she was teaching elementary, Sotelo says that she was “the type of teacher who dresses up for all the Spirit Days; and while teaching at Mission Manor Elementary, I would dress up in costumes related to the topic I was teaching for the day.”

That fun attitude is surely one of the reasons that student Kara nominated Sotelo. Kara writes that Sotelo is “the nicest teacher of them all. She is funny, kind and smart. She makes learning fun, which is my favorite thing of all.”

When she is not in school, she loves to scrapbook and travel. Sotelo also is a Boy Scout leader. Her two sons are scouts, and she was a Girl Scout for 12 years. She earned her Gold Award when she ran Camp Whispering Pines for 150 campers. She still loves camping.

Sotelo says she enjoys teaching historical fiction. One of her favorite books in the classroom is about segregation, “Mississippi Trial, 1955” by Chris Crowe.

She encourages her students to finish school, apply for scholarships and go to college. “Every child can succeed if they apply themselves,” she says.

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About Mrs. Sotelo

Favorite Subject in School: Language Arts & Social Studies

Hidden Talent: She knows sign language, but she says she is a little rusty.

Favorite trip: Sotelo went on a 21-day cruise through Australia and New Zealand with her 3rd-grade teacher. They ran into each other at Costco and reconnected, says Sotelo. They discovered that they both wanted to see Australia, so they made plans and went in 2010. Her former teacher was 80!

Favorite Australia Memory: Petting the koalas and kangaroos, and seeing the Sydney Opera House.

Secret Ambition: Sotelo says she would like to be an author and write children’s picture books.

Edition: 
Tucson
Issue: 
November 2016