Mountain View’s Best Kept Secret

Mountain View’s Best Kept Secret
Posted on 05/25/2022
Angels disguised as ordinary people: Special Ed aides (left-right) Mrs. Epifania De La Riva, Ms. Erica Santa Cruz, Mrs. Serafran Octavio-Callejo go over and above their required duties by preparing unique lessons for their students.

By Mark Dittmar

Everyone knows teachers go beyond the call of duty, but do you want to know a secret? They aren’t the only ones.
Mountain View’s best kept secret are the three dedicated women who, along with Special Education teacher, Mr. Ernest Gutierrez, work with the school’s five self-contained Life Skills Program students.

“These ladies do so much for the kids. They go over and above what’s required of them,” said Mr. Gutierrez referring to Mrs. Epifania De La Riva, Ms. Erica Santa Cruz and Mrs. Serafran Octavio-Callejo. “They are amazing!”
When Mr. Gutierrez describes all the things his team does, one would think he is describing highly qualified teachers.
On Wednesday afternoons you will find them busy creating personalized lessons specifically tailored to match the unique learning styles of the children in their care.
“They find ideas, gather materials, prepare lessons, and complete those themselves before teaching their students,” said Mr. Gutierrez. “They copy, cut, laminate, draw & color, and do all sorts of things for the kids.”

They are also very encouraging women. Each one helps, trains, and coaches their students one-on-one while accompanying them to general education and Specials classes throughout the week.

Whether the care given involves the basics of personal hygiene or relating to peers on the playground, the children in their care are being well-prepared for the future.
“Working with children who think, feel and learn different can be a challenge, but the SpEd teams does a wonderful job and deserves more recognition,” wrote Mrs. Monica Encinas-Hernandez. “I appreciate all the effort they put into helping my daughter.”

“Their greatest contribution to the program is the genuine concern, compassion and motherly love they show the kids each day,” Mr. Gutierrez added. “These are very selfless women.”

It has been said that Special Ed aides are actually angels disguised as extraordinary people. At Mountain View that comes as no surprise but…now we’re letting their secret out!