New Mundelein educator is a perfect fit
Mytzy Rodriguez-Kufner, the new English Language Learners coordinator for School Districts 75 and 79, prepares for the new school year. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 27, 2012 8:20AM
Mytzy Rodriguez-Kufner’s lineage, as well as her experience and education, make her ideal for the position of English Language Learner coordinator shared by Mundelein School District 75 and Fremont School District 79.
Her parents were teachers, her sister’s a teacher, aunts and uncles are or were teachers, and a grandmother was a teacher and a principal.
“We make it a career, it’s something that’s innate and we enjoy it a lot,” said Rodriguez-Kufner, 39.
As ELL coordinator, which is often referred to as bilingual coordinator, she’s charged with making sure students who are non-native English speakers understand the curriculum and meet district standards. She’ll also collaborate with the Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee to gather community input on the ELL program from bilingual parents.
About 600 of the 3,900 students in the two districts use services provided by the ELL program.
It’s also a role she’s been in before.
She was ELL coordinator for six years in Round Lake Area School District 116 and for a year in Waukegan Public Schools, where she also served as an English as second language strategist.
Before that, Rodriguez-Kufner also was a fourth-grade teacher in Palatine and a middle school science and bilingual teacher in Waukegan.
“In the fall, I’ll be working with Illinois State University in their transitions to teaching program and educating a new generation of teachers,” she said.
She has two master’s degrees — one in teaching and another in education administration — and she’s going for her doctorate.
Out of college, however, she set out to become a podiatrist. Her undergraduate degree is a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology and Biology from Loyola University-Chicago in 1996.
“Anthropology has actually helped me in my current profession,” she said. “There’s a lot of cultural anthropology and a lot of linguistics, which you need to know when working with the diverse populations you have here.”
A desire to teach grew out of the joy she felt tutoring children and volunteering with the Kiwanis Club during college.
When the Peru-born wife and mother of two little boys isn’t dividing her time between the two school districts, Rodriguez-Kufner’s pursuing her passion for nature and photography, while teaching her sons about both.