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Impacting through languages

Spanish teacher Jose Dominguez wins 2017 Harmon Teacher of the Year award

Spanish+Teacher+Jose+Dominguez+grades+papers+during+second+period+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+9.
Spanish Teacher Jose Dominguez grades papers during second period on Friday, Feb. 9.

Spanish Teacher Jose Dominguez grades papers during second period on Friday, Feb. 9.

Photo by Noah Nielson

Photo by Noah Nielson

Spanish Teacher Jose Dominguez grades papers during second period on Friday, Feb. 9.

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Language has always impacted the life of Spanish teacher Jose Dominguez. Every day he aspires to motivate his students the way he once was.

As a freshman in high school, Dominguez cruised through his general classes, completing his work just to fall asleep. But his intelligence sparked the interest of one of his teachers, Mrs. Reinhardt; she changed his schedule and placed him in classes that would challenge him.

“Mostly she kept me on my toes after that,” Dominguez said. “She taught me I had to be self-disciplined, self-motivated and overcome the obstacles that I had.”

Later, he focused on becoming a teacher to instill the same effort into his own students. In just the two years Dominguez has been at Harmon, he has formed relationships, earned the respect of his peers and contributed to the Cinco de Mayo program. These contributions led him to be voted as Harmon’s Teacher of the Year by his colleagues.

“It feels great especially right now because you come every day to work and depending on the circumstances your morale can get pretty low,” Dominguez said. “[Teacher of the Year] is just a picker upper and it just feels great. It boosted me up; it gave me some more strength.”

Dominguez takes pride in watching his students expand their knowledge and apply what they learn outside of the classroom.

“The best thing a teacher can have is just watching [their students] learn,” Dominguez said. “The ideas that we teach, [at] some point they start clicking in [their] heads; it’s one of the most amazing things I can see in students. Also one of the most amazing things is the progress and the end product [teachers] make. We get to see quirky freshmen come in and at the end of high school students have developed morale character.”

Dominguez’s supervisors hold high respect for him. Though he is quiet, he still manages to develop hard-working students. Dominguez upholds long-lasting relationships with his colleagues.

“Mr. Dominguez is quiet; he comes in, does his work, works extremely hard [and] is very passionate about the content he teaches,” principal Tony Fontana said. “He works to build relationships and he comes in and knows what it takes to push and motivate our students to higher levels of learning they probably sometimes don’t even think they can do. [There is] great work ethic on his part.”

Since Dominguez arrived he has been able to amp up the Harmon Cinco de Mayo program. He has brought success and has high hopes for this year’s event.

“[Dominguez] took over last year,” Fontana said. “We have had people working on it in the past who have helped him as well. He really wanted to have a stamp on it [by bringing] a different feeling to it. Which is really a success, and I look forward to his preparation.”

Not only has Dominguez been highly revered by his peers, his students respect him. He hopes to continue their success at the main campus and even further on in life.

“He cares a lot about his students and his job,” sophomore Stuart Levesque said. “He’s very serious and hardworking.”

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