My name is Maria Raya and I teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to students in grades K – 8. I came to Eagle Ridge School in 2013. Prior to this, I taught ESL for ten years at Black Hawk College (BHC). I also taught in the Family Literacy Program while at BHC. Working with students from around the world prepared me well for serving families at Eagle Ridge School. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that some of my former BHC students are Eagle Ridge parents.
I have earned two university degrees. The first is a BA in Psychology from St. Ambrose University, and the second, a BS in Elementary Education from Western Illinois University. My endorsements include: Bilingual Education; Elementary and Middle School Education; Language Arts; and Social Science. I am currently taking graduate courses in ESL/Bilingual education through WIU as they become available.
My hometown is Moline, Illinois. Growing up, I attended both public and private schools. My immediate family members live in the IL Quad Cities, Geneseo, and Kenosha, Wisconsin. Two of my sisters are also educators. Like many of my students, I am a first generation American – I am a child/daughter of immigrants. I am fluent in English and Spanish; I learned both languages at the same time. I grew up in a bilingual and bicultural home. My family is a blend of both American and Mexican cultures. I am fortunate to have visited my parents’ and grandparents’ homeland. America is my place of birth and my home, however, it is important to remember my roots. I try to instill this in my students as well. It is a pleasure to meet you. Es un placer conocerte.