Sarita McReynolds is a bilingual teacher in Kennewick, Washington who teaches a variety of courses to students who are dominant in languages other than English including Spanish, Russian, Bosnian, Farsi, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Kakwa. She has been honored as the Teacher of the Year for the Washington Migrant Education Program, and Teacher of the Year at Kennewick High School.
McReynolds also received awards from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Washington Association for Bilingual Education, and Who’s Who Among American Teachers. She has been a proud participant in the Learning Space Grant, the Pacific Rim Educators’ Summit in Japan, and the Digital Blackboard Fellowship at the Battelle Research Center. In 2002, McReynolds participated in the Teacher Leadership Program designed to help teachers infuse technology into their curriculum.
As a high school educator, McReynolds has been responsible for teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) and Sheltered English Technique (SET) content area classes in Washington history and geography. When she searched for bilingual materials for her SET course on Washington State history, McReynolds came up empty-handed. She decided there was only one way she could make history comprehensible to her students. She had to write and translate her own materials. She sought the advice and assistance of Dale Lambert and Directed Media Incorporated.
Word of McReynolds’ bilingual curriculum spread quickly after an OSPI official visited her classroom and witnessed her materials firsthand. Soon she was approached by the Office of Secondary Education for Migrant Youth to serve on a committee to develop material for a new Washington State history course for the Portable Assisted Study Sequence (PASS) program. With a nod of approval from the committee and OSPI, McReynolds’ materials were shared with bilingual teachers statewide. In 2002, McReynolds’ journey came to fruition with the publication of her Washington: Our Land, Nuestra Tierra published by Directed Media.