Where did you grow up and what was your first language?
I grew up in "la capital" in DR, and in NYC in the Heights on 179th Street or "OSN" as we call it, right next to the library.
What from your hometown do you wish you could find in New York City?
At first, it was difficult to make friends and play outside which is what we did a lot of in DR, however in less than a month all our new friends were playing kick the can, (escondio)/hide and seek, "el ponchao", "la plaquitas", etc. We were able to bring new games to the neighborhood and that helped us assimilate quickly to the new country.
Where did you go to college?
Do you have time, it's a long story, only because I wanted to become a baseball GM (I wanted to be Omar Minaya, before there was an actual Omar Minaya, Mets GM). Here is my long story, BMCC, to York College (imagine the commute from the Heights to Jamaica Queens), to BMCC (for the summer), LaGuardia CC (finally my A.A. in Liberal Arts), St John's U. (another long commute) (B.A.in Athletic Adm), after many years, Baruch College, New School U. (M.S. in Non-Profit Management), CCNY (M.S. Childhood Education).
What was your favorite book in middle school?
I always like to read but don't recall having a favorite book, but I read a lot of magazines specially since I lived next to a library. (Sports Illustrated, Baseball Digest, etc)
What is the best part of teaching at Hamilton Grange?
I think the best part will be to work with students who once looked like me (Dominican, immigrants, Latinos, living in the heights, adopting to a new culture, etc.).
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not teaching?
I still like to read; I read something daily (i.e. society, tech, sports, politics, education, immigration, Latin America, etc.) I also spend lots of time with my family and our not so new dog Fitz! I also spend lots of time dealing with education policy as a school board member in the town where I live.
What is your favorite quote?
Among four that I use next to my email signature, this one is my favorite: “The paradox of education is precisely this - that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. ” (James Baldwin)