By Janiya Williams, Contributor
As Payton welcomes the class of 2026 into the building for the first time, it also welcomes a new cohort of teachers. This year, there are 22 new staff members joining the WPCP community! I met with Dr. Daly, a new Spanish teacher at Payton to hear her story.
Paw Print: What made you come to Payton?
Dr. Daly: I am very passionate about teaching Spanish, including teaching about the beautiful cultures found throughout Latin America. As a non-native Spanish speaker myself, I love to support and encourage students as they become fluent in the language. It’s very rewarding to watch students build their confidence and speak to each other in a new language. The opportunity to teach AP Spanish again felt like a perfect fit in a school with highly motivated students.
Paw Print: Was Spanish always a subject you taught, or is this on the newer side? Dr. Daly: Yes, so I have 13 years of experience teaching Spanish but I also taught ESL (English as a Second Language) for four years. However, my high school Spanish teacher inspired me to become a teacher. She was a non-native Spanish speaker who learned the language fluently and lived in a Spanish-speaking country. She always had a positive attitude and cared about every single student in her class. The classroom environment was highly engaging, and students felt valued and respected. I majored in Spanish and ended up studying and living in Puerto Rico and also Mexico.
Paw Print: Was there anything you did before becoming a teacher or were you always a teacher? Was this the career you went into after college?
Dr. Daly: So I was a student before my first job as a teacher because I started teaching very young at the age of 22. So that was my major (Spanish) for education. And my first job was as a high school teacher at the age of 22. I was very young.
Paw Print: Aside from academic endeavors, do you have or do you plan on having any other ways to support students?
Dr. Daly: Yes, so I have AP tutoring offered during enrichment on Tuesdays and then I also have two days a week where I offer Spanish level three or Spanish level four tutoring. And apart from that, I love to teach about the cultures found throughout Latin America. I’m teaching a Latin dance seminar during the first session of seminar days.
Paw Print: Do you think teaching will be your lifelong career or do you ever think you might want to switch?
Dr. Daly: I love being a teacher, and I did have a school leadership position the last four years before Payton, but I missed teaching so much so I’m very happy to be back in the classroom. I’m very very happy in the classroom.
Paw Print: Besides being an educator, do you have any other goals for your time here at Payton?
Dr. Daly: I think my main goal right now is to learn about the culture here in the building and to learn about my students and the staff and to learn about the traditions here at Payton because every school has their own traditions and culture.