Leslie Estrada is new school district community liaison
Catasauqua High School Spanish teacher Leslie Estrada will not only be teaching in the classroom this year, but will also be serving as the school’s new community liaison.
According to Estrada, in her role as community liaison, she will be communicating with residents and business owners in the community, welcoming new families and helping them become more involved in school activities.
“I think it’s really important to meet with families in our community,” she said.
She noted there are some families who move into the district and choose to attend charter or cyber schools over attending Catasauqua Area School District schools. She hopes she can change that trend.
“If you want your child to go to a charter school because you truly believe that they will have a better education and a better experience there, I respect that, but some families don’t even look at our schools because they haven’t heard anything about them,” Estrada said.
Estrada said she will be using a TV-production class to document and film the life of a CHS student, in order to provide a better picture to those unfamiliar with the district.
Estrada is a 2011 CHS graduate. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education and Spanish from Kutztown University in 2015. While at Kutztown, Estrada also had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica for a month, living with a host family.
Estrada is currently working on her master’s in instructional technology.
“I feel fortunate to have come back to the district to teach Spanish at Catasauqua High School but also to work on building connections within the community,” she said. “This year, we will be working together to get students, parents and the surrounding community working together to better the school district.”
Estrada said she did not initially major in education nor intend to pursue a career in teaching.
She previously worked at Chuck E. Cheese for six years, as she said, causing chaos with shouting contests and helping the children dance with Chuck E.
“I didn’t think I would be able to control a classroom of kids,” she said.
A little motivational nudging from her college professors changed her career path selection.
“My professors told me to go for education, that I could do it in a year and that I seemed like I be a natural,” she said. “I thought of my teachers here and about my professors at KU. I found some inspiration and gave it a try.”
Although she applied for and received job offers in Philadelphia, New Jersey and elsewhere in the Lehigh Valley, she didn’t respond to those offers until she heard back from CHS Principal David Ascani regarding the application she submitted to teach at CHS.
Estrada, who was heavily involved in CHS activities and clubs as a student, said she always found it easy to talk with her teachers.
“Now that I’m on the other side, it’s not much different,” she said. “I just have more responsibilities, and it’s a little weird calling some of them by their first names.”
Estrada said she will continue to teach Spanish.
“I love my students too much, and I had way too much fun teaching last year to give any of that up,” she said.