Promoting diversity and inclusion is an ongoing priority at Noble. We strongly believe in ensuring our staff has an inclusive environment to collaborate in offering our students the diverse education they deserve. We realize that teachers are the number one predictor of student success, and because of that we focus on hiring the best individuals.
In this section we would like to feature some of the hard-working, dedicated educators who drive Noble’s mission.
Interview with Francisco Huerta
Where did you grow up and what is your favorite memory from high school?
I grew up on the Northwest side of town in the neighborhood of Belmont Cragin.
My advisor, Mr. Lessem, was and continues to be a father figure to me. He became engaged during my senior year at Rauner. In the time leading up to his wedding, I had the honor of helping him build a chuppah - a canopy like structure – which is used in Jewish wedding ceremonies. We met at Rauner on one of our off days to put together the chuppah for his own wedding. That to me is the definition of the advisor-advisee relationship. It is a bond goes beyond the hours of theregular school day, and the beyond the walls of the building. You arepart of a family. Knowing that he was married under a structure that we worked on together brings joy to my heart to this very day.
Where did you go to college, what did you study, and why did you choose this 2 options?
I am proud to call Wabash College my Alma Mater where I majored in Psychology and minored in Economics and Religion.
Wabash College spoke to me to very first time I visited campus. Wabash simply felt right. The more I learned about its history and traditions, the more I knew that Wabash was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. The amount of pride that the students and faculty held for the College was very apparent.
I chose to major in psychology because I had the idea of pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology or a Masters in Social Work. I live a life of service. I love listening to people. Helping people. Letting them know that there is somebody there. It is my calling and I have come to accept that. I might still pursue a career in that direction in the future, but for now I am more than happy to serve the youth of my city.
There is more to education than putting worksheets in front of students. If I can be half the educator that my teachers at Rauner were, then I will live and die a happy man.
What influenced you to want to work in education?
Rauner College Prep blessed me with amazing educators that were there for me beyond the classroom. My parents were rarely ever able to attend my school functions. Concerts, soccer games, assemblies –my parents always worked during those hours. Our teachers alwaystook the time out of their busy lives to attend those events to support their students. There is more to education than putting worksheets in front of students. If I can be half the educator that my teachers at Rauner were, then I will live and die a happy man.
What do you love about your role at Noble?
I am blessed with working with amazing kids on a daily basis. They are not perfect, but each and every single one of them has their own story. I love getting to know each and every one of them – hearing their stories, learning their passions, helping them work through their struggles. I am incredibly lucky.
What has been your most memorable moment as a Noble employee?
Books are such a beautiful treasure, and as an educator one of my main goals is to build a love for books and reading in my students. Because of this, there is nothing that I love more than seeing my kids feel and display emotions while reading. My heart jumps for joy everysingle time I hear a gasp of shock, an excited Dzyes,dz or a sorrowful Dznooooooodz coming from my students. My proudest moment came when we read the reveal for our novel Silence. Kids slammed their books down, one shut down and was on the verge of tears, while others clapped in joy. It was such a magical moment!
By putting together a diverse staff, we are directly ensuring that there are multiple opportunities for human, and not just academic, growth.
What does diversity mean to you and what benefits does a diverse staff bring to the classroom?
Diversity comes from avoiding the single story. There is no one archetype for the perfect student or teacher. Thus we have to make sure to always keep an open mind with the things that we do and the people that we come across. In doing so, we are investing in our own growth and actively fighting against becoming stagnant. By putting together a diverse staff, we are directly ensuring that there are multiple opportunities for human, and not just academic, growth.
As a teacher of color who works for a network that serves a population that is 98% students of color. What is the biggest advice you would want your students to take from you?
I want my students to always keep an open mind, try new things, and explore their identity. They need to always be questioning the factors that compose their identity. You are not defined by your race, community, or family. These are all factors that are a part of your life, but they do not define you. Always keep an open mind, always ask questions, and be comfortable with being uncomfortable. That is how we truly discover where we fit in this chaotic world.