10 Minutes with Tipton: Burton Assistant Superintendent Dr. Leyva | Pictures


10 Minutes with Tipton is a new series on the Education page. Students in Tipton Elementary’s After School Safety and Education (ASES) program take the time to zoom in with people in the community to ask them questions about their work, their lives and the strategies they they can use in their own lives to help them become academically and career ready.

What is your title/role in our community?

Dr. Julissa Levya, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services for the Burton School District.

Tell us a bit about yourself – your background, where you grew up, your family.

“I was born and raised in Porterville. I have two sisters and three brothers. My parents were farm workers and came to the United States in 1966 and my parents are both Mexican. My mother is from Chihuahua and my father is from Guanajuato. In high school, I played volleyball, basketball, and softball. I also played flute in the Porterville High Panther Band. While in high school, I worked for Baskin Robbins scooping ice cream and serving customers. I also worked at Walmart’s fulfillment center for nine years while I was in college. I received my AA from Porterville College and earned my BA and teaching/BCLAD certification from Cal-State Bakersfield. After four years of teaching, I returned to school and earned my MBA at Cal State Bakersfield. In 2015, I completed my PhD at the University of Southern California (USC). I have two children. My son is 25 and my daughter is 22. I love family reunions and RV camping with my family.

What do you like about your career?

“The best thing about my career is working with our students, our families and our staff. This career gives me the opportunity to serve others and help them achieve their dreams. I can help teach others how to support children and provide them with strategies and resources – academically, socially and emotionally. I work as a team with district and school staff. Our goal is for every student to progress and prepare for college and future careers. All decisions are based on student needs. That’s what I love about my career, helping students and families.

When did you start your career? Can you give us a brief professional background?

“I started my teaching career in March 2000. I was hired as a fifth grade teacher at Westfield Elementary. I was there six and a half years, then I became assistant principal at Westfield for a year and a half, then principal at Roche Elementary for five years. Then I was director in Santa Fe where there is a dual immersion program for six and a half years. I then became Director of Assessments and Accountability for PUSD, where I worked with all 23 schools and helped with plans, budgets and status reports for two and a half years. I was then offered the position of Assistant Superintendent of Student Services for the Burton School District, where I worked for the past year. »

What don’t you like about your career?

“I’m happy to say there’s nothing I don’t like about my career. My career is rewarding work. It’s always nice to see former students and staff who thank you for “having made a difference in their lives. There’s nothing I can say I don’t love about my career. I enjoy helping and serving students, families, and staff.

Would you encourage others to pursue your career?

“Absolutely. I encourage people to get an education because as you know all other careers start here. Teachers prepare students for future careers. Administrators work with staff to ensure student academic success If you enjoy helping people, serving people, this is where you have to start to help others succeed.

What might surprise the audience (either about you or your career)?

“I think a lot of people don’t know that I’m an assistant professor at Cal State Bakersfield where I teach a BILA course that helps bilingual teachers get certified to teach in a bilingual program. Maybe when I retire I want to go back to college and study law to become an education lawyer, maybe. An education attorney represents parents and their children in cases involving student access to public education.

What advice do you have for young people who might pursue your career?

“I would say follow your dreams. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Surround yourself with that field of study and keep going to college. Don’t stop going there. Make sure you get to know people in education who you can turn to for help, and surround yourself with colleagues, because that way you create a support team for yourself. same.

What is one project you (or the district) have/has worked on this year that you are proud of and would like to share with the public?

“I was the director of the 50/50 double immersion program. It is an honor and a pleasure to expand the dual immersion program. Burton has a 90/10 program. We were able to start a 50/50 dual immersion program at Oak Grove and JMA Academy and it is exciting to expand the program as it continues to grow from kindergarten through first through second through third grade and beyond .

Another project we are working on is parent engagement. We want parents to be leaders on our school sites. It’s about giving parents a voice and the opportunity to be leaders and work with us. We also held more workshops for parents on topics our community and families would like to know about. ”

Would you like to add anything?

“Many families, because this has happened to me, are unaware of all the financial aid available to help their children attend college. Make sure you never see money as a reason not to go to college. My parents had no money and they said they didn’t know how they were going to send me to college. I had advisers who helped me. Money is not a problem – there are many grants, programs and student loans to help you.

“My favorite quote is ‘When there’s a will, there’s always a way to achieve your dreams. “”

Katelyn Rios is a seventh grader and Jorge Ruelas is an eighth grader at Tipton Elementary School in the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program. Katelyn likes to play soccer. Jorge enjoys playing football with his friends and also playing on his PlayStation 4.

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