WASHOUGAL — When Veronica Paredes moved to the United States, she wanted to become a teacher, but couldn’t see a way for her to complete the rigorous coursework while working full time. After learning about the ESD-U teacher certification program, she realized the flexible schedule and opportunity to use her current work experience could open the door to finally reaching her goal.
The ESD-U teacher certification program, offered in partnership by Educational Service District 112 and Washougal School District, provides a pathway for staff with a bachelor’s degree to earn a teaching certificate while working in a job such as a paraeducator. This residency-based program offers alternative routes to teacher certification, as well as a route for currently certified teachers seeking to add an endorsement in another specialty.
Paredes participated in ESD-U to earn a certificate in ELL and elementary education and is now a dual-language kindergarten teacher at Hathaway Elementary.
“It is an amazing job and now I thank all the teachers for what they do, teaching all the children,” Paredes said.