Year Honored: 2011Guion Creek Middle School
At the time of the Award, Wilson Reyes was:Teacher
Guion Creek Middle School
Subject(s) taught: English as a New Language, Drama, English, Speech and Debate
Grade(s): 6, 7, 8
His classroom a well-oiled machine, English as a New Language and Newcomers' teacher Wilson Elias Reyes is praised for his ability to quickly mainstream his non- English-speaking, Newcomers. Reyes, himself an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who speaks multiple languages, fosters a family-like atmosphere in his classroom and has created a state-of-the-art schoolwide TV program that promotes diversity and sense of community school wide. To help immerse his students in the English language, Reyes has students create their own PowerPoint presentations and shows. He also helps them articulate their beliefs and teaches them the importance of having a voice. In addition, Reyes takes students on field trips to learn about American culture and encourages parents to volunteer in his classroom. Reyes has also contacted legislators on behalf of the local Latino community. He has been an advocate for the Latino community for many years and continues that work in the Indianapolis and surrounding communities. With Reyes at the wheel, test scores are improving, discipline referrals are dropping and attendance is growing. He created the Newcomers Program for recent immigrants at the school and, among those students, scores have jumped by almost 70 percent. Three students were picked for an early-college prep program. One of his students even won a statewide award in which she was unanimously nominated by the school staff. Reyes completed the National Board Certifition and a figurehead in the local Latino community. Reyes us a former business owner who worked in media, furniture and television has also served in the military, Reyes is able to bring interesting color to his lessons and obtain useful resource material for his students. He presented at the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocal (SIOP) Institute specializing in high-quality instruction for English Learners (ELs), and has published articles in the local media regarding diversity in schools and in business.