Bilingual/ESL
Maria Dudash, Bilingual/ESL/Dual Language Programs, Director



Teacher

                                                                               

                      Welcome!
   Bienvenidos!    Nihao!    Chào

My personal life’s struggles and challenges have served to build resiliency, strength, and prepared me to be a leader in my field.  Little did I realize my journey as a refugee fleeing political and economic upheaval from my beloved native country would shape me into the person I am today.  Immigrating to the United States with only the clothes I was wearing and mustering inner strength by calling upon my survival skills during the acculturation process into a new culture, and enduring the arduous developmental process of learning a new language, has instilled in me the passion to help the second language learners I serve and their teachers.   All of my challenges and experiences, have served to motivate me to become a tireless advocate for the challenging journey of second language learners.  Initially, after graduating from high school, I had pursued a career in the field of business administration in spite of all who saw me as an educator and encouraged me to pursue a career in the education field.  After graduating from a business school, and serving in an administrative role in the corporate environment, a sense of restlessness and lack of purpose swept over me until the impact of a particular incident led me to the assurance that I should be doing something to help those who have had similar experiences and challenges to mine instead.  This led me to pursue further education and change career pathFor the past 19 years this decision has given me the highest level of personal and professional satisfaction.

 The first few years of my educational career were spent as an elementary bilingual teacher.  After having served as a bilingual teacher for eight years, an opportunity arose at the high school level to meet the needs of newly arrived immigrant students, many of which had large gaps in their educational foundation.  There was no second thought, I felt compelled to pursue this new career direction and pioneered the district that I was serving first Newcomers’ Academy.  Who would have thought that I would find so much satisfaction from such a challenging teaching position?  The satisfaction stemmed from a deep seated commitment to help the students I served.  I saw myself in their eyes.  While serving as high school Newcomer’s Academy teacher, I also completed a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. 

 It seems that each of my educational experiences prepared me for the next level of leadership and to meet each arising challenge.  Having obtained experience teaching at the secondary level prepared me for my next leadership educational adventure as district level Secondary ESL Coordinator.  I pursued the position as Secondary ESL Coordinator because I was aware that doing so would expand my level of influence to not just the small group of second language learners I served, but also to all the secondary English language learners in the district by providing me the opportunity to impart my experiences and knowledge to their teachers. During my seven years as Secondary ESL Coordinator, I also served as adjunct professor at both University of North Texas and Texas Tech University.

 The experiences gained from my positions as elementary and secondary teacher, and as district-level Secondary ESL Coordinator, has equipped me for my current position as Bilingual/ESL Director at Stafford Municipal School District.  Serving as bilingual director of Stafford MSD has afforded me the unique experience of directing a Chinese language immersion, Spanish dual language, Spanish bilingual, Vietnamese language enrichment and English as a Second Language programs in grades pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

 Recognizing that highly qualified personnel are one of the keys to the academic success of second language learners, I also plan and conduct focused and targeted professional staff development for teachers, campus leaders and district staff. 

 Most of all, my most important mission is to serve second language learners by ensuring compliance via proper identification, instructional placement and progress monitoring in order to properly plan their educational goals.