Get to Know Michael Ayala from Melvin Magnet for Humanities and Leadership

Michael is new to the Magnet program this year here at Melvin (although not new to Melvin) and has added so much value to our school community. He co-created the new STEAM Lab on campus as well as a brand-new Math Resource Library where teachers have easily accessible manipulatives and resources to improve their math instruction. As a fifth grade teacher, he has worked tirelessly to fundraise and organize school community events, like the Friendship Formal that brought the entire community of Melvin together. He is always looking for new and innovative ways to challenge students and also play to their strengths and interests. For example, he started the Melvin Post. A student led and run newspaper that discusses not just current events at the school but also focuses on global and community events. He is a pillar of our community. Students and families from across all grade levels look to him for leadership and he provides a sense of belonging to all those who encounter him. Students trust him and often choose to spend their free time in his classroom. He is dedicated to creating a culture where students feel like their voices are not just heard, but they matter and affect change. He is always available to help not just the students but also the other teachers on campus. He has dedicated many unpaid Saturdays to improve Melvin, as well as countless after school hours offering a sounding board for new teachers. His support has helped to foster relationships between the staff and connect new teachers to more experienced peers in the areas they need assistance in.

Submitted by Heather McElhaney, Teacher, UTLA Chapter Chair