09 Sep A big move brings Puerto Rican teacher to Woolley Elementary School

Coming from her hometown of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nathalia Moreno traveled more than 3,200 miles to Las Vegas where she joined the staff of Gwendolyn Woolley Elementary School as their new Physical Education (PE) teacher.  Despite the long journey to a new place, she has no regrets. “I love my job and my school,” she said.

Moreno is one of 1,702 new teachers hired by the Clark County School District (CCSD) as of Aug. 31, 2015.  Fluent in both English and Spanish, she previously taught PE for 15 years in Puerto Rico.

Moreno’s Puerto Rican heritage is not the only thing that sets her apart. She also is a professional basketball player in her native land, where she earned recognition on the Puerto Rico Master National Team. Moreno has been playing basketball for 26 years and was MVP while attending college. She also has played volleyball and softball. She plans to continue her pro basketball career, which will include competing in a Costa Rica tournament during spring break.

After teaching in Puerto Rico, Moreno wanted to teach in the states and got an offer from a Florida school district. Soon thereafter, however, she learned about the Clark County School District (CCSD) through online advertising and had a telephone interview with Woolley Elementary School Principal Darryl Wyatt. “Mr. Wyatt treated me with respect and made me feel welcome,” she said, also offering praise for the help she received from CCSD Human Resources staff.

Moreno, who studied in Greece for her master’s degree, said she loves her profession and feels she was born to be a teacher. “I am passionate about PE and like to share my knowledge and experience with my students.” Moreno said PE is sometimes misinterpreted as “play time.” She said, “PE can be integrated with any other class because it’s about having a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally.”

Principal Wyatt said, “It’s exciting for our students to have an opportunity to learn from Ms. Moreno, who is an educator and a high level athlete. We are fortunate to have a person with her knowledge and experience as our PE teacher. The distance she has traveled to join Woolley’s staff shows just how far we will search to find a high quality educator to teach our students.”

Moreno didn’t let the distance, the cost of moving or a 10-hour flight stop her from coming to Clark County. She said, “I made the right decision, and would encourage all educators to consider CCSD as a great place to work.”