Our staff person of the month comes from our Special Needs Department, Ms. Sylvia Rivera. Ms. Rivera was born in St. Joseph hospital in Paterson, New Jersey. At the age of five years old, she moved to Carolina, Puerto Rico and was raised by her grandparents until she was 21 years old. In 1987, she earned a Bachelor degree in Special Education with a Major in Learning Disabilities from the InterAmerican University. While earning her bachelor degree, she had the opportunity of working at San Lorenzo convent in Rio Piedras with legally blind and deaf children for two years. She joined the Army National Guard, serving as an E4 medic Specialist and also taught kindergarten for four years. In 1990 she moved to Prescott, Arizona where she served as a YMCA after school coordinator and it was part of the Big Brother/Big Sister program. There she earned her Master’s degree in Curriculum Instruction in Reading from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix Arizona. Sylvia holds certifications as Teacher of the Handicapped and Reading Specialist. In 1993, she returned to New Jersey where she worked as a self-contained teacher for 10 years in school number 7 in Paterson. In 2003, she came to East Side. She also has been an adjunct professor at Passaic County Community College for the past 6 years.
When she is not teaching some of her favorite hobbies include; baking, working with chocolate, reading, hiking, camping, traveling, sightseeing, photography, spending time with friends and family. She is a proud mother of a 23 year old daughter, Christina Dawn, who is not only a certified EMT/911 Dispatcher but just recently graduated from the Firefighter Academy.
Once retired, Ms. Rivera’s dream is to be able to continue traveling. Her kindness and patience with her students help earn her this honor. Ms. Rivera has a big heart and always ready to help or assist in any way. So, congratulations to Ms. Sylvia Rivera for being our Staff person of the month.