Mayan Dancers

District staff joined together to hear from  guest speaker, Juanatano Cano, an educator from California who is also a Guatemalan immigrant. He shared his story with staff and administration, focusing on the topic of 'Cultural Competency' and how best to engage with our MLL students through honoring their cultures and traditions. He also celebrated the impact teachers had in his life, explaining, "that without them, I would not be where I am." 

The inspirational professional development day began with dancers from the Belfair Mayan community. After the dancers performed, they invited teachers and administration to join their procession around the gymnasium. The spiritual, meditative quality of the dancing brought joy to those who participated, and to those who watched, blurring the cultural divide.

Activities moved to the NMHS commons where staff settled in for a presentation from Juan Cano that delved into the spirituality of the Mayan culture, the devotion to being one with mother nature and the history of Mayan children. He also discussed ways to engage multilingual students, and ended his speech with a reminder, "you never know where your students will be one day." His big smile held everything he spoke about during his presentation: gratefulness, belief, hope, opportunity. "Saca la Tuya," he said to the crowd. "We are together as one."

 Please click on the link below to see a sampling of the Mayan dances as well as a thank-you from Superintendent Rosenbach.

PD Day Video