Hinojosa uses inner nerd to foster inclusivity


Sreehitha Moravaneni

CHS9 Principles of arts, AV Tech and communications teacher Stephanie Hinojosa returns to Coppell after teaching at the Flower Mound 9th Grade Campus for five years. Hinojosa is a new teacher at CHS9 and she graduated from Coppell High School in 2005.

Sreehitha Moravaneni, Staff Writer/Photographer

The new CHS9 principles of A/V tech and communications teacher Stephanie Hinojosa graduated from Coppell High School in 2005 and has returned to Coppell to teach in the Career Technical Education field. Hinojosa has participated in the Texas Association of Future Educators program, Round-Up staff and Coppell Lariettes during her time at CHS. She attended Texas A&M and University of North Texas and is attending Oklahoma State University to further her studies in educational technology. Hinojosa encourages lifelong learning, and hopes to keep her classroom an inclusive place for everyone.

What do you admire about AV tech students?

I have kids that are already creating animations. [Some students are] already into graphic design so this is a really fun place for them to come because they can use those talents. I [also] have kids [that come with] no experience. It’s really fun to see the kids with a little bit more experience work with the kids who don’t have experience. I love that. The kids are so creative from so many different points of view, and it’s just fun to kind of see them come together and create something cool.

Do you have any experience in the AV tech field?

I had taken the photography class [that was mandatory before taking Round-Up], and I had so much fun. I was getting out some of the equipment, like the cameras, putting our own spreads together and learning what all of those skills entail. It brings back so many memories of going around the school, getting the right shot and adding it to the yearbook. 

Why did you choose to be a teacher?

I knew that I loved working with kids. I was in TAFE [Texas Association of Future Educators] when I was in high school, and that gave me the opportunity to go out and shadow. [Shadowing helped] solidify my decision to go into the classroom. I started off as a seventh grade history teacher, then moved to eighth grade history and geography. 

Do you have any role models that influenced you?

[I had a U.S. history teacher Valerie Garnier, who] embraced me and all my nerdiness. I loved going to her class. I also had a Spanish teacher [Janine Kay]  who just got me, and it was so nice to have this understanding. Those experiences are what made me go into teaching. On the first day of school, I tell my kids that I proudly wear the badge of nerd. It’s a great thing because, to me, nerd means lifelong learner. I’m always learning something, and I want to [make my classroom an environment] where those kids who maybe don’t have a niche somewhere can come in here and feel completely welcomed and understood.

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