As a second-language learner myself, I had to make sense of my world, in a language I did not speak, at a very young age. I came to America from Germany when I was five years old. I was put into an English-only classroom without any native-language instruction. I chose to work with second-language, inner-city students because of my early educational experiences. I received my Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies and my Elementary Education Certificate from the University of Northern Colorado in 2005. After that, I went to Regis University where I received my Masters of Education in 2009. All of my years in teaching have been in public education teaching 5th grade at Castro Elementary. After nine years in 5th grade, I applied for an endorsement in Gifted Education, and I now head the Gifted and Talented Enrichment Program at Castro. On a more personal note, I have been married to wonderful man, Todd, for 28 years, and we have two amazing daughters. My eldest daughter, Miriah, graduated from Colorado State University in 2013 with a degree in Chemical Engineering. She is 24 years old and just bought her first house in Madison, Wisconsin. My younger daughter, Lacey, is in her last year of college, and she will graduate from the University of Northern Colorado in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). She plans to continue her studies in the medical field and pursue a Nurse Practitioner’s License (NP). Lacey still lives at home with her dog and cat. They share the yard with our two dogs. I am immensely proud of both of my daughters. When I have free time, I like to spend it sewing, painting, taking a long walk, or reading a good book. I feel fortunate to be working at Castro. My name is Matti Schwartz, and I am proud to be a member of the Castro family.