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Juan Govea
2011 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Salinas, CA


Photo of Juan Govea, Classroom Fellow

Bio/Overview: Govea is a high school biology teacher in Salinas, California, where he was born and raised. He grew up in a family actively committed to social justice causes, particularly those involving farmworkers. It was assumed that Govea would follow a career in public service. But he puzzled over how to mesh that commitment with his passion for science. At the University of California at Santa Cruz, Govea stumbled on the idea of teaching. He worked as a special education aide for a year after college to test this potential career. Govea saw his students – mostly minorities who had been shunted into special education classes -- struggle amidst low expectations. His resolve to become a teacher solidified. In the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP), Govea gained a lifelong community of mentors and learned from his fellow students and professors. Govea returned to the Salinas Valley to help a new generation, to teach children growing up in labor camps how to move from the fields into the halls of higher education. Govea strives to pass on his love for biology and appreciation of the natural world, and also his love of learning.

Educational Values/Philosophy: Govea sees our public education system as an integral part of the “American Dream.” It is his goal that each student is imparted with the tools necessary to become successful in either a college or vocational setting so that they might be able to achieve the upward mobility their families dreamt of when they arrived in this country.

Leadership Experience: As part of his current position at Salinas High School, Govea leads the process to develop focus standards as a subject area facilitator.  He was also a founding member of the school’s systematic intervention committee, where he created a program to identify students in danger of failing subject area standards. Govea also served as the Salinas High School coordinator for AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Govea also serves on the programs committee for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where he establishes policy guiding in-house and regional education programs.

Affiliations: AVID, Stanford Teacher Education Program, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Education: Govea received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a focus in biological studies.  He went on to earn a Master’s degree in education from Stanford University.

Areas of Interest/Experience:

  • Migrant education
  • Recruitment of Minority Male Teachers
  • Systematic Intervention

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Last Modified: 08/16/2012