This educator spotlight on Marco Antonio Cedeno Aguayo, a CCSD teacher mentoring current paraprofessionals on their path to becoming licensed teachers through our Teacher Pathway program, is featured in “Along the Pathway”, our monthly Teacher Pathway newsletter. Each edition features updates regarding the Teacher Pathway program, participant and community partner spotlights, and programming goals our mentees are working towards that will support them in becoming dynamic educators in local classrooms. To receive the newsletter in your inbox each month, please email teacher.pathway@thepef.org.

In this issue of Along the Pathway, we are excited to highlight Marco Antonion Cedeno Aguayo, a Teacher Pathway Mentee, and Rebel Start Academy participant, and share his experience with the Teacher Pathway while on his journey to becoming a teacher. After migrating to the United States from Mexico in 2020, Marco was employed by Clark County School District (CCSD) as a custodian at Robert Taylor Elementary School. During the two years spent in the Custodial Department at various campuses throughout CCSD, he had the opportunity to interact with various students and teachers. During this time, he began to consider opportunities that would allow him to make a greater contribution to the academic success of the youth in his new home of Southern Nevada. In 2022, Marco Antonio took the first steps toward becoming more involved in the classroom when he transitioned to a bilingual interpreter/translator position in the English Language Learner Division.

Marco Antonio’s interest in teaching was sparked at a young age. He grew up visiting his grandfather, who was the head custodian at a 16th-century building that housed one of the oldest colleges in Mexico. This school was where some of the most important leaders of that country’s revolution for independence revolution studied, including one of the most important teachers of that time – his uncle Gabriel Munoz. This experience, along with observing his uncle’s colleague, who was an excellent math teacher, an astronomer, and the director of the planetarium of the city of Morelia, inspired Marco Antonio to become a teacher.

As a bilingual interpreter/translator, Marco Antonio understands the vital role that translation services play in the success of CCSD students. He believes that translation helps parents to be aware of what their children need, understand their academic situation, and become important partners in their children’s education.

When asked what CCSD’s mission statement of “Every Student A Success” means to him, Marco Antonio shared that he takes this mission very seriously and uses it to influence how he interacts with families and students he supports. He always considers how he can help a student succeed in every task he takes. He feels that helping parents understand how they can provide their children with the best possible setting for learning, growing, and succeeding in class is crucial to achieving this mission. Marco Antonio believes educators play one of the most important roles in a child’s life. Teachers have the privilege of spending the most time with children and can influence their lives. He credits one of his teachers, Mrs. Irma Leticia, with instilling in him the idea of reaching beyond his horizons and looking for newer sunsets. Another memorable teacher Marco had, Mr. Trujillo, also made him conscious that he was capable of doing whatever he wanted, it was only a matter of him believing it. Marco Antonio believes that teachers teach life lessons and help their students become better people.

Marco Antonio’s experience in the Teacher Pathway program has been enlightening. The program has provided him with direction in his efforts to complete his education and prepare to become a teacher. Without this opportunity, he believes he wouldn’t have been able to take appropriate steps in his education. The program helped him to secure funding for his education, provided him with mentorships, and connected him with teachers who shared their tricks of the trade. Regular interactions with his Mentor, Shannon Smith (who currently teaches at West Prep Elementary), provided him with a better idea of the everyday life of a teacher, reassuring his desire to become a teacher. The program also guided him through all aspects of his collegiate experience, including how to apply for FAFSA and scholarships.
When Marco found out that he had been accepted into UNLV’s Rebel Start Academy, he felt very happy. Being accepted at UNLV was a great accomplishment, and being part of the Rebel Start Academy was tremendously beneficial as it accelerated the process of obtaining his outstanding General Education prerequisite courses. As a participant in UNLV’s Rebel Start Academy, he could enroll and participate in designated courses, making the process smoother and more efficient.

Marco Antonio shares the following for anyone considering embarking on their journey to licensure: “I cannot put enough emphasis on encouraging people considering a teaching career to reach out to the Teacher’s Pathway and see for themselves that teaching is possible.”