Serving the community since 1922

Mario Uresti: A passionate WHS educator

Dr. Mario Uresti is the coordinator of special education services for Wasco High School. He is an educator who pours his heart and soul into his profssion and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the children he serves. He also loves Wasco and moved to the town after falling in love with what he calls "a magical place."

"I monitor the special education department, which includes the special ed teachers and instructional aids, and work with other administrators on campus to ensure that our kids have all the support and services they need to be successful at Wasco High."

He said the best part about his role is "seeing the kids coming in their freshman year struggling academically and behaviorally, watching them grow and mature, and seeing them graduate their senior year."

Uresti has a degree in psychology from Sacramento State University. "After I graduated from Sac State, I started as an instructional aide, and then I became a teacher. Then, I got a job as a program specialist for Kern County Superintendent of Schools, where I worked for 11 years before coming to Wasco High School. I've been at WHS since 2017."

He is also a college professor at Bakersfield College, "I teach education, doing the summer bridge there, which is an orientation for the incoming freshmen. It will be my third year this summer. I've also been teaching at Cal State Bakersfield for about ten years for the special education department."

He received his doctorate in educational leadership from a Cal State Bakersfield/Fresno State joint program, which he and his wife attended together.

Uresti is from a little town cof Woodville, near Porterville, and went to Monache High School. He found his way to Wasco after he and his wife got their doctorate degrees. "We were looking for a new job, and she was supposed to apply for the position at Wasco High. I always liked Wasco when I worked for the county. I spent a lot of time working in Wasco and always thought it was a charming town, and when she told me she wasn't going to apply, I applied. And it was the best decision I made in my career."

He sees all his students as having a lot of potential, and his job is helping them reach their maximum potential. "They have a lot of good skills that just need somebody to pull it out of them. My role is to try to get to know them, especially in our department; I try to know all of their names and try my best to get to know who their parents are. And so, I can say without a doubt that at the end of the school year, I knew every kid's first and last name."

He is proud of the department's accomplishments. "At WHS, our teachers and our aides have a really strong team, and for me, that is really important. To help students succeed, we have to work really well as a team. At the end of four years of high school, another one of our goals is to ensure our students are college or career-ready, and this year, about nearly 80% of our students will attend college or are working one year out after high school."

He has a long-term vision for himself. "I see myself here at Wasco High, probably until I retire. My daughter, who attends Wasco High, is graduating next year, but I also have two little ones, three and four. I told my wife I love it here and will retire when the youngest one graduates from Wasco High School. On a personal level, it is a lot of work because I live in Bakersfield, and my daughter is very involved, but driving here is very worth it. I come to Wasco sometimes twice a day, but there are times when it's three times a day. All of that driving and time is worth it. Wasco High School truly is a magical place."

 

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