CHRISTINA ROSA JUSINO
Educator, Spark Academy
Heritage: Puerto Rican
Top 3 Rising Star Teacher of the Year in Lawrence Public Schools
Teach Plus Policy Fellow
By: Tim Estiloz
Christina Jusino’s leadership as a teacher, role model and education advocate has had a profound impact on all those she encounters within Boston’s Latino community. Her work within the Lawrence Public School system has inspired students and colleagues alike with her dedication to public service and improving the system.
Born on a military base in Virginia, Christina Jusino’s journey to Boston comes by way of The Bronx, New York and North Carolina during her formative years; before accepting a position after college in Lawrence as a Teach For America corps member. However, it was Jusino’s early work as a mentor to a young Latina high school student while she was in college that helped set her career path.
“I think that my relationship with my mentee was what really solidified my passion for education,”,said Jusino. “I saw so much growth in her. We tackled not only academic issues but also, personal challenges in her life… things that I know almost kept me back from pursuing my own education. It was very rewarding to see what she was able to overcome in that period of time with having the right support systems in her life.”
Jusino said that experience helped solidify her desire to make that kind of impact on youth but on a larger scale through education. She also wanted to deepen her understanding of the education inequities in the U.S. However, what Jusino truly relishes about being an educator is having that personal connection with students.
“Seeing my students’ faces when something finally clicks; it’s like a light bulb turning on,” said Jusino, “…it is so real in that moment, when you can see they get it now and there’s this huge smile and confidence and, as a teacher, I feel that joy with them.”
As a result, Jusino’s passion for education has led to her serving on various committees to address the teaching and learning environment within the Lawrence Public School system. She has also co-founded a professional/graduate chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority through which Jusino has personally supported and mentored over 15 undergraduate and graduate women in the Boston area.
“The whole experience of being able to support someone to be successful; to me, that is the role of a teacher every day,” said Jusino. “I want to support my students in being the best versions of themselves and allow them to have opportunities in life.”