After graduating from Holy Trinity, Rosa Jimenez ‘95 was far from finished with education.
As an undergraduate at University of Illinois – Chicago, she earned a degree in Elementary Education in 2000. She went on to pursue two masters degrees, from Northeastern Illinois University (2005) and the American College of Education (2011). Today, she’s still not done. Rosa is a leader in education, serving as Assistant Principal at the well-regarded Eric Solorio Academy High School on Chicago’s south side, where she draws on her own high school experiences to influence her students.
When you think back to high school, what stands out to you?
For me, Holy Trinity always felt like it was home. I joined every possible sport and club because I really enjoyed being at Holy Trinity and, like every teenager, I wanted a sense of independence. After-school activities allowed me to participate and still feel like I had some say in my own life. All the teachers I interacted with were all strict but fair, supportive, engaging and made me feel like Holy Trinity was my second home away from home.
How did Holy Trinity prepare you for your future?
On the academic front, I built a really strong reading and writing background at Holy Trinity. Language arts always came naturally to me, and my English and History teachers did a really good job of pushing me to think beyond the surface level. I remember having Mr. Gary Joseph for English my senior year—he’s still teaching at HT! Even though I hated Shakespeare, he got me to look at language in a different way and interpret the texts. Poor Fr. Greg had to struggle with me in science, but my teachers also instilled in me a strong math and science background.
I saw myself blossom as a person in high school, because it was my first opportunity to have an opinion and thoughts. It was my first chance to take on leadership opportunities and determine what I liked, what I didn’t, where I excelled.
In my work at Solorio Academy, I draw on what I had experienced at Holy Trinity, the feel of family and people going above and beyond for students and really taking a genuine interest in kids. My school’s only eight years old, so that’s what we’re trying to build. I want my students to feel supported but challenged, and to have the opportunity to experience a variety of sports and clubs, just as I did.
As someone who now comes back to volunteer at Holy Trinity, what changes have you seen?
It’s nice to see that Holy Trinity is offering a wide array of sport, clubs and unique opportunities for students, and that HT has really kept up with helping students get to college and persevere through college.
That’s motivated me to get involved with the Career Fairs at Holy Trinity, because I want to be able to give back to my alma mater and show my fellow Tigers the leadership opportunities that are open to them, in education and beyond.