Maria Elena Dominguez, M.Ed.
Mrs. Maria is a native Spanish speaker. She grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico until her family decided to come to Austin when she was just nine years old. She attended Texas State University where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, majoring in Bilingual Education in 2007. Mrs. Maria received her EC-4 Bilingual Certification from the state of Texas in December 2007. In 2008, Mrs. Maria began her career as a Kindergarten teacher and became school director three years later. While working at the preschool she joined the graduate program at Texas State University and on May 2012 she graduated with a Master’s degree in Bilingual Bicultural Education and a minor in Educational Leadership. The following year she began working at Rodriguez Elementary as a Pre-K Bilingual Teacher and and a few years later she became a First Grade Bilingual Teacher. Mrs. Maria became a Certified School Counselor in May 2018 and had the opportunity to work as a school counselor at Elgin Elementary school.
Due to her contribution in her classroom and in her community, Mrs. Maria was honored at the White House in the summer of 2016, as a DACAmented Teacher Champion of Change. She was also awarded Bilingual Teacher of the Year by the Austin Area Association for Bilingual Education in May 2017. She was also awarded Campus Teacher of the Year at Rodriguez Elementary School in 2016.
Mrs. Maria has a passion for teaching young children. She believes early childhood education is the key to creating a world of opportunities for our future generations. She believes bilingual education should not be a privilege but an option for every child. As a school counselor, Mrs. Maria understands the importance of social emotional learning. She believes that we must foster children’s social-emotional development because these skills will help children become successful individuals socially, emotionally, and academically.
Mrs. Maria is committed to creating a safe, respectful, fun, and caring environment for all families and children at Cielito Lindo. She looks forward to welcoming you and your child to a school she calls home.
Kit Mei Szeto, M.Ed.
Born in Hong Kong, a city where East meets West, Mrs. Mei loves meeting people from all over the world. She believes our differences allow us to exchange our experiences, learn from our pasts, and enrich each others’ lives.
While in Hong Kong, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language, and later a Master’s in Educational Psychology in Counseling, from the University of Texas at Austin. Her professional experiences include work as a high school language teacher, a middle school counselor, and a community play therapist. With over 25 years of teaching experience, she is happy to share her native language and culture through a wide range of engaging exercises and other fun activities.
Mandarin is an increasingly popular language, well worth the effort to learn, and spoken all over the world. In addition, learning a new language stimulates the brain and improves memory, attention, artistic development, even self-esteem, and certainly creativity. In her class, she will draw pictures, play games, tell stories, practice Kung Fu, and build with Lego. Students will role-play about numbers, animals, family, food, daily greetings, and conversation. Children at Cielito Lindo will learn to understand, read, and write the amazing language of Mandarin—a fun educational opportunity for students of all ages.