ESI Stories

Welcome to ESI Stories. Where you hear from real people who have made a difference in their lives and the educational communities where they work!

Meet Arthur Basurto.

Arthur Basurto teaches Automotive Technology at Sunnyside High School in Tucson. He often tells his students “if you want the magic, you need to come to school.” Last year 15 of his students earned prestigious auto industry certifications along with their high school diplomas.

Meet Lance Allred.

Lance Allred was the first legally deaf player in the NBA. At almost seven feet tall, you might think he was blessed with a lot of natural talent, but his road to the NBA was not an easy one. Lance gives a lot of credit to Mrs. Aston, a 6th grade teacher who helped him look beyond his hearing impediment and use his natural grit and determination to succeed when others might easily quit.

He also has a message for teachers who may occasionally wonder if they are really making a difference the lives of the kids they teach.

Meet Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger.

If you've seen the movie RUDY, from 1993, you know about Rudy Ruettiger whose grit, persistence, and determination has made him a household name. But before Rudy ever played football at Notre Dame, he had to get into Notre Dame.

In this episode of ESI Stories the real Rudy talks about a high school teacher who taught him the importance of EFFORT, a lesson that took him to Notre Dame, Hollywood, and beyond.

Meet Janet Hill.

Janet Hill teaches Computer Technology and Accounting classes at Antelope Union High, a small school of 250 students, near Yuma.

In this episode Janet talks about the kind of “customer service” good teachers need to provide to students, parents, and the community. She also shares a story about a student who reminds her a lot of Rudy (from the 1993 movie RUDY).

Janet thinks there is at least one Rudy in every classroom and it’s up to good teachers to find and nurture them.

Meet Tariq Rasool.

Meet Tariq and hear how he helps to run the “Village” at his school in the Tucson Unified School District. He explains why he typically carries one hundred $1 bills to school and makes change whenever he can.

Meet Jill Collins.

Jill Collins is about to retire from her position as a maintenance dispatcher with the Scottsdale Unified School District. Hear about her new adventures and opportunities after participating in the RetireRehire program.

Meet Patricia Bojorquez.

Over her 30 years at Sunnyside Unified School District, she's learned that great leaders greet you with a smile every morning and have a way of making their organization’s feel like a family.

Meet Cole Nelson.

Cole Nelson came to Arizona after deciding to make a career change, a change that he hoped would allow him to make a difference in the lives of students. Hear why Cole is motivated to make a difference!

Meet Christopher Hamilton.

Chris joined the SubSource program after moving to Tempe to complete a pastoral internship. As a future religious leader, substitute teaching has helped him become “rooted in the community” and allows him to “serve his neighbors.”

Meet Charles Klemp.

Charles Klemp spends his summers in Wisconsin, but during the school year he works in Yuma, Arizona as part of his district’s special education program. Hear why this opportunity inspires him to get up every morning.