In the Limelight: English Teacher, Ms. Almeida


New teachers have flooded Argo High’s halls this year, with many new and talented educators stepping up into the limelight. Though the past couple of years have been demanding and challenging for everyone, these teachers have stepped into a foreign era and have brought new light to Argo.

An adored English teacher has brought many smiles to her students this year by spreading overall positivity and happiness through her classroom walls.

Ms. Jacqueline Almeida is a new English teacher here at Argo and has heard much praise from her students and other faculty members. The 2022-2023 school year was Ms. Almeida’s first year teaching at Argo and she came prepared to help students be the best versions of themselves.


This interview has been edited and condensed.


What classes do you teach here at Argo?

I teach Writing I, English II, and Honors English II.


Where did you go to college and did you like it?

I went to the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana and I loved it. It was a really big campus and the town there was a college town, so I felt everything there was really geared towards serving the students. I really enjoyed my peers as well as my professors there.


Considering it’s a Big 10 school, how were the sports games?

I went to a lot of sports games to support the school and it was really enjoyable because there was a lot of school spirit, so I feel like I really got to see that “big school college lifestyle”.


What was your major at U of I?

My major was English and I was Pre-Law. During my sophomore year, I realized I wanted to be a lawyer and then sometime along the way I decided I wanted to take a year between graduating college and starting law school. During that year, I became a paired professional at an alternative school and fell in love with working with students. After that, I decided to go back to school to get my master’s in education.


Was your gap year your motivation to start teaching?

Yes, working with students every day suited my personality better. I am very silly and goofy, but I also appreciate learning new things and literature in particular. I think it shows us a lot about life. I think it was definitely a better fit for the life I wanted.


Do you think that shaped you in any way?

Absolutely. I think having to make that choice of staying on my current path or switching to what I really wanted, was a big decision. I think it really shaped who I am. I’m not as afraid to question decisions anymore because they led me down a path that I am extremely happy with.


Do you like that you started your first full year of teaching at Argo?

I love Argo, I think that it offers so much opportunity and support that I’m not sure I would have gotten at other schools. Every school has a thing that makes them special, and I think the thing that makes Argo special is how student-focused we are. Simply, how much of a community we are. Argo isn’t a huge school where everyone doesn’t know each other, but rather we all interact and have the same goals in mind.


Considering that your students have many good things to say about you, what do you think is the most vital part of having that teacher-to-student relationship?

I think it’s the mutual respect we have for one another. I’m very lucky because Argo has a great community of students and I always show my students kindness and respect and am fortunate that they always offer me the same in return. Making sure that respect and positive intention are always at the center of each student interaction is key.


Is there any advice you would give your younger self?

I think the biggest advice I could give myself, would be to be patient and enjoy every phase of life. When you’re in high school, enjoy being in high school and everything that comes with it. I think a lot of times, we’re always looking for the next step and the next great thing in life, and we miss the moments that are only in this part of life. High school is a really special part of life. It’s that sweet spot of being in between being an adult and also having that freedom that you only get to live in for four years. The rest of your life will be great, but this is just as great. Appreciate high school and enjoy it.