Magazine of Latin School of Chicago

Do You Know... Cris Vasquez?

Get to know Cris Vasquez, Middle School Counselor.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Great people do things before they’re ready.” –Amy Poehler 

To me this is about letting go of perfectionism, jumping in, taking risks, and trusting in yourself that you will figure it out as you go. No one ever feels perfectly ready. Nothing is ever perfect.

EDUCATION
I attended the University of South Florida for four years, studying Psychology and Gender Studies. I went on to receive my Master’s of Education from DePaul University for Counseling, with a specialization in School Counseling.

Position and title at LatinI'm the Middle School Counselor, and this is my first year at Latin.
.... about letting go of perfectionism, jumping in, taking risks, and trusting in yourself that you will figure it out as you go. No one ever feels perfectly ready. Nothing is ever perfect.
What are your favorite things about Latin? I love the Latin community. The staff, faculty and students have been so welcoming and encouraging. I think it’s really special, and incredibly rare to know people really enjoy working and going to school here.

Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school? I decided I wanted to be a school counselor because I remember wanting support as a student, and not knowing where to go at times. I wanted to be the person that a kid like me could have gone to for help. I love that working with a school system, I am easily accessible to young people who need counseling services.

What was the last good book you read?The Athropocene Reviewed by John Green– It is both light and funny, but also creates hope from a sense of existentialism that really resonated with me.

What are your hobbies and interests?In my free time I love baking, working out and walking my dog, Hercules Mulligan. I love going to see musicals, movies, and comedy shows. I also love reading and traveling.

What was your first job? My first payroll job was working at a small movie theater in Aviano, Italy during my junior and senior years of high school. It was a lot of fun but also gave me a crash course in time management before going away for college.

What is one piece of advice you would want to tell your high school self? If I could give middle school me only one piece of advice, I would tell her that happiness isn’t given, it’s made. Make your own joy.

Our Voices

  • Do You Know
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Our Voices
Do You Know... Cris Vasquez?

Get to know Cris Vasquez, Middle School Counselor.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Great people do things before they’re ready.” –Amy Poehler 

To me this is about letting go of perfectionism, jumping in, taking risks, and trusting in yourself that you will figure it out as you go. No one ever feels perfectly ready. Nothing is ever perfect.

EDUCATION
I attended the University of South Florida for four years, studying Psychology and Gender Studies. I went on to receive my Master’s of Education from DePaul University for Counseling, with a specialization in School Counseling.

Position and title at LatinI'm the Middle School Counselor, and this is my first year at Latin.
.... about letting go of perfectionism, jumping in, taking risks, and trusting in yourself that you will figure it out as you go. No one ever feels perfectly ready. Nothing is ever perfect.
What are your favorite things about Latin? I love the Latin community. The staff, faculty and students have been so welcoming and encouraging. I think it’s really special, and incredibly rare to know people really enjoy working and going to school here.

Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school? I decided I wanted to be a school counselor because I remember wanting support as a student, and not knowing where to go at times. I wanted to be the person that a kid like me could have gone to for help. I love that working with a school system, I am easily accessible to young people who need counseling services.

What was the last good book you read?The Athropocene Reviewed by John Green– It is both light and funny, but also creates hope from a sense of existentialism that really resonated with me.

What are your hobbies and interests?In my free time I love baking, working out and walking my dog, Hercules Mulligan. I love going to see musicals, movies, and comedy shows. I also love reading and traveling.

What was your first job? My first payroll job was working at a small movie theater in Aviano, Italy during my junior and senior years of high school. It was a lot of fun but also gave me a crash course in time management before going away for college.

What is one piece of advice you would want to tell your high school self? If I could give middle school me only one piece of advice, I would tell her that happiness isn’t given, it’s made. Make your own joy.

Our Voices

Explore Our News & Stories

First Grade Flag Project

Latin first grade students started the year building their community. It was important to establish to ensure all feel safe and comfortable taking risks, making mistakes, asking for help and supporting one another. 

As students listened to some of their favorite songs, they got inspired. The song, “Wave your Flag” by K’Nann, in particular, sparked a lot of inspiration. Some may be familiar with this song as it is the anthem of the World Cup. As the first graders listened to the song, they thought it might be fun to create their own flags. 

As students began to explore their identities and community, they discovered that flags often represent groups of people who are related in some way. For example, city flags can represent folks who live in the same city. Team flags can represent fans of a particular team. State/country flags represent people who come from those places.

Each student then created their own flag to represent pieces of their identity. The process started with the exploration of identity, authenticity, symbols, and flags. A lot of time was spent considering the difference between things we like/love, and pieces of our identity. As an abstract concept, teachers worked with students in small groups to help them understand the differences. Students then filled out an identity bubble map and began the process of designing their flags. Each student received a planning sheet to select important colors, symbols and shapes they wanted to include in their flags. 

After each individual flag was created, the grade level came together as a community, to explore how they could create one class/community flag to represent all individuals in the group. This process worked on skills such as compromise, collaboration and communication. The students problem-solved and suggested ways to include everyone in the community. The outcome being one community flag to represent the Latin first grade communities. 

Take a look at the flags students made to reflect their voices and choices. 

  • Academics
  • Around School
  • lower school
US Marine Science Uses the City as the Classroom

New to the upper school Science course offerings this year, is a Marine Science course taught by Mr. Wisnieski. 

Students in this course are exploring the aquatic environments near Latin and around the city. In September they took a kayaking trip to the Wild Mile, a portion of the Chicago River that is being rehabilitated by the Urban Rivers organization.

Students toured the river on kayaks and studied the organisms living in the new habitats that have been constructed. More recently, students monitored the water quality in Lake Michigan. 

Take a look at the #opportunities found inside and outside the classroom at Latin.

  • Academics
  • Around School
  • upper school
Do You Know? René Moreno

Get to know René Moreno, Lower School Visual Art Teacher.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” -Pablo Picasso

EDUCATION
I earned a BFA from RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) and majored in Illustration.

Position and title at LatinI am the Visual Arts teacher in the Lower School. This is my 5th year at Latin. I was here as an assistant art teacher for 3 years while I worked on my teaching certification, and I am so happy to be back!

I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.
What are your favorite things about Latin? I am constantly inspired by my colleagues, who are excellent at what they do and are so passionate about their work. I also find a lot of joy in working with the kids. I love their eagerness to try new things and their enthusiasm for learning.

Why did you decide that you wanted to work at a school? As an illustrator, I visited schools and libraries to promote my books and I usually taught a little art project at those visits. I loved working with kids, so I decided to get my teaching certification.

Who is your favorite artist?
It’s a tie between Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh.

What was the last good book you read?I am currently reading a wonderful book called Everything Sad is Untrue, an autobiographical novel about an Iranian refugee growing up in Oklahoma. It’s funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

What are your hobbies and interests?I enjoy collecting children’s books, walking outside, listening to music, and practicing yoga.

What was your first job?After college, I worked several jobs all at once: I worked as a freelance illustrator for children’s books, worked as a waitress and barista, and also painted silk for a fashion designer.

What is one piece of advice you would want to tell your lower school self? You can do hard things!

Our Voices

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