#LatinosTeach, Recognizing Gisela Marisol Castillo


Gisela Marisol Castillo is a founding teacher at E.L. Haynes Public Charter High School in Washington D.C. and has been teaching for 11 years. She grew up in San Antonio, TX and was raised by an incredibly dedicated Mexican mother and father. They emphasized the importance of education and instilled in Marisol the desire to achieve. Through their support, Marisol earned a B.A. in comparative literature and political science with honors in education at Stanford University. Her experiences as an English language learner as well as those that stem from coming from a traditionally undeserved background, motivated her to teach. To that end, she obtained a Master’s degree in education and her teaching credential through Stanford’s School of Education. She taught 9th through 12th grade for four years in California’s Bay Area in an urban setting. In 2009 she received her National Board Certification. She then taught at a small high school for three years in the South Bronx. In 2011 she joined E.L. Haynes PCS’s high school in Washington, D.C. where she taught 9th grade for three years and is currently teaching 12th grade English and serves as department chair. She was a member of Teach Plus’s inaugural Washington, D.C. Teaching Policy Fellowship.

Why do you teach? I teach because my students serve as a constant motivation to get better.

What do you love about teaching? I love that teaching is never boring. I love that it constantly invites the practice of reflection and revision.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you? The teachers that inspired me were those that gave me access to a world beyond my own, who motivated me to get out of my comfort zone so that I could struggle and grow.