South Teacher Receives Esperanza Award

Posted by Community Relations Department on 10/10/2012

Esperanza means hope, and no one demonstrates that more than Julio Rubio, who gave hope and a kidney to his ailing daughter earlier this year, and gives hope to students and staff every day as a Spanish teacher.  The South Mountain High School teacher was selected as a 2012 Chicanos Por La Causa and SRP Esperanza Award winner, honoring Latino teachers who inspire students of all backgrounds, play an active role in the school, and demonstrate a true commitment to the community.  


Rubio is one of four educators who will be recognized at a dinner ceremony, October 24, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown. Each of the honorees will receive a stipend and a $2500 donation to their respective schools.  The Esperanza winners will also receive a 50 percent scholarship towards a masters or doctoral program at the Argosy University.


Rubio teaches Spanish 1-2, Spanish Honors and Spanish Advanced Placement, a class in which every student passed the AP exam. He is also an AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) teacher, utilizing college-preparation strategies. Rubio is extremely active in school and community, co-advising for M.E.Ch.A, LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) and the Spanish Honor Society.  Each year he sponsors and choreographs a group of student folklórico dancers to provide cultural performances for the school and he hosts visiting high school student performers from Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.  He presents a Día de los Muertos school-wide competition and organizes the Cesar Chavez assembly each year.  He is involved with Promise Arizona, assisting community members with voter registration.  This year, he organized an information session on the DREAM Act and Deferred Action for students, parents and community members.  When Kimberly Osuna was selected as the City of Phoenix District 8 Youth of the Year last spring, she cited Rubio as the person who has had the most positive influence on her future.


Rubio is homegrown, graduating from Camelback High School in 2003 and serving as an instructional assistant at Maryvale High in the Phoenix Union District for two years prior to earning his degree at ASU.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from NAU last year.


Rubio joins fellow Phoenix Union Esperanza winners Selina Alonzo--Maryvale and Guadalupe Meza--South Mountain (2010) and Vanessa Valenzuela--Carl Hayden (2009).