It’s true that Josán Perales — our team member in the spotlight this month — was born in Zaragosa, Spain, the child of parents of Spanish and Puerto Rican descent. However, Josan spent most of his formative years in New Mexico.
So when asked about his heritage, he quips that he’s probably New Mexican. Or New Mexirican to encompass his American heritage. Or New Mexiricanol to also incorporate his Spanish birth.
Whatever his nationality, at points in his life, Josan has hung his hat in Spain, Britain, California, and, of course, New Mexico. Now he’s our world languages instructional specialist and a Colorado resident. We asked this world citizen to tell us a little about his life and his thoughts about Eagle Rock School:
Eagle Rock: Where did you go to college and what was your major?
Josan Perales: I graduated from Willamette University in Salem, Ore., in 2002, earning my Bachelor of Arts and majoring in Spanish. I have also attended graduate school to study curriculum and instruction at both New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico.
ER: What did you do prior to coming to work for Eagle Rock?
JP: Over the past dozen years, I have taught many different classes — including Spanish as a foreign language, digital media arts, multicultural leadership, mentorship, and English as a Second Language — at both the middle and high school levels. Most recently I was a teacher and curriculum guide at a high school in Taos, N.M., which incorporated expeditionary learning into its curriculum. There I worked with many marginalized and underrepresented youth from Taos Pueblo, the Latino population, and others that were looking for an alternative to traditional schooling and a educational setting to call home.
ER: What attracted you to Eagle Rock School?
JP: Eagle Rock embodies many of my educational and personal philosophies of growth of self — physically, mentally, creatively and spiritually — in a community setting. Also, being a new father, I can’t imagine a better setting for my son to grow up in. And then, of course, there’s the beauty of our natural surroundings here in Estes Park.
ER: When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your spare time?
JP: First and foremost, I love to spend time with my partner, Shawna, and son, Oliver. Whether it’s hiking, playing musical instruments, coloring or cooking and eating together, family time is always fun. When I get some alone time, I like going on long walks and hikes to clear my head and meditate. In fact, my best ideas come on long walks. I also love to be creative through writing songs and poetry, sketching and playing a number of instruments.
ER: What reality TV should you be on and why would you win or be kicked off?
JP: I don’t watch too much TV, so does life count? If so, I’m winning as of now. We all get kicked off of this show eventually. Hopefully I have a while to go.
ER: What’s one thing not many people know about you?
JP: When I lived in England, I traveled to Germany to compete in the European Youth Bowling Championships. I bowled horribly because their lanes were too oily, but traveling by bus and staying in swanky hotels was amazing.