Midd State News

ICYMI Middletown teacher gains citizenship

Posted on: December 13, 2018
Henry Folgoso with family and judge

Journal-News Staff Writer Michael D. Clark writes about Middletown City School District’s own Henry Folgoso’s journey to attaining the American Dream. Folgoso, a native of Columbia, is the district’s English Language Learner (ELL) Parent Liaison and is now an American citizen.

Claire Kubiak, ESL Teacher at Middletown High School has this to say about Folgoso: “Henry, as our ELL parent liaison, connects our Latino families to our school community in a warm, compassionate way.  He cares about each family and child and helps to make the families in the know about what is happening in the school/district community. He is a wealth of information for us at school so we can keep up with what is happening in the Middletown Latino Community.  He also is loved by the students so they have that face, that person that the students see and they know, ‘Oh, Henry will help me with this....whatever 'this' is.’ He rocks!”

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New American Middletown teacher shows local Latino students the way
December 13, 2018

By Michael D. Clark, Journal-News Staff Writer

“Columbia native Henry Folgoso is one of the main motors making Middletown Schools’ expanding English instruction program run…

“Besides a passionate energy for helping the Hispanic community in Middletown, Folgoso is a walking poster of new American pride for the young, foreign-born students to learn of the importance of citizenship

“He and his wife Dani Ortegal – who also teaches in the city schools – recently became American citizens after going through the required naturalization process…

“Days after the ceremony, Folgoso, 45, learned his work teaching Hispanic children English had garnered him this year’s Mary Maurer Volunteer of the Year…The award goes to a Middletown resident between the ages of 30 and 50 who shows exemplary service in the community…

‘I’m an immigrant myself so that is what motivates me to do what I do...,’ he said referring to his efforts helping local Latinos with residency and citizenship, volunteering as a translator for the schools, hospital and police department…

“Folgoso, associate pastor for Middletown’s First United Methodist Church…said his newly earned status as an American lends to his credibility when dealing with EL students

“In 2009 there were 187 EL students in the district but this year there are 403 foreign-born students learning English, an increase of 115 percent. Folgoso works in the district’s 10 schools, which enroll 6,300 students…

Folgoso is as ‘an example of ‘Middie Pride,’ said Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. ‘He is a blessing in disguise. When you talk about what students need to be successful – it doesn’t matter what their demographic background – Henry is able to motivate kids and inspire them to believe in their dreams’...

“‘He is a positive role model for the students and they look up to him. They see that he has made and so they believe they can make it.’”