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Hiring Intervention Specialist for Lincoln Elementary

WITH THE GROWING need, at Lincoln Elementary school, for specialized support specific to individual student behavioral needs, it was imperative to find the right individual to fill this void at our school this year. We needed someone who was relatable to students and had experience working with students with social-emotional challenges. Knowing that the student advocate model was effective at the secondary level, we realized that this was the missing component that would meet students’ needs here at Lincoln. With district support, we were able to be creative establishing this position and moving forward with the hiring of an individual for this role.

Lincoln is fortunate to have found Mr. Juan Rodriguez, a local Maderan and 2011 Madera South High School graduate, to serve as our student advocate. Mr. Rodriguez comes to us with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from California State University, Fresno. His work experience included working as a juvenile detention officer, where he mentored and counseled individuals while keeping them accountable for their individual actions and behaviors. He also worked within Madera Unified serving on our district English Language Proficiency Assessments for California testing team.

Mr. Rodriguez is lovingly referred to by students as Mr. R and has seamlessly transitioned to becoming a trusted support for the students of Lincoln Elementary. As a student advocate, he provides social-emotional support for students and a safe environment to learn appropriate social interactions with one another. His past experiences in working with juveniles in the system has allowed him to make special connections and become a positive role model for students needing a confidant at school.

Mr. Rodriguez starts his mornings by greeting the students in the cafeteria and ends the day by saying goodbye as the students are heading home. His day consists of checking in with students in the classrooms, conducting restorative justice conversations or restorative circles and conflict mediation when needed. Mr. R also facilitates recess and lunch time groups. He provides structured play time opportunities to encourage and promote positive social skills, such as following rules, taking turns, conversation skills, and incorporating the school character traits that support the Positive Behavior Intervention Support framework at Lincoln.

Not only does Mr. R work with our Lincoln students and staff, but he also provides resources to our families through parents and team meetings. He continues to build relationships throughout our Lincoln community, further contributing to our overall positive learning environment. Mr. R is a valued member of our Positive Behavior Intervention Support System committees, Student Success Team, and Response to Intervention behavior team. His calming, open, and inviting personality most certainly contributes to his instant connection with all the Lincoln stakeholders.

We are overjoyed with the resources and positive support that Mr. R has brought to Lincoln within this new position. Mr. Rodriguez is a lifelong learner and plans to continue to further his education by working towards a masters in counseling. His dedication and belief in our student population will continue to make Lincoln Elementary and Madera Unified the safe, positive, and secure place we all strive to provide for our community.


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