Degrees and Certifications:
B.A. Social and Behavioral Science (Criminal Justice Emphasis) M.A. Counseling Certified Juvenile Probation Officer Certified Security Officer Trainer
Ms. Suzanne Soto
Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to work in the legal field. Initially, I swore I was going to be an attorney and fight for the rights of women and children. Obviously, that did not happen (well, at least not in the capacity as an attorney).
I have a Bachelors Degree in Social and Behavioral Science (Emphasis in Criminal Justice) and a Masters Degree in Community Counseling. I have been teaching for 15 years for the Judson Independent School District. I spent the first 5 years at Wagner High School before transferring to Judson High. Prior to teaching, I worked for the Bexar County Juvenile Probation Office as a Lead Day Treatment Specialist, Juvenile Probation Officer, and finally, a Senior "Juvenile" Probation Officer. I have also worked for the Texas Attorney General's Office (Child Support Division), volunteered with CASA (Child Advocates of San Antonio, volunteered with Juvenile Probation (prior to accepting a job with this agency) and interned for the Family Violence Prevention Unit (working directly with battered women and children) and the Children's Bevreavement Center of San Antonio as part of my requirements for my Masters degree in Counseling.
My educational background along with life experiences has given me the opportunity to teach my students from a realistic perspective as opposed to relying solely on textbooks. My goal as an instructor is to provide my students with a true perspective of what to expect when choosing to pursue a career in the law enforcement field.
Unlike the old days when we chose a career path in college and upon graduation we realized that we really didnt want to work in that career field, I believe it is important that students gain a true perspective as early as possible so that they do not "waste time and money" pursuing a career in a field that they later realize isnt for them.
How did I end up becoming a teacher?
In order to answer this question I have to be perfectly honest. I had absolutely NO interest in teaching. I did not like teachers and when I went to high school I was probably the worst student of them all. I was voted Class Clown and most likely to end up a stand-up comedian. Unfortunately, neither of those two options worked out,so I ventured upon a different path. I didnt realize how many people would actually break out into a fit of laughter when I told them that I am a teacher. At my class reunion last year, so many of my friends went into a laughing frenzy when they found out that I AM A TEACHER.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself and make sure I am not dreaming that I am actually a teacher. All kidding aside, my teaching career began after we (Bexar County Juvenile Probation Department) lost funding for a program ( Project Connect)that I was overseeing at Wagner High School. As fate would have it, I was "in the right place at the right time". The principal (Mr. Rob Fields) offered me, what turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime, a teaching position. Despite fear of the unknown, I decided to try it out. Since that time, I have fallen in love with teaching and truly believe that this was what I was meant to do.
There is one thing that I always tell my students about myself. That being "there are two kinds of people, those who love me and those who do not like me. If you love me, it is because you know me. If you dislike me, it is because you don't have any idea who I am." I believe in being real with my students and not playing in Candyland. We live in a tough world and when going into the Law Enforcement / Legal field, it is important to UNDERSTAND that those who choose to work in this field are going to be exposed to the best and the worst of the worst people out here. You are going to deal with people on the "worst day of their lives" and it is your job to help them out.. There are going to be things that you will be exposed to that may change your perspective of mankind. You are going to go through a broad range of emotions in the course of ONE DAY AND still have to come back the next day ready to take it all on once again. You are going to be seen as a hero to some, and the enemy to others.
It is important that my students understand what to TRULY EXPECT when going into this career field. My job as an educator is to provide them with a solid foundation and guide them through their first steps to an amazing career in Law Enforcement. I conduct my classes with this goal in mind.