“Spend more time enjoying the present than worrying about the future.”

Isabella Jimenez earned her BAE in Secondary Education (Mathematics) from Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College in 2016. She’s currently in her first year as a member of the math faculty at Alhambra High School in the Phoenix Union High School District.

While she was studying at ASU, Isabella was awarded the Althea Rautenberg Smith Scholarship for education majors on ASU’s West campus.



Meet Isabella:

In a few sentences, describe yourself.

I am a Mexican-American woman who has many dreams to continue to grow in many aspects of life. I have the desire to help others see the importance of education and help them create their own success stories. I enjoy working with low-income, diverse students.

What was your favorite subject in school, and why?

I always enjoyed math because it all seemed like a puzzle that I was trying to figure out. I enjoyed it because it challenged me. I also enjoyed my newspaper and journalism class. I loved working on interviews and stories, and on the layout of the newspaper.

What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Spend more time enjoying the present than worrying about the future.

What three things are always in your refrigerator?

Yogurt, cheese, ranch dressing.

Name the book that had the biggest impact on you:

“The Catcher in the Rye.”

The real-life teacher who most inspired you was …

Liza Lawson (MEd ’09), because she was the one who took me to my first ASU event. Note: Lawson is a Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College mentor teacher in the Tolleson Union High School District.

What was the biggest risk you ever took and what did you learn from it?

The biggest risk was probably sticking with my education major. I was struggling during the first few upper-level math courses and I was close to changing my major. But I couldn't imagine teaching anything else, so I continued. That experience taught me perseverance and dedication.

Name three historical or fictional people you would have over for dinner:

Jaime Escalante, President Obama, Dr. Meredith Grey from “Grey's Anatomy.”

What is the biggest change in classrooms from when you were a child:

Definitely the curriculum.

If you could listen to only three songs for the rest of your life, they would be:

Any songs by Christina Perri.

What was your best mistake?

I once thought going to ASU might have been a mistake because I regretted not going out of the state for college. However, without ASU I wouldn't have had such a great experience during student teaching!

What’s your favorite movie quote?

"This is basic math, but basic math is too easy for you burros. So I’m gonna teach you algebra because I’m the champ. And if the only thing you know how to do is add and subtract, you’ll only be prepared to do one thing: pump gas." Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver.”

What’s your pet peeve?

When someone who isn't a teacher gives me advice on teaching!