Calexico teacher uses New York experience to inspire

VSALEXIQUE — Rosa Sandigo, a Spanish teacher at Calexico High, had quite an adventure the week leading up to Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8.

First, she was taken on a plane to Manhattan on Monday, May 2, to be filmed on Tuesday, May 3 for an episode honoring teaching mothers on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

As part of the episode, she was filmed receiving a generous gift basket from Samsung, which has sponsored the holiday-related segment for a few years.

Ninth-grade Spanish teacher Calexico Rosa Sandigo and his son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bosco Sandigo, who both appeared on a special Mother’s Day episode of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Tuesday, May 3. | PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSA SANDIGO

Then, after being told she wouldn’t be meeting her favorite late-night TV talk show host, none other than Jimmy Fallon appeared behind a lowered curtain to present Sandigo with a bouquet of flowers.

If that wasn’t enough, Fallon also presented Sandigo with a $25,000 check, courtesy of Samsung, to honor her efforts as a teacher and mother of three.

Finally, as the educator that she is, Sandigo has turned her jaunt across the country and her brush with stardom into a teachable moment when she returns to class on Thursday, May 5.

“That’s what I want you to do, go on an adventure,” Sandigo said in his second-period Spanish class.

Of course, the type of adventures Sandigo had in mind for his students were to complete their education and pursue a career that would lead them to a fulfilling life.

During the recap of her visit to the Big Apple that she gave each period of her ninth grade Spanish classes, she highlighted her reunion in New York with a former student of Gila Ridge High School (Yuma, Arizona) . of her, Alexis Garcia.

Sandigo said she and the former student follow each other on social media accounts. So when Sandigo posted a clip of herself in New York on TikTok, the former student announced that she was living in Brooklyn and wanted to find Sandigo.

Garcia had attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff at a time when Sandigo’s daughter did, before moving to New York and later enrolling at New York University to earn a master’s degree in social work. At the time of Sandigo’s visit, Garcia was working as a social worker at a charter school.

Sandigo pointed to Garcia’s academic and professional background as a promising example of what his students could expect if they committed to pursuing an education and a career, and avoiding being sidelined by immature questions.

“I love seeing (students) go off and have adventures in life,” Sandigo said.

As a native of Nicaragua whose family fled her homeland in the midst of the revolution in the late 1970s, Sandigo’s own past experiences would certainly qualify her as an adventurer. In Nicaragua, she had attended mission schools run by Catholic nuns and had developed a desire to serve others at an early age.

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon signed a copy of his children’s book ‘Nana Loves You More’ for Rosa Sandigo, a ninth-grade Spanish teacher at Calexico High, who appeared on his show for a special for Mother’s Day on Tuesday, May 3. | JULIO MORALES PHOTO

But when his older brother chose to end his involvement in the armed campaigns of the Sandinistas, the left-wing group began to pressure his family in retaliation for his perceived betrayal, prompting the family left behind in Nicaragua to join other who had previously moved to California.

Sandigo had just graduated from high school at the time and was doing his best to readapt to life in America. His father eventually found employment in Somerton, Arizona, where his younger siblings would go to study and graduate from nearby Yuma School.

Becoming a teacher was not something Sandigo said she always envisioned for herself. On the contrary, her current vocation testifies to the deep and lasting influence of the nuns with whom she had studied during her formative years.

“It’s always been about how I serve,” Sandigo said.

Indeed, it was her commitment to being a public servant that landed her on “The Tonight Show.”

Her television appearance began with her son’s nomination for the episode Mother’s Day Surprise. Shortly after his nomination, he learned from NBC that Sandigo was a finalist.

NBC’s response went so far as to describe her son’s nomination as an “exceptional submission.” A week later, on April 28, they both learned that she had been selected to appear on the popular show.

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“You’re coming to New York,” his son, U.S. Army Sgt. Bosco Sandigo, texted his mother to break the news before she had a chance to see the confirmation email that NBC had also sent her.

During the television segment, Sgt. Sandigo explained why he named his mother, who raised him and his siblings as a single mother. sergeant. Sandigo also highlighted how her “incredible mother” earned a master’s degree in special education and is determined to help immigrant children succeed in their adopted country to further inspire their classmates as well.

Her remarks were delivered to a camera which then filmed her mother reading aloud a scripted message thanking Samsung for supporting teachers like her.

Ninth-grade Spanish teacher Calexico Rosa Sandigo stands outside NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza Tuesday, May 3, in Midtown Manhattan. Sandigo appeared in a Mother’s Day special on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” | PHOTO COURTESY OF ROSA SANDIGO

What happened next made Sandigo a star in her own right. After receiving a gift basket containing the latest Samsung devices, a nearby curtain to the left of Sandigo suddenly falls to reveal a bouquet of Jimmy Fallon flowers, which also surprised the other two mother-teacher winners.

To simply say that Sandigo was pleasantly surprised to meet Fallon unexpectedly would be a serious understatement. In a scene reminiscent of the stunned fans who greeted The Beatles in their heyday, the camera captured Sandigo instantly transforming into an exuberant bundle of joy.

This excitement also seemed to overshadow Sandigo’s reaction to the presentation of a $25,000 check from Fallon on behalf of Samsung. Afterwards, Fallon asked Sandigo what she thought of the gifts, which she could only muster, “I don’t know.”

Back in her classroom a few days later, Sandigo was still unable to describe the whole experience. Nonetheless, she was able to highlight her encounter with fame for her students throughout the day through the use of a slideshow and video clips she recorded on her phone.

Some of those images included scenes from Times Square, filled with Minnie and Mickey walking around, as well as the naked Cowboy in his trademark underpants and guitar uniform.

There was also a photo of her standing next to a movie poster advertising ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, whose lead actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, had also appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s show the day where Sandigo was there.

“My thing is, whatever I’m going through, I want my students to go through it,” Sandigo said. “It’s who I am.”

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