Eric Nunes is a third-grade teacher at Palo Verde Union School. At 50 years old, one could assume that Nunes is a veteran educator with 25 years of teaching experience.
His story is quite different. Nunes, a third-generation dairyman, owned and operated Nunes Brothers Dairies with his cousins until 2016. While running the dairies, Nunes volunteered, coached, and substituted at his children’s schools. He enjoyed it, recalling that in high school he thought his Algebra II teacher had the coolest job in the world – he was both a math teacher and a coach.
When the family sold the dairies in 2016, Nunes found a teaching position at St. Aloysius School in Tulare. In 2019, Rose Machado, a friend and vice principal at Palo Verde Union School, recruited Nunes for a position at her school. In order for Nunes to teach at Palo Verde, the former dairyman had to enroll in a credentialing program.
Amidst the pandemic in August 2020, Nunes enrolled in New Teacher & Leadership Development’s (NTLD) IMPACT Intern Program, completing the program last spring to earn a preliminary single-subject teaching credential. “NTLD saved me from stressing,” he said. “My cohort was always telling me ‘You got this.’”
Nunes’ story is one of several featured in the 2022-2023 Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) Annual Report, which was released to the Tulare County Board of Education and TCOE staff members last week. The report also includes reports on the work various TCOE programs performed last year, as well as four projects the organization is working on this year.
“I wanted an annual report that….would show our impact on the students, educators, and families in Tulare County,” said Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire. “I am immensely proud of the report itself but even more proud of all that we have accomplished.”