LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Chris Espinoza

Position: Counselor
School: Bobier Elementary School
School District: Vista Unified School District
City, State: Vista , CA

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Chris Espinoza was nominated by his principal, Jenifer Golden.

Mr. Espinoza has been helping to lead a challenging school in the heart of Vista, CA for about four years. In that time, Bobier Elementary has made measurable improvements. Students have made psycho-social, emotional, academic, and cultural gains each year. Parent participation has quadrupled or more in the last four years. Parent, student, and staff surveys report an increase in trust, respect, and collaboration, as well as communication.

Mr. Espinoza founded the Bronco Buzz, a school news YouTube station that spreads coherence in messaging campus-wide. He uses data to decide what the most urgent student needs are, and he creates wonderful lessons, activities, talking points and positive highlights for both students and staff on a weekly basis. Students love Mr. Espinoza, and they call him a hero. He turns tears into laughter. His emotional intelligence and empathy for those around him give him a unique gift to be proactively aware of needs. He is always a step ahead, and discipline has reduced dramatically due to his rapid, proactive, heartfelt interventions. 

Mr. Espinoza is also a hero in his own life story. He grew up in a family where he and his siblings had special needs. He was dyslexic as a student, but overcame his disability and made his skills drown out his challenges. Today, he is a positive example of how a disability really means "Respectabilties." This mindset shift is helping students become superheroes, and helps them believe they can overcome all obstacles by becoming resourceful problem solvers who use their strengths. 

"We are proud and honored to work with Mr. Espinoza, otherwise known as 'Mr. E man' (mystery man).' He is not only a gifted and talented counselor and teacher, but an inspiration to us all," said Golden. "He is a wonderful husband and friend who always reminds those around him to take care of themselves and keep their work and home life balanced." 

"Mr. E is a respectable male role model; he is engaging, funny, caring, and so invested, and he has truly changed so many lives since he has been a full time counselor here," Golden concluded. "Our school would not be the same without him."

Comments (16)

Jacquelyn Rathbun Posted 2 months ago

Wowza!!! This was a beautifully written tribute to an amazing counselor, friend and brother. I'm one of his siblings and I fully agree that he is extremely talented, empathetic and willing to help make the world a better place. He is the change we want to see in the world.

Leslie Wolff Posted 2 months ago

Mr. E is the best! He goes above and beyond to help Bobier Elementary be the best place it can be. I've gotten to work with him with Kindergartners and 5th graders and he's done such a wonderful job with both grade levels and tailoring things to their needs. Chris is always a text or email away to help with anything we need. The kids all LOVE seeing him around campus each day and he gets lots of hugs and high fives from them. Chris also works really hard to create a video series called Bronco Buzz so that students know what is going on around our campus. He's funny, nice, and one of the most hardworking people I know!

Keri Avila Posted 2 months ago

Mr. E is always ready to support me in the classroom, or any student at need. I have seen him spend hours to provide family support as well. Not only that,, he has donated hundreds of hours to produce the "Bronco Buzz," a school vlog that spotlights students achievements and promotes school spirit. He is one of the best counselors I have ever worked with. His compassion toward our students, staff, and families have made Bobier Elementary School a wonderful place to be.

Nicole Becker Posted 3 months ago

Mr. E is by far the best counselor I have had the pleasure to work with in the 13 years I've worked in special education at Bobier Elementary. He has not only been an amazing support for our most neediest students, but for the entire school as well. The school wide videos he spends hours making are fun, clever, meaningful, and filled with heart. He brings the whole school community together highlighting student achievement, and allowing all students to get to know our students with special needs in the most supportive way. An example would be when he featured one of our visually impaired students, and how students should maneuver around someone using a walking stick. Mr. E also used his videos as a reward incentive for a student, and allowed this student to have his own segment each week when he did well towards his behavior goals. It was the only motivator that worked for that student after we had tried everything else. I am beyond grateful for Mr. E, and the positive caring community he has brought to our school. He has also been especially helpful in bridging the gap between special ed and regular ed which has contributed to overall inclusive and supportive climate Bobier is proud to have. Thank you Mr. E for all the above and beyond work you have done, and continue to do for our school! We never want you to leave!

TIffany Daines Posted 3 months ago

Chris is one of the most supportive, innovative, and approachable people I have met in my field. Chris is always finding ways to include, encourage and add value to the lives of the students and colleagues around him. Chris was the first on our team to utilize technology to ensure Tier 1 behavior interventions were provided to all students. He did this my starting his genius "Bronco Buzz" video where he highlights a skill and uses students to teach and demonstrate those skills. Additionally, he comes up with fun and creative ways to increase student attendance and achievement. Chris is not afraid to add and make changes to his program for the benefit of the school. Lastly, Chris is one of my go to counselors when I need to consult about difficult cases. Chris makes it all look easy and I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn from him.

Crystal Posted 3 months ago

Chris is the most flexible person you'll ever meet! Although his official title is "School Counselor," he wears many hats at our school. Chris is the kind, smiley friend you pass by in the hallway. He's the substitute teacher that takes over your class when there is an emergency. Our school counselor is the mentor who lends advice on his lunch break when his lunch break actually is after school due to how busy he is. Chris is the counselor who knows every single one of our Broncos because he teaches them character lessons twice a month. He is the very busy person who shows up to your SST to support you and your students family. Our school counselor, "Mr. E", helps create a warm, fun and loving environment by creating a weekly talk show that show cases our wonderful students. Chris is such a wonderful part of Bobier Elementary; he is the main artery of our school culture.

Estephanie Garduno Posted 4 months ago

Thank you for all you do on the daily for the students at Bobier Elementary! Your support and attentiveness goes beyond recognition. I know that he makes time for any student no matter how big or little the situation. He listens and finds a solution to any problem! Thank you Mr. E! &Good Luck -Proud parent of a bronco

Anh Delos Reyes Posted 4 months ago

Mr. E is a passionate counselor who works beyond the school hours to meet all his clients’ needs. Even though Mr. E had his own caseload, he always made time for any student who may need him at any given time. He not only knew his students, but he took the time to get to know all students. He worked hard to build rapport with students and staff, and everyone trusted and confided in him. Mr. E was great with all students, and made progress with the ones he saw on a one on one basis. He was consistent, and always kept an open line of comminciation with the student, the family, and myself. Mr. E also took initiative to provide whole class social, emotional learning lessons to our fourth grade class. And it was well received by the students! Mr. E is an exemplar to those around him, and his willingness to help is contagious. I am most grateful to have had worked alongside him, and he most deserving of this nomination.

Maria Rooney Posted 4 months ago

I am so happy to write a testimonial for my former colleague, Christopher Espinoza. Mr. Espinoza and I worked together at Keiller Leadership Academy from August of 2013 to June of 2015. His title was Primary School Counselor and I was a Fourth and Fifth grade teacher. During my two school years working with Mr. Espinoza, he counseled a handful of my students from both Fifth and Fourth grades. He created small learning groups to help my students gain more social skills. During this time he taught students about fairness, respect, responsibility, and other character traits he saw as a need through the use of sports, games, role playing and much more. He attended parent conferences and IEP meetings on a regular basis along with the Executive Director, myself, and sometimes the student. In these meetings he presented his ideas and finding with the utmost professionalism and parents would frequently say how impressed they were with how the conference was conducted or how the conferences they had at their former school was nothing like this; then they would tell us a story about a negative experience at their former school. Mr. Espinoza was more than a Counselor, he was present for the students during their lunches, recesses, morning and afternoon drop offs, Graduation, and would be there for all of the teachers “at the drop of a hat” for anything they needed help with in the classroom. He counseled me through ways to best reach certain students academically and socially and would even help teach a certain lesson if it was in the best interest of the child. He naturally gave my students and me confidence in our abilities to achieve success in anything we thought we couldn’t do. It is such a pleasure to write a testimonial to someone so passionate, dedicated, and unforgettable. He is truly an outstanding Counselor and employee. May he achieve the highest success in all that he sets out to achieve. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions you have about Mr. Espinoza.

Sylvia Stowers Posted 4 months ago

I am so proud of Chris, having worked side by side with him at San Marcos Unified years ago. He is super creative, honest, and one of a kind. His energy is contagious with a high level of competence. Go Chris!

Stefanie Torres Posted 4 months ago

Chris perfectly represents “Life Changer.” I have watched students transform because of their time and interactions with him. Students who began the year wanting to be anywhere but school became motivated to learn, sought out friendships, and had success after success. They were and continue to be positive role models in their communities, care for others in their school, and pass on the compassion and care Chris showed them. Chris was born to be a counselor. His heart for children shines through everything he does. Whether it was hosting Breakfast Club, talking about Pokemon or what the Green Ranger was up to these days, allowing a student to take a break in his office, or celebrating a student’s A+, our children knew “Mr. E.” would always be there for them. Their eyes lit up when they saw him and they couldn’t help but call out to him, even if they were just passing by on their way to class. Our staff, students, and their families were blessed by the years Chris spent at our school and we all walked away better people for knowing him. Chris, congratulations on this extremely well-deserved honor and thank you for all the lives you have changed .

Candace Fletcher Posted 4 months ago

Immediately upon meeting Chris, I could sense I had a colleague who would not only be of help to me, but would serve the children in my class with a pure and dedicated heart. He quickly earned my trust and respect and I am truly grateful to have partnered with him at our old school. Hosting a “Breakfast Club” to ensure a successful start to a very early and long school day is only one of the MANY measures Chris took to support children and classrooms. The children who attended felt cared for and could count on a realistic, positive figure to come alongside them on a consistent basis in the mornings. Chris’s consistency and dedication also showed through in ALWAYS being available to support students at a moment’s notice. Many times, Chris came in to give a child a break from their routinely bad pattern, checked in with them, and taught lessons with direct implications for the real world. Under his guidance, I saw several children (dear to all of us) develop social skills we would never have been able to teach alone. Chris’s skill in being able to immediately relate, de-escalate and connect is unmatched by anyone I’ve seen in my 10 years in the field. The children and staff at our school were lucky to have him as he, for sure, changed MULTIPLE children’s lives for the better. I absolutely would not have made it through two years of my teaching career without Chris’s knowledge, training, guidance and collegial support. As much as his steadfastness helped the children, he supported our staff in the same way. Thank you, Chris, for your integrity, your determination, your grit and for being there. All that come into contact with you are all the more better because of who you are.

Paula Guzman Posted 4 months ago

Mr. E. Is a role model for my son Leo (The Lion) Daniel. My son was part of bronco buzz. He told a joke at the end of the videos every week using puppets. He is in 6th grade now and misses him a lot. Thank you Mr. E., my son and I are very grateful for his experience last year, working with you.

Erica Chavero Posted 5 months ago

((In Words of My 7yr old Son Alejandro D. Chavero)) "Mr. E, You are Funny, because you have a picture of you dressed up for Halloween as a Ninja! You always help us kids solve our problems! I think you are very cool because you always help me when I need help. Thank so much Mr. E for everything Especially For being so patient with me when I know I can Be very difficult! Sincerely Always Alejandro Chavero Room 7.

Patty Posted 5 months ago

Mr. E is always so supportive, reliable, and caring to our students and families at Bobier! He helps everyone feel safe when they experience troublesome events and helps them feel happy at school with his uplifting school spirit! He truly makes a positive difference to every student at our school!

margaret demirdjian Posted 5 months ago

Mr. Espinoza (Mr. E), is the life line of our school. His has the respect of the staff and he is well liked by all the students. MR. E plays a vital role here at Bobier. He listens to students’ concerns , whether academic, emotional or social problems. He helps support students by coming up with plans to allow students to be successful inside the classroom and out. He helps to improve parent/teacher and sometimes student teacher relationship. He does an amazing job every day.