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Ramon “RJ” Tagorda ’15

photo of Ramon TagordaTechnical Director, Language Arts, Holy Cross Catholic School

Major: Master of Arts in Education, PACE Program

I enjoy my students’ energy. They challenge me in remarkable ways each and every day. I also value the people I got to know in PACE. They shaped me both as a professional and as an individual.

I grew up in New Orleans and earned my undergraduate degree from Tulane. While there, I was advised to look closely at UP’s Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE) Program, based on its strong reputation in education circles. When I applied, I felt so welcome; I value any program that takes such a personal interest in its students.

Part of the PACE program includes teaching at an under-served school in the Western United States. I was assigned to North Portland’s Holy Cross Catholic School. When I graduated, Holy Cross asked if I would stay and I’ve been there ever since. I love the school. Officially, I am the tech director, teaching preschool through eighth grade students about technology and managing the school’s overall technical needs. I also teach language arts to eighth graders.

I wear a lot of different hats depending on the needs that arise, which is typical of a small Catholic school—running a chess club, helping align our writing curriculum, making IT decisions. It all depends on the day.

I also enjoy a great relationship with the local community and have the added benefit t of being able to access the University of Portland as a professional resource when it comes to recruiting volunteers, contacting professors for advice, or attending PACE events. UP has been an integral part of my professional success.

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