MNPS Voices: Pablo Garzon

Pablo Garzón, bilingual tutor, MNPS Office of English Learners
Posted on 03/31/2022
portrait of Pablo Garzón

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, and educated in both Bogotá and Nashville, Pablo Garzón has had a short yet productive career in Metro Schools.

He started working as a bilingual tutor in Spanish for the Office of English Learners under the supervision of Megan Trcka in September 2020, six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. His first job was at both Glencliff and Overton high schools, where classes were provided remotely at first and then in person. portrait of pablo garzon

In 2021, Garzón was assigned to help the students at Tusculum Elementary School and John Early Middle School. For the current school year, he continued serving students at John Early and was also assigned to assist at Overton.

“Since the very beginning, I have enjoyed being a tutor and have also had the privilege of working with a team of teachers and administrative personnel who have been very welcoming, supportive and helpful to me,” Garzón says. “Without their guidance, I could not have done my job. Each day as a bilingual tutor is a new experience and something new to learn. For instance, I did not know, until I started to work for MNPS, that the indigenous people of Guatemala speak 22 different languages besides Spanish!”

Garzón believes his major success in MNPS has been to become a bridge between teachers and parents. He has been able to create friendly communication with several parents, and he is always available to teachers when they need to call parents.

“By doing so, I have been able to offer resources for parents and the help teachers can offer them. At the same time, parents feel comfortable to call me anytime when they have troubles with transportation, issues with the students, or when the children miss classes,” he says. “I am also ready if a student needs to communicate with a teacher and pass important information to teachers, social workers or psychologists to help students.”

Working with SIFE Students

Megan Trcka, Garzón’s supervisor, said it’s an honor to work with him in the Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE) program.

“Not only is he a great support for our students and families, but he is also a dedicated partner to our program teachers. He cares deeply about the work and success of our students' academics and well-being. It is this kind of mindset and support that we strive to offer every day. Thank you, Mr. Garzón!”

Jess Glover and Rachel Griffin, SIFE teachers at Tusculum Elementary School, said of Garzón: “Our SIFE classrooms have been deeply impacted by Mr. Pablo and his kindness. He takes time and makes immense effort to connect and build relationships with our families. Our families turn to Mr. Pablo often for support, and he is always willing to help. Mr. Pablo goes above and beyond to care for our students and their families. We are very grateful for him!”

On Working with Students

When asked about any advice he can provide a fellow employee toward a fulfilling career, Garzón said, “Any new hire or current employee, particularly if he/she is a bilingual tutor, must love the kids and teaching, have patience to deal with disciplinary issues, listen attentively to what students and teachers tell you, and pay attention to the behavior of the students.”

Garzón has also been an avid learner his entire life, which is reflected in his impressive academic acumen. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (summa cum laude) from Los Andes University in Bogota, then obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to study literature at Vanderbilt University, where he graduated in 1985 with a master’s degree in literature.

Seasoned Violinist and Avid Dancer

Garzón also speaks several languages besides his native Spanish and is a seasoned violinist.

“Since high school, I became interested in foreign languages. At Los Andes, I studied classical and modern Greek, English, German and French. At Vanderbilt I studied Brazilian Portuguese and Italian.”

One of Garzón’s many successes beyond his work as an educator has been performing with his band, Serenatta, at the main auditorium of Schermerhorn Symphony Center during the Day of Music several years ago.

“I was selected to play one of the violins from the collection of ‘Violins of Hope’ at the Chabad Center of Nashville during an event to celebrate those violins from Jewish musicians found in concentration camps,” he says.

Outside of his busy schedule at schools, Garzón enjoys walking at Radnor Lake, dancing with several dance groups in Nashville, seeing movies at Belcourt Theatre and attending concerts.

Featured News
MNPS Voices,Team MNPS,Careers