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Waynesboro Public Schools highlighting Hispanic Heritage Month

Roxie Staton
Roxie Staton, ELL Community Liaison. Photo courtesy Waynesboro Public Schools.

Roxi Staton, Waynesboro Public Schools newly-appointed English Language Learner community liaison, is leading the way in ensuring the Hispanic/Latinx community and its culture is not only celebrated, acknowledged and appreciated during National Hispanic Heritage Month, but all year.

Staton, who is fluent in Romanian, English and Spanish, is responsible for helping students and families who are English language learners successfully integrate into Waynesboro Public Schools and the Waynesboro community. She helps connect families to resources within the community and assist with day-to-day translation support.

Staton is based at Waynesboro High School, but offers support to other schools within the division.

In anticipation for National Hispanic Heritage Month, Staton has been busy gathering resources and helping schools highlight this important time.

“We take for granted all of the contributions Hispanic/Latinx Americans have made. This is a great time to remember and highlight the impact of the culture,” Staton said.

The 2021 theme for National Hispanic Heritage Month is, Esperanza: Celebrating Hispanic/Latinx Heritage and Hope.”

Staton has been working with Waynesboro Public Schools to specifically celebrate the cuisine of Hispanic/Latinx heritage.

“Hispanic/Latinx food is something that students can relate to, and we have great restaurants in our area. Food is such a unifying and immersive experience,” Staton said. “Through food, we can easily be transported to a different country, a different culture, a different time period. Tt can challenge and expand our senses, our taste buds, it can spark curiosity and conversations.”

Abbey Arey, the principal at Wenonah Elementary, worked with Staton on creating interactive display boards for her students.

“I want families and students to be celebrated everyday, but especially during this time,” Arey said. “It is important for students to have diversity in their learning.”

Arey also plans to highlight historical Hispanic/Latinx Americans during her morning announcements and have students enjoy Latin music throughout the day. In addition, Arey partnered with the Wenonah Elementary cafeteria staff to have menus with Hispanic/Latinx-inspired lunch choices on Fridays.