David Somoza

David grew up in southern New Mexico with his brother Mike and his sister Lisa. David's dad is a writer and his mom is a painter, and they still live in southern New Mexico. Growing up, David spent much time hiking and camping with his family throughout New Mexico. They spent every summer going on great family adventures.

Later, in college, David spent a year abroad in Spain, where he got his first taste of teaching. After moving back and finishing his degree in architecture at the University of New Mexico, David worked in the architecture field for three years before deciding to make a change. He got a job as a substitute teacher in Albuquerque to see if he'd like it. He enjoyed it so much that he returned to school to become a teacher. He taught during the days and took classes at night.

After completing his degree, he taught for two years near Denver, Colorado, before moving overseas to teach at international schools. For three years David taught in Brazil, where met his wife, Pam, who taught at the same school. Together they traveled throughout Brazil and fell in love with the beautiful country. Later they moved to Japan, where they taught at another international school and again had many great opportunities to travel.

Eventually they moved back to the States, finding a home in Vermont. Here David taught fourth and fifth grade while Pam was home with their two boys. After several years they moved to New York to be closer to family.

Since then David has been teaching fifth grade in Burnt Hills, New York; he and his family live near Saratoga Springs. David loves teaching all subjects, but most enjoys teaching writing. He says, "Working with kids is always unpredictable, and that's the best part. If you give the kids parameters but let them go off and explore on their own, you never know what they'll come up with. This is particularly true with writing. Every time they write there's a chance that they'll create something new and beautiful. Even after all these years of teaching, I'm still blown away by their insight, their perspective, their creative use of language, and the genuine passion that comes out in their essays. At times, I think they even surprise themselves. It's often through their writing that I really get to know and understand my kids."