My name Zee (Zahilys) Aleman. I am the only child of immigrant parents who sacrificed life and country in order to provide me with choices and the freedoms I would only enjoy as a United States citizen. I currently work at a charter school in Miami, Florida. I spent 15 years in an Urban, public school that housed 3000+ students. Sometime after my son was born, I no longer felt safe there and decided it was time to move on. I began to see the world with mother’s eyes and not just educator eyes. Between the gangs, violence, and bullets, I was no longer an effective educator. I went back to school and received my M.A. Ed. Focusing on Curriculum and Technology. I am currently, among various positions, the Language Arts Department Chairperson as well as I English Literature and AP Lit. teacher. I recently became Curriculum Specialist, PD Liaison, SIP editor, and part-time club sponsor. I am a certified Teacher Leader as well as a recipient of The National Excellence in School Leadership Institute certification with a focus on Women in Leadership. I have been an educator 25 years and have loved every minute of it. I am looking forward to evolving outside the classroom where I can assist in the beginning teacher process and contribute to curriculum and professional development in order to maintain excellence.
As time progressed, I realized I needed more. I was not sure what that was until I met Gail Ulloa. I started working alongside her during trying times. She was in the process of testing her oldest son for Autism, and her stress level was palpable. I felt a kindred spirit in her as a parent and humanitarian. One morning, after having cleared some clutter from home, I showed up at the office with a small rocking chair that had been built for my son as a child. I wrapped a huge red bow around it and left it for her as a gift. Soon after, she reported that her son loved it, would not leave it, would eat and watch television on it; she was overjoyed. Apparently it soothed him. And so we embarked on a friendship that has been filled with joy, tears, laughter, frustration and abundant blessings. I am honored to be part of her journey as it has instilled in me the need to belong, participate, and promote kindness on a daily basis.
As proud and blessed as I feel to have accomplished so much, my most valued achievement is my family. I married my high school sweetheart and have honored those vows for 26 years. Seventeen years ago, after four years of agonizing and failed attempts at fertility, we heard the words I thought would never sound so sweet, “Kids! You’re pregnant!” Again the blessings arrived in the form of five fertilized eggs; however, after weeks of trial and error, only one survived. Javin Xavier Aleman was born February, 4, 2002, and my life as mother took hold. Parenting is the most challenging yet rewarding job I have ever executed. Often I succeed; occasionally I fail. As many parents, I reflect, learn, repeat. My son is the light on cloudy days, the speed of my beating heart, and the oxygen I need to wake up and do it all again tomorrow. At seventeen, he has demonstrated integrity, perseverance and initiative as he holds a job while maintaining Honor Roll as a senior in high school.
A few years ago, I embarked on a new journey as a board member to Unique Families, Inc. and a children’s author. With a heart full of inspiration and love, I wrote my first children’s book, Three Winks, I Love You in homage to Adrian and all the lessons he and his family have taught me not only about Autism, but about resilience, compassion, empathy, and generosity. The proceeds from the book are donated 100% to the organization in order to fund events, families, programs, and scholarships for those in need. I am one of various impressive female leaders also on the board who have demonstrated daily that together we are a force to be reckoned with. I am excited about the future as I spend more and more time with my husband, blonde Boston Terrier, and family as much as possible.
As an avid reader, I learn and teach so that I can contribute my knowledge and experiences with those around me. I explore various avenues of opportunity in order to perpetuate expertise, but most importantly, I devote my most precious commodity, time, in order to serve.