JTHS Alumni Spotlight Next-Generation Teacher: Estefani Gonzalez, Joliet Central H.S. Class of 2013

Career & Education At-a-Glance

  • University of St. Francis - B.A. in Education Candidate, Class of 2017
  • Schmitt Scholar
  • Golden Apple Scholar
  • Amy D’Amico Recipient


Joliet Central High School Alumna Estefani Gonzalez (’13) dreamed since childhood of becoming a teacher, and her dream is soon to become a reality as her graduation from University of St. Francis is set for this year.

Her first exposure to the profession of teaching was as a student at Lincoln Elementary School, then transferring to Cunningham Elementary School and T.E. Culbertson Elementary School. By the time she attended Washington Junior High and Academy, she already knew that she wanted to become a teacher so that she may share her love of learning and inspire future generations.

As a high school student, Gonzalez took advantage of the opportunities available to her by participating in Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, the Human Relations Club, National Honors Society, and the Future Teachers Club.

Looking back on the education that helped prepare her, Gonzalez expressed gratitude for having had inspirational teachers and said, “Mrs. Eich and Ms. Crisostomo were both very inspirational to me during my high school career. They were both great mentors that helped me prepare to enroll at the University of St. Francis as a first-generation college student. I am so proud to be a Steelman!”

After her positive experiences in Joliet Central High School, Gonzalez is now pursuing a degree in teaching at the University of St. Francis and is expected to graduate in 2017. As part of her professional preparation, she has been thoroughly enjoying the experience of student-teaching in the Joliet community where she grew up.


Due to her hard work and passion for teaching, Gonzalez has received many scholarships including the Schmitt Scholarship, the prestigious Golden Apple Scholarship, and is an Amy D’Amico Recipient. 

When asked what advice she offers for current high school students, Gonzalez says, “Whatever you do, do what you have always dreamed of! Nothing comes easy and I will say, there is no better feeling than looking back at all the hardships and realizing how far you come. It doesn't matter where you come from, how much money you make or how many people are watching. Do it for yourself and make your loved ones proud.” 

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