From left: Wadiah Sarah, Narapati Subedi, Hem Gajmer, Bac Dinh, Leonard Muhunga, Lydia Sahyouni, Amina Hussein, Tsuru Bailey-Jones, Ndabibonye Desire, Joyce Tominaga, Masbil Bulale, Rachel Sanchez


Asian Pacific American Student Services/Refugee Services

The Asian Pacific American Student Services and Refugee Services department serves the Asian Pacific American community and the Refugee community in Tucson Unified School District. Our hard-working, dedicated, and culturally sensitive Student Success Specialists provide direct and ancillary support based on the district's Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) model. MTSS provides services and interventions to students at increasing levels of intensity based on progress monitoring and data analysis. In the first semester of 2015-16, our specialists assisted students in 23 schools.

TUSD has approximately 1000 students identified as Asian or Pacific Island/Native Hawaiian with many more students of Asian or Pacific Island (API) descent identifying as multi-race. Our refugee program serves over 1000 students from 50 countries. Through hosting special events, conducting home visits, offering individual and small group tutoring, mentoring, and serving on behavior and discipline teams, our specialists advocate on the behalf of students and families to ensure the students receive an equitable and just education.

We asked each of the members of this team to share what they love about their jobs:

Amina Hussein: I love helping kids and parents who need guidance.

Bac Dinh: We love to serve students and the community since we are spiritual engineers.

Hem Gajmer: I enjoy helping students struggling in math, building up basic mathematical skills necessary to fill a gap for them to succeed.

Joyce Tominaga: I especially enjoy working with newcomers to America adjust to school and the American way of life.

Masbil Bulale: I like being the voice between the school and the family.

Ndabibonye Desire : I like to work with TUSD refugee students, administrators and like to help solve problems that happened at school and outside of school.

Narapati Subedi: I like and enjoy working with students and parents.

Wadiah Sarah: The best things about my job is helping the students adjust at school and seeing a smile on their face.

Tsuru Bailey-Jones: I love the school pizza... yummy! But nothing compares to the enjoyment I get from working with the diverse cultures and backgrounds of the students and families our department serves.