La Quinta High welcomes back Jacqueline Esquivel

After graduating from the high school in 2014, Jacqueline Esquivel is back on campus, but this time as a teacher.


Katherine Carrera

English Language Development and AVID teacher Jacqueline Esquivel.

She’s sitting at her desk typing away as her students who stayed during lunch are playing hangman on a whiteboard that stands in a corner of the room. Her classroom, filled with color and posters, looks lively and welcoming. Not a single wall is empty.

For as long as she can remember, Jacqueline Esquivel has wanted to become a teacher. Seeing her teachers have so much patience for students and having a big impact in their lives made Esquivel also want to make a difference. She wanted to help others grow like her teachers did before her.

Esquivel is one of La Quinta High School’s English Language Development teachers and the tenth grade AVID teacher. Her classroom is located in room 508. She previously taught English and writing at Granger Junior High School and Imagine Charter School in Coachella. This is her first year teaching at the high school.

She has always considered the Coachella Valley her home, as she grew up in the desert her entire life until she left for college in San Diego. 

“I always came back to [the desert] and now I work here in the Coachella Valley,” she said.

As a teacher with more than one class, it can be a very overwhelming experience for Esquivel. 

“Sometimes,” she said, “you really have to plan every minute that you’re in class for multiple subjects, so it gets really, really crazy.” 

“The more preps you have, the more stressed you are, I’ve noticed,” Esquivel said.

Esquivel decided to work at La Quinta High because she actually graduated from the high school in 2014. She said it was a no-brainer to accept the job where she was taught. Esquivel was very involved when she was in school. She was a part of the IB program and multiple clubs, such as the Fashion Club.

Her experience working at the high school so far has been a very positive one. She loves all of the teachers—some of which were actually Esquivel’s teachers when she was in school. She enjoys working alongside her past teachers, who are now mentors. Esquivel loves how the high school has something for everyone. 

“[There are] so many academies and everyone seems to belong somewhere,” Esquivel said.

Esquivel’s philosophy of education is that one size does not fit all.

“I’ve had experiences in the past where teachers try to teach something in one way,” she said, “and let’s say you don’t get it. As a student, you start to feel dumb. You start to feel out of place, maybe ‘education’s not for me.’ So I really try to make different activities for students where they can shine and prove that one size does not fit all.”

After Esquivel graduated from La Quinta High School, she then went to College of the Desert, and later transferred to UC San Diego. 

When Esquivel was in high school, she was the kind of student that strived to succeed, so she decided to join the IB program. Esquivel became a full diploma student, which takes a lot of work.

“You stay three hours after school for class once a week,” she said, recalling her experience in the Theory of Knowledge class. “You have to write a 10,000 word essay.”

Sadly, she does not remember what the essay was about. Only the stress the essay caused when she was writing it.

Looking back on her time in the IB program, it was so much fun for her. As a student, she often said to herself, “Oh my god, I’m so tired of this.” After looking back, however, she is super happy she did it. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be where she is today. She really tried her best to set herself up for college the right way.

An interesting thing about Esquivel is that she is super open-minded. She loves to learn and is curious. Her curiosity led her to study sign language, even though she has no family or knows anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing. 

“Why not learn about sign language?” she said. 

Not only had she taken sign language classes, but she has also taken courses in phlebotomy, which is taking blood out of people.

“I don’t know why,” she said, “I just want to learn about everything.” 

Esquivel is trilingual. She speaks American sign language, Spanish and English. 

Esquivel has many interests and hobbies. 

“I love playing pickleball,” she said, “which is a form of tennis.”

After admitting that she was experiencing some nerves, she said that she enjoys trying out new coffee shops. “Coffee is one of my hobbies,” she said.

Her favorite coffee shop to go to is Everbloom in Indio. The drink she recommends is the iced chai with Madagascar vanilla and oat milk.

Even though all her life she wanted to become a teacher, she did consider getting a double major in psychology and education. She didn’t end up doing it since it would’ve been a lot of work and a lot of years. Becoming a teacher was her number one priority. She got a bachelors in literature and a masters in education studies with a teaching credential in English.

“I’ll do it eventually,” she said, referring to going back to school to learn psychology.

Now she is going to get a master’s degree to become not only an English teacher, but a math teacher as well. Since this is only her third year teaching, she’s going to wait another year to give herself some time. 

“That’s my problem,” Esquivel said, “I want to jump into things.”

Esquivel is very family oriented. One of her most memorable stories from her childhood is when she accidentally swallowed a ring.

Her family has been very supportive of her through everything-financially and emotionally. 

“I just want to say thanks to my family,” Esquivel said, “I’m very thankful for them.”