Staff Spotlight – Mr. Gabriel

Camila Hernandez Rendon, Student Journalist

Gabriel Blackburn is a paraprofessional at MTS. He is also a dancer.

Mr. Gabriel has been dancing since he was five years old. Something that motivated Mr. Gabriel to dance was a movie that he saw called Billy Elliot. It’s about an 11 year old boy that stumbles upon a ballet class during his weekly boxing lesson. The boy knew that’s what his heart was set on. So Mr. Gabriel told his parents that he wanted to be Billy Elliot and within a month or two his parents signed him up for dancing classes.

Mr. Gabriel is also a father. Something that he has learned about being a father is that not everything seems to be how it looks. There is a lot of learning when you’re a father. Sometimes being a father is difficult for some parents, but for Gabriel it’s not, it’s a lot of work that he loves doing because he loves his son. He loves feeding him and changing him. He told me, “I want my son to know that I am here for him. And that his dad is always going to take care of him. I’ll do anything to make him smile. He really loves watching me dance, which is really rewarding to me.” 

Mr. Gabriel wanted to be a paraprofessional so that he can work with students in small groups. He found the job at MTS because he got fired from a restaurant that he used to work because he knew he deserved a promotion and they did not want to give him the position so they fired him instead. That same day, he went to a dance recital and two MTS staff members were there. He overheard them say they needed more paraprofessional staff and he thought, “I just got fired and I have a son that I need to take care of,” so he asked them how to apply and they told him what he needed to do. He went to the interview, and within a week he got the job. 

He feels pretty good where he’s at right now with his job because he really enjoys helping students, and he believes that education is important. 

In five years, Mr. Gabriel would like to see himself getting his Master’s degree and teaching his own class. He also wants to continue his yoga classes and would like to be making enough money for his son. 

Thanks for reading this article about Gabriel Blackburn. Keep checking back for more interesting facts about our MTS family!