Daniel Ceballos is originally from Manizales, Colombia, born May 20th, 1962. He received his Bachelors in Economy, from the University of Fundema. Upon his graduation he was immediately hired to a corner office for the Arrow clothing company. It wasn't long before he rejected the job, realizing that an office life was not for him.
As a child, Daniel spent all of his summer and Christmas vacations on a small farm with no modern luxuries, and so his father's knack for storytelling was the main source of entertainment for the family. One story in particular stuck in Daniel's heart--the story of the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland. So, without knowing a soul in Great Britain, he set out on an adventure. First traveling to Scotland to check out this "monster tale," he then went on to England, where he began to study English while attending Westminster College. By the time Daniel returned to Colombia in 1992, he had been away for 4 years and had backpacked through over 60 countries!
Daniel found it difficult to find work in his field of study back in the small town where he was raised, but now that he spoke English, there were opportunities to teach others, and so he began teaching at the Colombo Americano, in Manizales, Colombia, a bi-national school founded by the US State Department. He taught all levels, from children to adults, and went on to become a professor at the Autonoma University, in Manizales, where he taught English to the Dental school students. While teaching at Colombo Americano, Daniel met his lovely wife Yesenia, and in 1995, they came to the United States together. Daniel found work as an ESL instructional aide, at Mt. San Antonio College.
In 1998, with his new found love of teaching, Daniel was hired to teach ESL and Citizenship at Hacienda La Puente Adult School, where he remained until 2011. It was during this time that he began to embrace technology and all it had to offer his students. He used his ever growing interest to create innovative lessons to engage his students. He began to explore with Smart Board and internet programs, always bringing 21st Century skills to his students. He loves discovering new interactive games that can be used to involve students of all ages to become engaged and enjoy learning. Once adult education began downsizing, Daniel made the difficult decision to leave Hacienda La Puente and move to the San Bernardino Adult School (now Inland Career Education Center), where he has worked as a CBET and ESL teacher since November of 2011.
Now in his fifth year of teaching ESL with the Inland Career Education Center, Daniel has definitely found a permanent teaching home. There, he truly demonstrates what it means to be a 21st Century teacher by regularly incorporating technology into his daily lessons to make learning fun, relevant, and engaging for his ESL students. His exuberant and dynamic personality and love of teaching captivate his audience, be they ESL students or staff members in training workshops. His unique ability for sharing his expertise in technology, and particularly in Smart Board implementation, makes him greatly sought after for professional development sessions for all staff at the Inland Career Education Center.
Being an active member of CCAE since 2013, along with his wife, Yesenia Ceballos, who is also a part-time counselor with ICEC, Daniel can always be found participating in all things CCAE. From fundraising to photographing events for posterity, to packing, delivering, and displaying gift baskets for silent auctions, the Ceballos family gives and gives to our school, our staff and most importantly our students. Daniel's positive attitude, willingness to share his skills and knowledge, along with his warm, encouraging smile have set him apart, and made him a Teacher of Excellence in the field of adult education for the Southern Section this year.