Kaley Relaz – 2021-2022 Fellow

Kaley Relaz – Special Education at Acero: Brighton Park – Chicago, IL

Kaley is a Chicagoland-grown teacher and foodie. After graduating from Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s in Education, she traveled to Costa Rica to receive her TEFL Certificate. In the following years, she taught English to kids and adults in Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Chicago. These experiences fueled her love and passion for all means through which we connect with each other, but mostly through language and, of course, food! Upon returning home, she accepted an ESL Resource public school teaching position in Bellwood, Illinois in 2015. During her time in Bellwood, one of her proudest achievements was spearheading the addition of a large garden and after-school garden club to the school community. Students, teachers, families, and community members planted, cared for, harvested (and ate!) all kinds of fruits and vegetables as a community. It was a beautiful experience that will forever bring joy to her, and she hopes everyone who is able to will interact with that space.

Meanwhile, she was earning her LBS1 and Spanish Bilingual Certificate from National Louis University. In 2018, she accepted a position at Brighton Park Acero School as a Special Education Teacher. She loves her Brighton Park community, and she is thrilled to now be a Fellow with Pilot Light. With this opportunity, she feels excited and more equipped to build her second community garden alongside others in the community, and merge her loves of teaching diverse learners and making connections through language and food.

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