Central Welcomes New Spanish Interpreter, Joice Cecilio


Maddox Tucker

CENTRAL WELCOMES NEW SPANISH INTERPRETER JOICE CECILIO — New Spanish-Interpreter Joice Cecilio working in her office, room D108.

Maddox Tucker, Staff Writer

Central High School is welcoming new Spanish Interpreter, Joice Cecilio (Johnson), to the Central Staff. Cecilio will be working here at Central on Thursdays in room D108 while also working at Harrison Elementary School on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as well as Brown Middle School on Tuesdays.

Cecilio was born in Brazil but later moved to the US and grew up in Aurora, Colorado. Cecilio attended Smoky Hill Highschool where she graduated from in 2011. While in high school Cecilio was a member of both the tennis and lacrosse teams, as well as a member of the band where she played the flute and oboe. She then came to study at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee in 2011 where she majored in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration.

After graduating from Lee University, Cecilio then began a career at the Bradley County Health Department where she worked from August 2016 to December 2019, later transferring to the Hamilton County Health Department in January 2020.

“I held the same position when I worked at both counties which was a Social Counselor 2 for a program now called CHANT (Community health access and navigation in TN) where I focused on clients in the Hispanic communities that were Non-English speaking” explained Cecilio.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Cecilio felt her time at the Health Department had come to an end decided to go into the restaurant industry in January of 2021.  She began working at Rodizio Grill in the Hamilton Place Mall, and she quickly became the supervisor and eventually Front House manager, and before leaving in April of 2021 she was acting as the Assistant General manager.

However, Cecilio decided to get back into working with kids, eventually finding a job of being an interpreter for parents or kids who were non-English speaking. Because Cecilio hadn’t studied for a teaching degree she was limited in career options that allowed her to work with non-English speaking children, but she eventually received an opportunity to work at three different schools with all different age ranges aiding in communication.

“Being an interpreter isn’t just speaking the language and saying just this and that, you are a conduit of the message, I’m invisible, I’m just sending them the message,” explained Cecilio.

Interpreting isn’t just about translating what someone is saying though, an interpreter must be able to show exactly how the person trying to communicate is feeling and the intent behind what they are saying.

“If you’re trying to give an important message, especially to  a parent or students, and when it comes to their future like their grades or their health it’s important to use the right verbiage and the right tone of voice, you can even use the same gestures.” This is an essential job to her and means a lot for the safety, health, and future of students, Cecilio added.