Student Nomination Story

Hello, my name is Perla Rosas, age 14, enrolled as an 8th grade student at T. J. Rusk Middle School. I would like to nominate my math teacher, Ms. Vargas, as a recipient of this prestigious award. She is well deserving of this award. My first encounter with Ms. Vargas was a teacher who was focused on getting the math work done, and not forming a relationship with the students. I would go into her class, take notes but wasn't really getting anything from the way she taught class. So, then one day Ms. Vargas and I had an opportunity to really get to know each other when I shared with her that I wasn't understanding her teaching style; and I had already failed twice. I told her about my previous teachers and they were not teaching to the way I learned. Ms. Vargas really listened and started to show me visual presentations that went step by step on how to set up and work through each problem. She suggested that I attend small group tutoring and I begin to understand how to work the problems. She continued to monitor my level of understanding through active monitoring and building a relationship with me as well as the rest of the students. Ms. Vargas, my teacher, helped me grow as a person when I shared with her that during my first year of six grade I was in and out of juvenile centers. I had chosen to do grown-up things that was not in my best interest. Therefore, I was sent to a placement center then to rehab. After all of this, I enrolled in Rusk on probation. Ms. Vargas, became my support person of contact. She did not judge me on my past but listened to my story and would tell me that I had made an adult’s choice that was in my past. I felt my future was only about making fast money and that colleges would not accept me because of my record. She did not hold my past against me. She would make me feel comfortable, I could trust her and tell her what I was thinking and feeling. She inspires me to explore new interests and dreams by telling me to stay focused and move out of middle school. Also, she reminds me that I have been in middle school too long and now is the time for me to focus on high school and my dreams. Ms. Vargas looks out for me as well as other students. She is a teacher who repeats over and over, "Get out of high school and go to college!" She is a teacher who tells me street life is not a wise choice but a college education is what will help me fulfill my dreams. Ms. Vargas is my personal counselor, my personal therapist. She tells how life really happens...good and bad. I look forward to going to her class during third period because she goes beyond the academic lesson to helping students with life lessons. It gives me great pleasure to nominate Ms. Vargas for this award. She goes above and beyond to make sure I, Perla Rosas, as well as other students feel a sense of dignity and self-worth. She is my hope for a better way of thinking and making choices that will help me reach my dreams.

Perla Rosas

She helped me become better in math and she helps me to try a lot better. She also has taught me a lot.

Jessica Briones

She helped me become a better person and she taught me a lot of new stuff.

Katherine Cerna

To see more exceptional teacher nominees, visit The Honor Roll.