Teacher at Thomas J. Rusk Middle School in Dallas "Honored" by National Organization

Receives $5,000 award and story by legendary Dallas journalist Lee Cullum

WASHINGTON, DC - August 1, 2018

Adelina Vargas, a math teacher at Thomas J. Rusk Middle School in Dallas, Texas, has been given the prestigious national Honored teaching award for August.  As part of her honor, Vargas received a $5,000 cash award and a $1,000 DonorsChoose.org gift card, and had her story composed by Lee Cullum, a legendary Dallas journalist and host of KERA’s CEO series.

Vargas is being recognized for her work with eighth grader Perla Rosas, who had bounced from juvenile detention, to foster care, and to rehab before landing at Thomas J. Rusk School.  At Rusk, Vargas helped Perla re-imagine her life and its possibilities. As Perla says,

I had chosen to do grown-up things that were not in my best interest.  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.  She did not hold my past against me. She would make me feel comfortable, and I could trust her and tell her what I was thinking and feeling.

Vargas is committed not only to ensuring that students like Perla excel in math but also that they develop the character and life skills to help them succeed in high school, college, and beyond.  “Teaching is not only making sure a student achieves academic success but also develops qualities the world needs, like empathy, love, and tolerance,” says Vargas.

Vargas’ ability to support her students’ academic and personal growth alike has made all the difference for Perla, who wrote in her nomination of Vargas for the Honored award:

“Ms. Vargas is my personal counselor, my personal therapist.  I look forward to going to her class because she goes beyond the academic lesson to helping students with life lessons.  She goes above and beyond to make sure I 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.”

Read the full story of Adelina Vargas and Perla at www.honored.org/honoree/adelina-vargas.

About Honored

Honored is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping great teachers in the classroom and to inspiring a new generation of talent to pursue teaching.  Each month, Honored shines a spotlight on a teacher who has changed the life of a single student.  The Honoree receives a $5,000 cash award, and Honored partners with a world-class writer to tell their story.  Honorees are selected from K-12 teachers of all subjects at public, private and charter schools across the country.  Honored’s National Advisory Board includes luminaries such as the internationally best-selling author Michael Lewis, DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best, Teach For America founder Wendy Kopp, and FEED cofounder Lauren Bush Lauren.

For more information about Honored, visit honored.org.  For regular updates on Honored and our monthly Honorees, follow and like us on facebook.com/Honored.org, twitter.com/honored and instagram.com/honored.

Honored Press Contact

Katherine Boone