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BHP's Teresa Isarraraz Named WISD's April "Texan of the Month"

May 2, 2024

Blue Hole Primary English as a Second Language (ESL) Aide, Teresa Isarraraz, is the April recipient of the district's "Texan of the Month" honor - Wimberley ISD's (WISD) employee recognition program.

Texan of the Month honorees are nominated by WISD co-workers for positively exemplifying the district's vision of: Excellence, Innovation, Service.

teresa isarrarazMrs. Isarraraz, or Mrs. I, as the BHP students call her, has been with WISD for four years as an ESL Aide, working mostly with students who are learning the English language and need additional support. Generally she works with native Spanish speakers, but has even worked with a student from Ukraine who only spoke Russian! Mrs. Isarraraz said she was shocked to receive the honor, "Never did I expect this honor to be bestowed upon me," she shared. "I come in every day hoping to just make a small difference in my kids' lives and provide them with opportunities to learn and strive to be the best they can be". 

Mrs. Isarraraz was nominated by BHP teacher Maria Montes, who shared a touching story about Mrs. I connecting with a student on a personal level. The student was a second-grader who was struggling to complete his homework, partly because his support system at home was struggling with the language barrier. Ms. Montes wrote on her nomination:

"(Mrs. I) got the student to start a routine of doing his homework and turning it in on time. In return, she promised the student a "surprise". Mrs. I had noticed he loved Pokemon, so she got him a surprise related to that. When she gave the student that surprise, he had the biggest smile and was thrilled. This story was not about giving students gifts so that they turn in homework, but it is about how a teacher gets to know their students and their home situation enough to understand what will work for them. The student learned motivation and learned that doing his homework was an expectation he could achieve. Stories like this of student support are common in Mrs. I's classroom. She works hard to help our Emergent Bilingual (EB) students be as successful as they can be." 

Mrs. I continues with the story: "The student she mentioned had no home support, but tons of potential. Every day we worked on reading, and he would bring me his homework so that I could review it and ensure that I was aware he had completed it. He had a goal and with hard work and effort, despite all the things stacked against him, he accomplished his goal and got his prize. When he moved on to the 3rd grade we both cried tears of joy and a bit of sadness, because we knew that our reading afternoons were over but that he was ready to stand on his own two feet."  

Mrs. I, whose husband frequently serves as a WISD substitute and is endearingly called Mr. I, says she is motivated at work by seeing her students succeed, "I just want my students to understand the importance of not giving up and working hard towards their goals. When they achieve those goals, such as when they are able to read fluently or simply keep up in class and that smile appears on their faces, I'm there to witness it and cheer them on."

Along with the honor of being named Texan of the Month, each award recipient receives a $250 cash gift from a community sponsor, as well as a certificate to receive a free massage from the Wimberley Med Spa and a gift certificate for a free service from Salon Divino. April's cash sponsor was Kyle's Cabinets. Recipients also receive a custom "Texan of the Month" coin, generously provided by Darren Masur with Centex Recognition.

teresa isarraraz with dr bonewaldWISD Superintendent Dr. Greg Bonewald with Texan of the Month, Teresa Isarraraz

 

Mrs. Isarraraz with kyle's cabinets

Mrs. Isarraraz poses with representatives from April's Texan of the Month Sponsor - Kyle's Cabinets

Mrs. Isarraraz with salon divino

Mrs. Isarraraz poses with Marbella Cruz and Hilda Arevalo of Salon Divino.