When it comes to VISD, our first Alumni Spotlight of the new school year is nothing short of an expert. After attending Shields, Juan Linn, and Mitchell Elementary Schools, Howell and Crain Middle Schools, and Victoria High School, Ranella Rodriquez graduated in 1998 from the Profit High School General Education Development (GED) program.
Perseverance is a virtue our #TeamVISD Alumni carries with her still today.
After earning her GED, Rodriquez went on to receive an Associate of Arts Degree from Victoria College, a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education (EC-4) from the University of Houston-Victoria, and her master’s degree in Educational Administration as well as a master’s in Principalship from American InterContinental University.
Rodriquez joined #TeamVISD in 2014 as a 2nd grade teacher at Hopkins Elementary School. She later taught 1st grade at Hopkins as well. She then went on to teach 3rd grade at Chandler Elementary School and 4th grade at O’Connor ACE Elementary School. Before VISD, she taught at Victoria Christian School and Head Start. Today Rodriquez works as an instructional coach at Chandler Elementary. In this position she assists the curriculum department with implementing and supporting classroom teachers’ use of the district curriculum.
Because Rodriquez’s time as a student was primarily spent at VISD, one might wonder why exactly she would decide to come back and spend her professional career in the district as well. To that she says, “I choose to work in this district because this is my hometown and I value building a strong educational system as it supports the overall well-being of the entire community.” She goes on to say, “my years in the district as a student influenced my life by sparking a motivation to inspire low socio-economic students to press on, persevere, and succeed with education as the means to escape hardships.”
One thing that helps inspire and motivate students to press on with their education is partaking in the numerous extracurriculars and activities offered to them. As a student at VISD, Rodriquez enjoyed spending her time engaging in extracurriculars like Universal Interscholastic League (UIL) activities and choir. However, VISD also helped her discover her passion for another activity-reading. “VISD prepared me for my future by allowing me to escape the struggles of life by immersing myself in a love of reading and education,” she says. “Every campus I attended had strong reading programs with incentives that further developed my love of reading and knowledge.”
Though she has, without a doubt, made plenty of memories as a student at VISD, Rodriquez says that her favorite was, “Thursday enchilada days at Victoria High School! Hands down the best I have ever had,” she recalls, “and I guarantee those days had the highest attendance of the week.”
As a staff member, though, Rodriquez shares that her favorite memory is of a student of hers saying they want to come back to her class. “Knowing they would choose me again reminds me of the impact I made in their lives,” she says.
When asked about a teacher, coach, or adult who left the largest impact on her life, however, the choice is easy for Rodriquez. “It is hands down my mother Cheryl Rodriquez. She showed me what it meant to be a strong, God-dependent, perseverance-driven woman,” she says. “I learned from her the value of hard work, focus, and most importantly, faith. Without her influence, I would not be the person I am today.”
Rodriquez leaves current VISD students with words she’d like them to remember. “You are loved...you have a purpose and most importantly, you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. You cannot control every situation in life,” she adds, “but you can decide what your future will be. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Every choice either supports or distances you from your goals, so choose wisely.”
Thank you Ranella for being a part of #TeamVISD. You help guide students and your campus by inspiring teaching and empowering learning!