Wednesday morning, officials with the Socorro Independent School District announced their recognition a group of educators who are retiring after serving many devoted years of service the district.
“They have been vital members to the district as loyal teachers, support staff, office staff, administrators and more,” Socorro ISD officials shared. “They have made connections and daily interactions with their students and many have witnessed former students return to SISD with children of their own.”
District officials say that this dedicated group of individuals are looking forward to spending time with their families or even returning to the classroom as substitute teachers.
In their years of service at SISD, they have educated thousands of students, offered guidance and support, and led the path to endless opportunities.
The 2019-20 SISD retirees are:
Rosario Rojas, Socorro High School, Teacher
Rojas dedicated 32 years to the district. Throughout the years, she loved seeing her students succeed after overcoming barriers. Rojas said she will never forget a high school student who earned the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship despite facing language, socio-economic and single parenthood challenges.
Cheryl Lea Becknell Patterson, Montwood High School, Teacher
Patterson served SISD for 15 years. During her time at Montwood High School, she won the well-regarded Teacher of the Year title. Patterson plans to focus on completing two books she started writing. One is about her time in the military and the second is about cats.
Criselda Gonzales, Socorro High School, Paraprofessional
Gonzales was with SISD for 30 years and had a career full of special moments. She learned lessons from her coworkers and teachers every day. Gonzales plans to take her much-deserved time in retirment to enjoy her family and take care of her health.
Maria E. Quijas, Hueco Elementary School, Paraprofessional
Quijas worked hard in SISD for 40 years and will always remember the feeling of joy she experienced when witnessing her former students return with children of their own. She has many loving memories of Hueco Elementary and, now, is looking forward to spending quality time with her grandchildren.
Maria M. Marquez, Escontrias Elementary School, Cross Guard
Marquez diligently worked to ensure the safety of students as they arrived to school in the morning and left in the afternoon for 32 years. She constantly maintained a positive attitude and spread happiness. Marquez said she will miss getting to interact with students every day.
Rosa Elia Reyna, William D. Slider, Child Nutrition Services employee
Reyna served SISD for 20 years ensuring students received the meals and nutrition they needed to learn and grow. She especially loved seeing the smiles of students every day. Now, she looks forward to continuing her happiness and being surrounded by her family.
Marielena Rodriguez, Sierra Vista Elementary School, Paraprofessional
Rodriguez was with SISD for 22 years. During her tenure in the district, she loved seeing her students succeed and reach new levels of success. Although Rodriguez is retiring, she plans to return to Team SISD as a substitute teacher.
Lisa M. Noe, El Dorado High School, Assistant Principal
Noe worked for SISD for 25 years, serving in various roles in the district. She worked in the Special Education department, at Socorro High School, and at El Dorado High School. Her favorite memory is seeing her students’ faces light up while they competed in the annual Spring Games at the Student Activities Complex.
Ida Estrada, Desert Wind School, Teacher
Estrada dedicated 36 years to SISD. One of those special years was when she earned the Desert Wind School Teacher of the Year award. Estrada said she will miss her students the most but hopes to stay in contact with them and hear about the amazing things they accomplish in their lifetimes.
Irene Teran, Americas High School, Ensor Middle School, Speech Language Pathologist
Teran assisted students for 31 years in Team SISD. She will never forget when she witnessed one of her students overcome a speech impediment and tell his mom that he loved her for the first time. Teran now plans to enjoy retirement and spend time on self-enrichment.
Margaret Ann Gutierrez, El Dorado High School, Teacher
Gutierrez worked as an educator in SISD for 15 years. She spent her time making her students and coworkers laugh and creating connections that will last a lifetime. Gutierrez plans to spend more time with her dog, Sabino, and hopes to teach at UTEP.
Alberto Chavez, Col. John O. Ensor Middle, Teacher
Chavez spent 23 years with SISD. He said he will miss seeing his students’ faces once they grasp a new concept and the faces of his coworkers after they made an impact on their students. Now, he will work on educating his own children and creating music on his YouTube channel, “En Clave de Si Mayor.”
Anthony Kelly, Montwood High School, Teacher
Kelly spent 16 years working for Team SISD, spreading his love of the English language and coaching soccer. He fondly remembers one student at Montwood High School, who originally did not apply himself but remedied his behavior and managed to succeed. Years later he came back as a man in a U.S. Marine uniform to share his story with Kelly’s class and to encourage students to do their best in school.
Elena Leticia Soria, Child Nutrition Services
Soria dedicated 33 years to Team SISD. Early in her career, she realized that there is no such thing as, “only a cafeteria lady.” Since students looked to her as an authority figure, she held herself accountable to looking out for their wellbeing and made it a point to create a nurturing environment. She was devoted to her job, the CNS department and SISD schools.
Maria J. Sanchez, Transportation
Sanchez spent 22 years helping the students of SISD and watching magnificent sunrises every day as she went to work. Her favorite memory is her time spent with the Pre-K children. One year, on the last day of school, she dropped off a little girl who quickly rushed back to the bus. The student gave her a stone, telling her to keep it and that they would be best friends forever and ever.