“If you love your work, you will be out there every day trying to do it the best you possibly can, and pretty soon everybody around will catch the passion from you – like a fever.” ~ Sam Walton, founder of Walmart
This year’s 2021 RGV LEAD Counselor of the Year is the epitome of a Career & Technical Education counselor. She enthusiastically tends to the tasks at hand with the same vigor and vitality she experienced on her first day of work as a CTE counselor thirteen years ago. Throughout her tenure as a CTE counselor, she has been known to utilize her expertise in Spanish to translate CTE terminology. Her expertise is due, partly, because she was teaching Spanish for ten years prior to becoming a CTE counselor.
When asked to take on new CTE projects, this dedicated counselor analyzes the projects, strategies how to do them, and then runs with them! She recruited and organized the first RGV LEAD Ambassador team in her district which consists of four high schools. She ensured that the students actively participated in the RGV LEAD Ambassador regional leadership development conferences and practiced the skills at their high school.
In addition, this outstanding counselor has served as a regional district coordinator for the RGV LEAD’s Academic Leadership Alliance Externship program. The teacher summer externship program has required the highly organized counselor, who also has a certificate in educational supervision, to keep records of other teachers’ externship hours, logbooks, and lesson plan creations. She gladly hosted the sessions for product development of lessons for several years at her high school, she went above and beyond and RGV LEAD feels blessed to have had her as a coordinator for A.L.A.
Rachel also ensures that her students attend RGV LEAD’s annual Education & Career EXPO every year; an event that features local employers and programs of study from various college and universities.
Like educators across the nation, the 2020 school year was presented with challenges because of the COVID pandemic. That did not stop this dedicated counselor from rising to the occasion by ensuring that her CTE staff and students would receive the best education possible despite the in-person set-backs. She put into practice what Oprah Winfrey once said, “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
We honor CTE counselor Rachel Rodriguez Garza from Johnny G. Economedes High School in Edinburg CISD, as the 2021 RGV LEAD Counselor of the Year.