MAS Law would like to celebrate Leslie Rodriguez, our newest MASter Teacher Award recipient. Her nomination stated, “Having a growth mindset is key in perfecting her craft.” Once meeting Mrs. Rodriguez, I couldn’t agree more with that statement. Hearing her exceed expectations, go above and beyond for her students and their families, and continually look to find opportunities for her students to succeed proved that to be true.
After graduating from Mesquite ISD, Mrs. Rodriguez first attended Dallas College East Field; then, she transferred to the University of Texas in Arlington, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. When dipping her toes into juvenile and adult justice, she found the opportunity to give more to our community and our society in the educational system. By exceeding expectations and setting high standards, she received the First-Class Teacher Award for her campus at Mesquite ISD, as well as being recognized for coming in 1st place in the district with 100% of her 6th grade students passing the STAAR test.
Being born and raised in the DFW area doesn’t mean life was always easy. Mrs. Rodriguez’s parents emigrated from Mexico, and her father went as far as working three jobs to be sure his family was well taken care of. Working with bilingual students, Mrs. Rodriguez has been able to use her own life experiences to relate to them on a deeper, personal level. She is an example that if you set goals, you can achieve them no matter the circumstance.
In addition to Mrs. Rodriguez’s amazing aptitude for relating to her students, she extends her hand to parents to give them resources to better help their child succeed in school, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to see them grow. For example, if a student’s mother is having a difficult time helping her child with homework, Mrs. Rodriguez will create booklets and work packets for the parent to better understand it as well.
When COVID-19 made its appearance, Mrs. Rodriguez and her team were quick on their feet to create lessons, interactive activities over the computer, and maintain the mental stability of her students and herself. From time to time, the teachers and the students would join Google Meet to play “Loteria Mexicana” just to keep social interaction alive.
This past year, Mrs. Rodriguez took the roll as the Campus Intervention Specialist at Floyd Elementary in Mesquite, Texas. She uses data from the state assessment to pinpoint what needs to be worked on to benefit the students and enhance their learning experience. Mrs. Rodriguez also uses the assessments to begin the process of identifying dyslexic, gifted, and students with specific learning disabilities. She implements accommodations for her students and seeks opportunities for them to succeed. From making a difference in just one classroom a year to an entire campus, Mrs. Rodriguez is ready for the new year.
The drive to see her students receive the best education is prevalent throughout Mrs. Rodriguez’s work. Being able to witness the excitement and enthusiasm in her voice as she described the ways that she motivates and relates to her students, it’s obvious why she had so many nominations: Mrs. Rodriguez practices what she teaches, showing her students that with the right mindset, you can be unstoppable. Thank you, Leslie Rodriguez, for going the extra mile to ensure our students receive the best education possible.
To nominate a teacher that has made an impact on your life, please visit us at www.mas.law/master-teacher/.