Texas Governor Greg Abbott commissioned Mission High School’s Sandra Rodriguez a Yellow Rose of Texas, the highest award presented to Texas women who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer and community service. The distinction honors Rodriguez’ extensive contributions to public education through her official positions in local school districts up to the national level through staff development trainings. Rodriguez’ love for learning drives her to always share and help ensure the success of those around her.

“I’ve always provided some kind of training or staff development that reflect the basic knowledge of how to always learn more and to learn from learning itself,” she said. “It humbles me to my core that I can have that type of impact in a student’s life or a teacher’s career that they remember something I taught them so many years ago.”

Her parents instilled in Rodriguez a strong work ethic and stressed the value of an education to break the cycle of working as field hands. She worked as a migrant field worker since the age of nine and has since held various positions in education, from teacher, strategist, assistant principal, coordinator and to her current position as dean of instruction.

“That’s the message I share with my students,” she said. “If I could go from being a migrant farm worker to being degreed and hold this position of Dean of Instruction, then they can do it too.  They can even do MORE than I ever dreamed of.”