Griselda Rodríguez is the Senior Manager of Operations at Deans for Impact. Prior to joining DFI, she worked in project coordination at one of the largest school districts in Texas. She coordinated the district’s largest annual event and increased its attendance to more than 11,000 attendees in addition to other high-profile district-wide events. Most recently, she led the district’s LGBTQ+ Affinity Group which focused on supporting 129 campuses with tools for LGBTQ+ awareness and to help create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all students.

Why did you start working in education?

As cliche as it sounds, today’s youth are our future – we must ensure that they have not only a quality education but all the support they require to be good citizens with a successful future. There is much work to be done in education beyond academics; it’s ensuring that we’re creating a safe and supportive learning environment. From diverse professionals to inclusive environments and equitable resource distribution to advocating for high-need support systems. While this work may never reach perfection there is ample time to analyze and evaluate current systems with an innovative angle to capitalize on strengths and identify areas of improvement.

Why were you excited to join Deans for Impact?

A provider always has to have a support system. Teachers provide students with an education for a successful future but teachers must also be provided with adequate tools from day one. Having the opportunity to join an organization that is transforming educator preparation programs to ensure that every novice teacher is good on day one was an opportunity I could not let slip by. I’m confident that the daily grain of sand I provide will contribute to something much larger with a deep impact on teacher preparedness through the work Deans for Impact is doing.

Why do Deans for Impact's guiding principles ring true for you?

I’m very passionate about always finding solutions, learning from our experiences, and improvise on what we have. One of our core values is to always seek solutions and when I kept hearing the phrase “everything is a prototype” I literally had big heart eyes. There’s a Latin phrase I’m very fond of – “Aut viam inveniam aut faciam” – which translates to, “I will either find a way or make one,” and I’m honored to work for an organization that does just that.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Mr. Delgado was my ESL teacher in middle school and had a major role in my learning of the English language. Having lived and attended school up to fourth grade in Mexico I was determined to return by not learning English when my parents ‘forced’ me to move to Texas. Mr. Delgado was very stern and strategic in his teaching. Not only did he have high standards for all the students but held us accountable for our work and made us cognizant of the repercussions our actions had. He was always determined to make us see our potential and remind us of such on a daily basis. Although after a while it became annoying to hear him repeat the same thing over and over it became apparent, at least to me, that he genuinely cared about the students, our choices, and success academically and personally. He was definitely a big factor in me forcing myself to put forth effort in learning English.

What's your favorite food truck and why?

Halal Time in East Austin. It’s the best comfort food for any situation plus falafel makes life better.

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