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Made in the 956: Edinburg teacher retires after 58 years

4 days 3 hours 57 minutes ago Tuesday, May 14 2024 May 14, 2024 May 14, 2024 2:01 PM May 14, 2024 in News - Local

A Rio Grande Valley educator is doing what she loves, but after nearly 60 years with Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District, she's hanging up her hat. 

This amazing teacher reflected on her time teaching and the legacy she wants to leave behind.

Gloria is a teacher at Economedes High School in Edinburg.

But come next school year, her classroom will look a lot different. Mrs. Perez is retiring after 58 years with the district.

"Well first of all, I'm going to be sad when I go because it's going to be really hard. This is my home. This is where everyone is so nice and so kind, and anytime I need anything, anyone helps me with anything I need. I'm very blessed," Perez said.

Perez teaches English and prepares her students for the annual STAAR test. 

"My greatest accomplishment is when I get kids that come here and come in, and they're like miss, miss, I passed the STAAR," Perez said.

She says after retirement, she also wants to speak up to make some changes at the state level.  

"Because you don't graduate in Texas if you can't pass the STAAR, which I want to change when I go to Austin and speak to all those senators and legislators. That's my dream. I want to take the STAAR test and say my name is Gloria Ann Perez, I've been teaching 58 years, and I'm not leaving this rotunda until all of you take the English 1 STAAR test for me," Perez said.

But before turning that dream into reality, Perez is spending her last week's saying goodbye to the people she's known for decades, like Edinburg CISD Superintendent Dr. Mario Salinas. They first met when he was just a teen. 

"Even as a student, a high school student, she was my teacher, and she hasn't changed one bit," Salinas said. "One of the things as the superintendent, and before that as an assistant superintendent and before that as a high school principal, one of the top priorities for me, in all three roles, is to find good teachers. You can find teachers, but to find good teachers. Gloria, Mrs. Perez, fits that description," Salinas said.

"I mean she serves more than 700 kids, and to do that day in and day out, that requires a lot and another thing i want to mention is, to my knowledge, she has never sent a student to the office," Economedes High School Principal Jesus Mata said. "When you have a teacher that loves what they do and the students admire them and respect them, and they can see that they enjoy their job, you're going to be fine."

"It was an honor working my first full year in the school and Mrs. Perez's last year, so it was an honor working with her. She's a very kind, loving person, and I'm just glad that I was able to be here with her for her last year," Paraprofessional Cassandra Flores said.

Mrs. Perez's lasting legacy is simple, love what you do. 

"If you don't love your job, you're not going to do a good job. You've got to be dedicated. When you're a teacher, you don't know what their home life is. If you listen to them, that could change their whole life. We really are their parents from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We are their family. So, all of you who are thinking about being a teacher, keep going. We need plenty of teachers that care about students. Thank you," Perez said.

Mrs. Gloria Ann Perez, made in the 956. 

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