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Why #WeAchieveTogether: Teacher Mary Rengifo

October 02, 2019 - Employee Excellence

Why #WeAchieveTogether is a weekly blog from our Achievement Schools. It highlights the outstanding work of our staff and the high quality programs that help our students succeed.

Mary Rengifo is a kindergarten teacher at Frost Elementary School.

I love my job. I love getting to come to work and being with my students. My second family is at Frost Elementary School.

In Kindergarten we teach the foundational skills—how to hold a pencil, how to cut with scissors, how to write, the letters and their sounds. We teach students reading, and we sometimes start from scratch and go all the way up, and to see them achieve it, it’s a joy to celebrate with them.

When parents come in at conference time and we can show them where the student started and where they are now, the parents light up! That is why I’m here, to help the students and to teach them. When their parents are behind them, encouraging them and working with them at home, and the teachers here are doing the same, we work hand-in-hand so that our students thrive.

I had a little boy in my class a few years ago from Nigeria, and his mom came to the second parent teacher conference with tears in her eyes saying that he was coming home and helping teach her the English language. She was so thankful. That made me cry because what I’m teaching him, he is now going home and teaching his mom. The impact I have on the students brightens my day and gives me something to look forward to every day wondering what they are going to learn.

The district has provided a lot of resources to Achievement Schools, which we are very thankful for. We are a “B” school, and next year we are striving to be an “A” school. Our goal is to help our students to thrive, keep the parents involved and to reach that “A” school status. 

This is Why #WeAchieveTogether.

Do you know a dedicated Achievement Schools leader, teacher, staff or community member who you would like to see featured in Why #WeAchieveTogether? To nominate someone, contact Kendra Oestreich, Communications:

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Are you ready to lead, teach and inspire at Frost Elementary School? Come join us, Teach in Tampa! For more information and to apply, visit