Nuri Rodriguez believes her father is the best role model a child could have.
The first-year kindergarten teacher at Christian Park School 82 grew up listening and watching her father, Dr. Arturo Rodriguez, teach classes at the K-12 level. It didn’t take long for her to make up her mind about her career path.
“By the time junior year of high school came around, I had to stop kidding myself. I wanted to be an educator! What could be more prestigious than fighting for children, their experiences, success, and growth?”
She believes that her father served as a great role model, pointing out that the elder Rodriquez came to the Midwest as a first‑generation Puerto Rican, learned how to thrive in American culture, went to college, and started a teaching first grade in Las Vegas as his daughter took her first steps.
Over the years, Arturo had several stops and is now the coordinator of the Newcomer Program based at Northwest Middle School. The program is designed to educate students for a year, improving their English and preparing for them for their transition into traditional IPS schools.
“I admired how my dad could devote so much time to his students to ensure positive experiences and multiple resources for academic and personal growth, and still be the best dad on the block to his family,” Nuri said. I wanted to have an impact on my students’ life like my dad was–and still is–to his students. I will say, though, he made it look much easier and smoother than it really is.”
But like the typical proud father, Arturo won’t take all the credit, referring to several IPS teachers who may have played a role.
“I believe it was the connections that Nuri made with two former IPS teachers – Mrs. Para Lee Gale and Mrs. Jodie Rodgers – that supported her decision and gave her the confidence to one day teach and inspire the next generation of IPS scholars,” he said. “Yes, I may have been a role‑model but like Nuri, I too, was guided by the likes of great teachers/mentors in Mrs. Gale and Mrs. Rodgers.
“I feel extremely proud to see Nuri working for IPS. She has a great future, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one day she’s leading a school building. As a parent and teacher, one of my hopes is that all of my kids become the people they want to be and choose the lives they want to live.”