Becky Fajardo, the OG, One and Only, GOAT

“Be Positive.”

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Paula Le, Editor

When you needed ice, Becky was there. When you forgot to stretch your muscles, Becky was scolding you–sort of. When you got a concussion, Becky was around the corner prepared. Becky, known for wearing a red cap in a ponytail, has played a vital role in every athlete’s life.

“A memory I will never forget is how if I would cramp up during a game, she would just give a hard time (in a playful way)…We would laugh about my pain together,” MiaBella Sainz, soccer player, recounts.

Becky is known for being Sahuaro’s athletic trainer and Sports Medicine teacher. Being a Cougar since 2001 (21 years), her one-of-a-kind character is like no other. At first glance and getting to know Becky, there is no doubt she is passionate about her job, her classes, students, and athletes. “Honestly I love teaching, but to see them actually understand something is what I enjoy. Especially when you see the light bulb go off when they understand how a muscle functions or an injury.”

Becky and Sabino’s Athletic Trainer, Connie Weaver, at 2021’s Sabino vs. Sahuaro Varsity Football Game. (Michelle Gonzalez)

Although having a Cougar injured is heart-aching to see, giving a treatment can be oddly satisfying. Becky admits how she finds the most joy in giving athletes ice baths. For context, Becky has big tubs where she fills them up with ice and water so students’ bodies can be submerged in at 50 degrees. She expresses her delight when athletes realize how cold the bath is, but for them to recognize the “why’s” behind what they’re doing is the important part. “They might be screaming and not be very happy, but they still do it.”

Being Sahuaro’s ace for over two decades has been a journey, but with much sorrow, Becky will be saying farewell this year. “I have pride as an athletic trainer and providing the best care at Sahuaro, but there are some things in my life that takes things away, and I feel that if I can’t give them the care that they need to be out there, then somebody else should.”

Looking back at her time here at school, Becky voiced her appreciation for everyone. From her co-workers, somebody in the office, or an athlete. “From the best person on the team versus the last person to make the team, I care about them all and the relationships that you build. Being able to see the kids in the classroom and learn and to see a kid go from a freshman year volleyball player to their senior year and having those connections.”

Becky looking fabulous, as always. (TUSD)

An important lesson she has learned is to adapt particularly in times like today. There are no constants in life, you just gotta keep pushing and make the most of it. Being able to be positive consistently has been the biggest accomplishment for Becky. The moment her kids walk into her classroom, Becky makes sure to say “Happy Monday” or “Happy Tuesday” depending on the day. “You don’t know what’s going on in that kid’s life and that might be the one happy thing that happens to them during the day. But if you can be that positive person to them, then that might make them have a better outlook on their day.”

It may seem Becky will be far from our reach, but she got a job at Pima Community College! Rest assured that Becky will visit Sahuaro. She already has dates marked on her calendar to attend games, and I invited her to the senior side.

Coach Botkin conveys his gratitude for all Becky has done for him, his family, and Sahuaro. “I am going to miss her as a colleague… She is amazing. Our friendship will never end, but I am going to really miss seeing her on campus every day. You are going to be sorely missed.” Lia Ghirardi, soccer player, recalls Becky helping her through one of her roughest injuries, and she did everything in her power to get Lia back on the field.

Principal Estrella and Becky have made it a contest to see which person can say “good morning” first. Coach Kruszewski talks about how working with Becky for the past 20 years has been an honor. He sees Becky as a friend and is proud of Becky and her new opportunity. “Best of luck to you Becky!” As cheesy as it sounds, I’ll personally never forget when Becky wrapped my left foot after soccer practice or looking for my chicken keychain after a basketball game. It’s moments like this we cherish forever in our hearts.

Becky and the Girls Soccer Team

To all the students, coaches, and Cougars in general, Becky encourages you to make the most out of what you can and be positive. Don’t ever give up.

Her expertise, advice, and guidance will be missed. Becky’s energy lifted those around her subconsciously. Becky has created a place of security and comfort, and she has built a family of all Cougars. Becky will forever be the backbone of Sahuaro.

We love you, Becky. Your legacy here has made an immense impact, and it has been a great pleasure to have you as a mentor, a friend, and a family member. No matter where you go Becky, Sahuaro will eternally be your home.