Goodbye and Thank You: Mrs. Rodriguez


Sierra Blaser, Editor

This year, Sahuaro is saying farewell to many of our beloved faculty members. One of the teachers leaving at the end of the year is Kate Rodriguez, who teaches beginning and intermediate art, as well as ceramics. This year marks her fifth and final year at Sahuaro as she plans to move on to new opportunities as the main art teacher at Holladay Fine Arts Magnet School.

Mrs. Rodriguez stated, “My decision to leave Sahuaro was a tough one. Mostly, it is due to my commute. I live in Sahuarita, and for the past five years I have been driving an hour each way. Not only is this getting incredibly expensive due to the rising price of gas, but I also have five children still living at home, all active in sports, the arts, and extracurricular activities, and the hour commute causes me to miss out on a lot of time with them.”

While she’s excited to explore a new job, she does feel a bit anxious about switching back to teaching elementary kids.   “[I’m] a little nervous about switching back to teaching little guys after ten years of teaching high school,” she said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity and only 18 minutes from my house!”

While reflecting on her time at Sahuaro, Rodriguez stated that her “favorite memories do not revolve around singular events, rather daily interactions with students.” She continued giving examples, explaining, “I have celebrated with students after they have been clean from drugs for an entire year, when they earn acceptance to the school of their dreams, when they get that job at Peter Piper or Eegees, or when they pass that class they thought they would surely fail. I have had the pleasure of watching them surprise and impress themselves when they produce artwork they never thought they had the capacity to create.” Rodriguez even joked that her students have taught her “words like “mid” and “sus.” The connections that she has made with Sahuaro students are ones that will impact her forever, from helping students deal with their troubles at home and in relationships to what nail shape and color she recommends. “I have had so much fun getting to know them, joking around with them, and hearing their stories,” she said about those she’s taught. “They have explained their viewpoints on things they have had to deal with each day, which has actually given me insights that have made me a better mom to my own teenagers. I will miss them tremendously!”