Bulverde Creek Elementary School first-grader Ava Lara loves her principal Daryn Polanco!
“My kid loves going to school every single day. She’s always showing us something she learned and there’s always some special day or event or activity happening that she wants to put on the calendar. Ms. Polanco is a celebrity to her, and we see her unloading kids and smiling every morning. Thank you, guys!!!” – Jeremy Lara, Ava’s father
Is there an educator at your child’s school that makes every day a better day?
As Leslie Plata searched for an internship opportunity, North East ISD was at the top of her wish list. The MacArthur High School graduate is working toward becoming a registered dietitian. Part of that journey includes accumulating internship hours.
She applied to be a dietician intern at NEISD, and to her surprise and delight – she was accepted. She’s been rotating between our cafeterias for the past month, learning the ins and outs of what it takes to feed thousands of students every day.
“Seeing behind the scenes has been really fun for me,” said Plata. “One cool thing about NEISD kitchens is they cook from scratch. People don’t realize these kids are eating really good!”
Plata grew up attending Redland Oaks Elementary School, Driscoll Middle School and MacArthur, where she graduated in 2013.
“I really developed a love for nutrition when I focused on a healthy lifestyle my senior year. Seeing how much nutrition impacted my life, I hope to do that for other people.”
Plata remembers making memories during lunch with her friends and taking theater and drama at MacArthur. She also fondly remembers Teresa Reyna, her former Environmental Systems teacher.
“She’s someone that I definitely remember because representation really matters to me – she was that Latina educator who was really smart and passionate, and I just really enjoyed her class.”
She recently graduated from the University of Incarnate Word with a Nutrition and Dietetics degree. After interning with NEISD, she’ll take her Registered Dietitian exam and officially enter the workforce with yet another great NEISD experience to get her to the next chapter in life.
Valerie Barrera was a freshman when the Legacy of Educational Excellence (LEE) High School softball team made the playoffs in 2000. The next time they made the playoffs (2022-23 season), she was their coach. Barrera could not be prouder of her journey from student-athlete to teacher and coach at North East ISD. She recently recalled how NEISD forever changed her life.
“I grew up as a private school student from grades 1-8. However, when it came time to pick a high school, I always knew I wanted to go to LEE. I grew up a few blocks from the high school. I always loved watching the students walk to class, especially the varsity athletes wearing their letterman jackets. It was something that I aspired to do. As I entered LEE my freshman year, I was filled with excitement and joy. I played multiple sports, made new friends, and created lasting memories I will always treasure. I loved every bit of high school and NEISD. I loved it so much that I decided to be an educator at NEISD. I am currently in my 17th year in education, all in NEISD. I worked as a special education teacher and coach at Garner Middle School for three years. I am now at LEE as a special education teacher and the head softball coach of a program that I was once a part of. When I graduated from college in 2007, I knew coming back to NEISD was the only thing on my mind. But returning to the high school that started it all was a dream come true. I am home and will forever be a LEE Volunteer!”