Rodriguez brings passion to teaching



In contrast to her own high school experience, math teacher Lisa Rodriguez works to make sure that all of her students feel valued. Rodriguez has been a teacher at the high school for eight years.

Her laugh and vibrancy echo throughout the first floor math hallway, spreading her care and compassion for all students at the high school far and wide, no matter their skin color, gender, sexuality or ability.
Lisa Rodriguez has become a strong voice within these walls, and her passion for teaching and helping students has shown everyone in the building what it really takes to be not only a teacher, but also a strong leader.
Math teacher Lisa Rodriguez, more widely known as Ms. Rod among students and faculty, is the Co-Coordinator of the Calculus Project and currently teaches Algebra II Honors and Trig and Analysis. Rodriguez started her journey working as a teacher at the high school eight years ago.
Rodriguez said that, she cares about her students and wants to be there for all of them.
“Because I felt like I was ignored in the classroom, like I was just a lamp in my own high school, I really want everyone to feel valued. I try to get to know every single student in my room,” Rodriguez said.
Math teacher Chloe Woolever appreciates how multi-faceted Rodriguez is.
“What stands out about Ms. Rod is her patience for her students and how she wants to help them,” Woolever said. “Or if they’re being energetic or crazy, she is just able to match that. She’s just so positive.”
When Rodriguez was in college, even though she hadn’t liked math in high school, she knew that she wanted to be a teacher. She tried everything from chemistry to English to history, but nothing was the perfect fit for her. She decided to give math another shot and never looked back. She realized that she didn’t have to be like her previous teachers, who had just talked at students, standing at the board and not actually getting to know them. She realized that she could be whatever kind of teacher she wanted.
“What makes her so successful is that she is able to build such strong relationships with students so that when she sets high expectations for them, they just want to meet those expectations for her,” Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator Joshua Paris said.
As Co-Coordinator of the Calculus Project, a project where students of color are given the support and help that is needed to be in higher level math classes if they have not had the chance to do so before, Rodriguez has been able to help set even more students up for success.
Rodriguez not only gets to know her students on a mathematical level, but also on a personal one by learning each individual’s hobbies and interests. Rodriguez attributes her patience,compassion and spirit to the school as a whole. Rodriguez said the high school has given her the room to grow and be as creative as she desires to be.
“One reason why she’s so successful at being a leader of this school is the same reason that she’s successful with her students,” Paris said. “She is just so authentic. She doesn’t play games. She doesn’t try to manipulate people. She just is who she is, and she says it the way she believes it. I think people respect that.”