Rose Avalos has dedicated close to 50 years to the Aldine community, 33 as an educator and 13 as a school board trustee.
On Sunday, Oct. 27, the Aldine community thanked her for her many years of service and dedication to its students and staff by holding a dedication ceremony in her honor at the district’s newest high school that bears her name, the Rose M. Avalos Pathways In Technology Early College High School.
A standing room only crowd of colleagues, family members, friends and former co-workers attended the event and heard from a number of speakers who praised Ms. Avalos for her dedicated service to Aldine’s students and staff over the last 46 years.
Ms. Avalos moved to Aldine when she was two months old and attended Aldine schools. She was a member of the second graduating class of MacArthur High School (1968), and then earned a bachelor of arts degree and a master’s degree from Sam Houston State University.
Ms. Avalos began her career in Aldine in 1972 as a teacher at Stovall Middle School. She also taught at MacArthur High School and served as a counselor at Hambrick and Grantham middle schools. Additionally, she was a program director overseeing bilingual, ESL and foreign language, an assistant principal at MacArthur High School and the first principal of Escamilla Intermediate School. She returned to her alma mater, MacArthur High School, and served as the principal for 11 years before retiring in 2005. When named principal of MacArthur, Ms. Avalos became the first woman to serve as a comprehensive high school principal in Aldine ISD, opening doors for those who came after her.
In 2002 and 2003, she was named AISD Principal of the Year by her peers.
After retiring, she was elected to the Position 3 seat on the Aldine ISD Board of Trustees, where she has held all four board offices and chaired numerous committees.
In addition to her service on the Board, Ms. Avalos volunteers in the community and is a friend to many. Ms. Avalos was chosen as a member of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Leadership Class of 2014. She also serves as a State Director for the Texas Association of School Boards and is a member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the North Harris County Association of Retired Teachers and School Professionals.
Ms. Avalos credited her parents, Jenaro and Martha Avalos, with providing her the drive to succeed in life from her humble beginnings.
“Standing with me would by my parents, Jenaro and Martha Avalos whose unconditional love and support have inspired me all of my life,” she said. “They are no longer with us but are her in spirit and I carry them in my heart.”
Ms. Avalos shared with the audience how she grew up in a small four-room house, sharing a bedroom with two brothers and a sister. She knew at an early age that she wanted to be a teacher and played school during the summer, luring her siblings and friends to serve as her students.
She thanked Aldine for providing her the many opportunities she has been afforded in her life.
“I am a reflection of God’s blessings, my family, my friends, relationships and my mentors,” Ms. Avalos said. “This afternoon you heard about some things that I have accomplished in Aldine, but I have a very different perspective. What I see is what Aldine has done for me. It gave this shy, quiet little girl with big eyes and pigtails hope and value. It gave me a solid education that helped me be successful in college. It gave me my first real job as a teacher and over a span of 33 years it gave me so many opportunities to work and grow professionally. But, best of all it has given me such wonderful lifelong friends. It has cemented in me the hope and value of the power of education and what it can do for an individual.”
She challenged Avalos P-TECH Principal Diana Del Pilar and her students to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that are ahead of them.
“To Diana Del Pilar, I have full confidence in your leadership and ability to build an instructional program that will carry the students to their full potential; to the staff I have the fullest respect and gratitude for you having chosen to teach here and for accepting the challenge of initiating such a new program.
“To the students of the first class, I want to say this to you. This school may have my name on it, but it doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to you, your teachers, administrators and support staff, your parents, your community and to every future student that walks through its doors. This first class is going to set the standards for all future classes to come. Students take care of your school, respect and honor it and if you take the positive things that it is going to offer you, you will succeed and prosper.”
She closed her remarks by thanking her fellow Board members and the Aldine ISD Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney.
“I want to express my thanks and appreciation to the sitting board for this honor. Thank you Dr. Goffeny, Dr. (Selina) Chapa and the executive leadership team and area superintendents for your continued work for the children of Aldine. Thanks to everyone here for you have all had an impact on my life. I have been blessed in so many ways and I am so grateful, grateful for being able to work at what I was meant to do.”
Sheleah Reed, Aldine ISD Chief Communications Officer, delivered the welcome. The MacArthur High School JROTC presented the colors and Avalos student Jesus Puente lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas flag.
Father Charles Samperi, pastor of St. James The Apostle Catholic Church, delivered the invocation.
Avalos Principal Diana Del Pilar spoke on behalf of the Avalos staff.
“It is with great pride that I welcome each of you to this distinguished occasion in which we have come together to dedicate Aldine’s newest high school to Ms. Rose Avalos, in honor of the many years of planting, sowing and reaping she has done into the lives of Aldine’s youth,” she said. “Ms. Avalos, thank you for your many years of continued service to the Aldine community as one of our school board members. You truly are a strong role model.”
Following Pilar’s remarks, Aldine’s Mariachi Acero de Aldine performed two songs, which was followed by special presentations from State Rep. Armando Walle and Dr. Gerlad Fernandez Napoles, president of Lone Star College-North Harris.
Walle presented Ms. Avalos with a proclamation from the Texas House of Representatives. She also received proclamations from U.S. Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee and Sylvia Garcia, a proclamation from State Senator Carol Alvarado, and a proclamation from Harris County Precinct 1 County Commissioner Rodney Ellis.
“We are here to honor the life and dedication to one special person, Rose Avalos,” Walle said. “I want to honor her legacy and her work in our community.”
Following those presentations, a video was shown to the audience where a number of former colleagues shared their sentiments about Ms. Avalos.
Board President Steve Mead then accepted the school on behalf of the Board of Trustees.
“Rose has been a valued member of our team for the past 13 years,” he said. “All of the current and past Board members who have served with Rose have benefited from her wisdom as a longtime educator, her compassion for our students and staff and for her caring and nurturing style. We are better people for knowing Rose Avalos and naming a school after this wonderful lady is a fitting tribute to a person who has given so much to our school district and our community.”
Following Mr. Mead’s remarks, Avalos student Karissa Diaz and Avalos teacher Michelle Palmer accepted on behalf of the student body and staff. Richard Cantu, deputy executive director of the East Aldine District, accepted the school on behalf of the community.
Dr. Goffney delivered closing remarks.
“Ms. Rose is a leader and she’s always prepared. She asks the tough questions and always takes care of business,” Dr. Goffney said. “Rose, you are smart, funny, caring and a true advocate for all children. You are a person who has won our admiration and respect. We all know Rose doesn’t just look around and see things that need attention, she takes action.
“Rose, I’d like to say thanks for being a woman of action and not just words. You rally many people to work together to complete projects, including this state-of-the-art campus. It is a fitting tribute that this school should bear your name.”
View photos from the event below: