The Denton Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name the district’s eighth middle school after Dr. Rudy and Rosemary Rodriguez, a local couple devoted to education, public service and community engagement.
Dr. Rudy and Rosemary Rodriguez Middle School is being built at the corner of Winchester Lane and Martop Road in the Town of Oak Point, and is slated to open in the Fall of 2017. Located in the easternmost portion of the district, along U.S. Hwy 380, Rodriguez Middle School will provide relief to Navo Middle School enrollment and meet the needs of the fastest-growing housing developments in Denton ISD.
“We’re honored to be attached to such a great, fast-growing community like the one in Oak Point,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “This is very special and an enormous honor for myself, my wife and our family. It gives validation to the time and work we’ve given to this district and the children of Denton ISD.”
Dr. Rodriguez served as a district trustee for six years, helping convey to the state legislature the importance of Making Education a Priority by marching alongside parents and students in the Save Our Schools Rally during the 82nd Legislative Session. He also represented the district at several state and national conferences by presenting or discussing issues relating to the education of English-language learners, pre-kindergarten students and drop-out prevention methods.
A former professor at both the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University, Dr. Rodriguez served as a teacher and mentor to hundreds of teachers and administrators in Denton ISD. His in-depth knowledge of the public education system comes from more than 40 years of advocacy and he’s regarded by many as a pioneer for bilingual education locally and across the state.
“Rudy and Rosemary are pillars of the Hispanic community and the Denton ISD community as a whole, so we’re thrilled to be honoring them with the naming of Middle School No. 8,” said Board President Barbara Burns. “In the Braswell Zone, we have the names of people who have been cornerstones in the community, and Rudy and Rosemary are a perfect fit to continue to tie that area back to Denton and the other surrounding communities we serve.”
The Rodriguez’s have resided in Denton since 1975, with their children and grandchildren attending Denton ISD schools.
During that time Dr. Rodriguez has served as chair of the LULAC Education Committee, chair of the City of Denton’s 2010 Census Count Committee, chair of Denton Voter Registration Committee, a member of the North Texas Communities in Schools Board of Directors and a founding member of the Denton Public Education Foundation. Mrs. Rodriguez worked as a social worker with the district for 22 years after serving as a counselor at UNT. She served on the Texas State Board of Social Workers, as a board member for the Denton County Children’s Advocacy Center, and as an advocate for the Denton Christian Pre-School and LULAC.
“I felt that I’d be a better advocate for [Denton ISD’s] families and students if I became more involved in the community,” said Mrs. Rodriguez.
Dr. Rodriguez holds degrees from Texas A&M University – Kingsville and Central Michigan University as well as a doctorate in educational administration from the University of New Mexico. Mrs. Rodriguez holds bachelor’s and masters’ degrees in counseling from TWU and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington.
In accordance with the Rodriguez’s penchant for working with others, the school will be an epicenter of collaboration for its students and the community. It will feature several open areas to encourage students to work together, share ideas and build better relationships.
“This facility will be the ultimate cooperative space for our students to learn and work together, which falls in line with the Rodriguez family’s ability to help everyone across the state understand the importance of education for children of all races and cultures,” said Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent of schools.