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Spartan homecoming

Several alums return to teach in Stafford MSD
By Stafford MSD Communicationscom

Pictured from the left are Leslie Wasik, Oseas Romero, Deanna Bordelon, Angel Maldonado, Sergio Hinojosa, Abel Maldonado and Joshua Swann. (Submitted photo)

Pictured from the left are Leslie Wasik, Oseas Romero, Deanna Bordelon, Angel Maldonado, Sergio Hinojosa, Abel Maldonado and Joshua Swann.
(Submitted photo)

There’s a popular saying that people vote with their feet.

If it’s true, Stafford Municipal School District is getting a whole bunch of votes. Several Stafford MSD alums enjoyed their educational experience so much that they decided to return as faculty.

SMSD has nine teachers who graduated from Stafford High, and many more who work in the 3,400-student district as substitute teachers and support staff.

Of the nine teacher alums, Sergio Hinojosa – a Spanish teacher, track and field/cross country coach and 1991 SHS graduate – has the most seniority.

Hinojosa grew up in Stafford and was a student when the district started in the early 1980s.

He’s taught in other school districts, but always knew there was something special about the student-centric, community-oriented approach at Stafford – where he’s led the track team to perennial state powerhouse status.

“One of the reasons you teach is to give back,” Hinojosa said. “Many of us returned to Stafford because we had impactful teachers who geared us in the right direction.”

Oseas Romero, an Advanced Placement U.S. history teacher who graduated from Stafford in 2006, is all over the campus, leading activities. It’s no surprise, since he was participating in just as many when he was a student here a decade ago.

Romero sponsors the school’s National Honor Society chapter, coordinates the UIL Academics Program and serves as the director of Stafford’s tutoring program, all while closing in on a master’s degree from the University of Houston.

“Stafford gave a lot to me,” Romero said. “I had some really good teachers here. Yolanda Solis was a Spanish teacher here for 30 years. She’s had a big impact on my life. Teachers can make an impact that goes far beyond grades.”

Leslie Wasik, a 2007 Stafford graduate, teaches kindergarten at Stafford Primary School, which houses all-day pre-kindergarten through first grade.

Her positive memories of Stafford MSD motivated her to apply to the district when it was time to look for jobs.

“It’s like Déjà vu walking through the halls,” Wasik said. “During my first year, my old high school principal was my boss.”

Angel Maldonado, a Spanish teacher and a 2008 SHS graduate, ran cross country for, and studied Spanish, under Hinojosa. Now, the two men are colleagues.

“I always liked helping out and wanted to come back to the community,” said Maldonado, who played on the first-ever SHS boys soccer team to reach the postseason.

Joshua Swann, a marketing teacher and 2009 SHS graduate, works in the state-of-the-art Stafford College and Career Center, in preparing students for careers in marketing and business.

Swann, who sponsors the school’s DECA Business Club chapter, initially returned to Stafford as a substitute teacher before being hired full-time.

“I’m forever grateful to be back,” said Swann, who played on Stafford’s state semifinal boys basketball team. “I wanted to give back to the community and come back to my own school. I wouldn’t teach anywhere else.”

Stafford Middle School eighth grade science teacher Deanna Bordelon, a 2010 SHS graduate, participated in sports as a student-athlete, and now coaches student-athletes at the middle school level.

“This is home,” Bordelon said. “I know that Stafford is like a big family where the administration and staff are dedicated to students. Stafford MSD wants to see students excel.”

Spanish teacher and baseball coach Michael Mesa, drama teacher Blake Weir and special education teacher Cathrine Habervo are also proud SHS graduates, like their aforementioned fellow teacher alums.

The dream lives on for many more Stafford graduates, including Abel Maldonado, a 2011 SHS alum who’s currently substituting at the school.

“I’ve been here since pre-K, and I’m hoping to become a full-time teacher at Stafford,” Maldonado said.

If you’re a qualified, highly-motivated teacher – regardless of whether you’re an SMSD alum – you’re welcome to attend the SMSD Job Fair at Stafford High School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 23. For more information, call 281-261-9200 or e-mail Teresa Sazedj at tsazedj@staffordmsd.org.

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