Stafford teacher retiring after 38-year career

Menchaca spent 34 years teaching in Stafford

By SMSD Communications

Norma Menchaca

Norma Menchaca, the longest-serving teacher in Stafford Municipal School District, has seen a lot of changes over the years in the district.

When she began her 34-year-career as a kindergarten teacher in 1983, Stafford MSD was located in a warehouse. The following year, the district relocated to its current campus on Staffordshire Road.

Menchaca, who worked in education for a total of 38 years, said June 1 will be a bittersweet day for her. She has decided to retire from the district, and that will be her final day.

Menchaca grew up in Brownsville, nearly 340 miles south of Stafford. She initially worked for Brownsville ISD after graduating from the University of Texas-Pan American (now known as UT-Rio Grande Valley).

Her husband became a Houston Firefighter and made the move to the Space City first. Menchaca would continue her teaching career, but she wanted to find a district that would be like a small town within a big city. Stafford MSD was the perfect fit.

Although the district has grown considerably (it now has 11 kindergarten classes, from five when Menchaca started), the district still has a small town atmosphere. In recent years, Menchaca – who earned a master’s degree from Texas Southern University – has taught a bilingual kindergarten classes as part of SMSD’s dual language immersion program.

Menchaca, a mother of three sons who all graduated from UT-Austin and now work in the medical profession, always looks forward to high school graduation. Students that she taught as kindergartners often return to take photographs with her.

During the annual graduation ceremony, Menchaca and fellow kindergarten teacher Sherri Hobbs shuffle through the graduation program to find names of students they once had in class.

Menchaca is proud to say that some of her recent students are the children of some of her former students. She has also taught current SMSD staff members, including Abel and Angel Maldonado. Menchaca said she’ll miss the students and her colleagues, but she is looking forward to relaxing, traveling and planning the next adventure in her life.

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