LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Zuleika Rodriguez

Position: Fifth Grade Teacher
School: Cesar Chavez Elementary School
School District: San Diego Unified School District
City, State: San Diego, CA

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Zuleika Rodriguez was nominated by Najla Ortiz, the parent of two students.

"Mrs. Rodriguez has taught both of my kids. She grew up in this community and is now teaching in it," said Ortiz. "This is a low-income community, with very little resources and very limited extracurricular activities.  For Mrs. Rodriguez, education is extremely important. She continues to challenge all of her students and encourages them to aim high. She makes them feel special, but not different or less than anyone else."

"My daughter, Xymena, was privileged to have been Mrs. Rodriguez's student twice, and I could not have been happier," said Ortiz. "Mrs. Rodriguez really cares about her students. We invited her to an event in which my daughter was going to compete. It was two hours away from school on a weekend, but Mrs. Rodriguez attended effortlessly. This brought so much joy to my daughter because it meant that someone other than her parents was listening and was interested in her."

"During this pandemic, Mrs. Rodriguez kept the students aligned, focused, and united as a classroom," said Ortiz. "We are very sad my children will not have her in the future, as they are moving on to higher grades, but she has permanently impacted our lives in a very positive way."



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