Throwback Thursday

Oralia RodriguezDescribed as a petite and lovely person, one who spoke softly with a smile that was never far from her face, long time Seguin educator Oralia Rodriguez set and achieved high goals for herself and inspired and expected the same for her students.


Born in San Marcos, Texas on Nov. 11, 1916, Rodriguez was the oldest of nine children born to migrant farmworkers who passed on their strong belief in the value of education. After graduating from high school in San Marcos, Rodriguez received her bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State Teacher’s College in 1939, the school now known as Texas State University. Determined to continue her education, Rodriguez earned her master’s degree in 1944 from Southwest Texas, an accomplishment that was not common for women of her time.


She married Elias Rodriguez in 1944. They later had two daughters, Yolanda and Olga. Both of her daughters also worked for Seguin ISD, Yolanda as a teacher and Olga as an instructional aide. In addition to her devotion as a public school teacher, Rodriguez shared her passion and gift of music with her students and the community by enhancing instruction with a piano in her classroom at Juan Seguin Elementary School. She taught piano lessons to the youth of Seguin and played for the choir at La Trinidad Methodist Church.


Former students remember her many accomplishments and service to so many generations of children who hold a deep respect and appreciation for this extraordinary and dedicated educator. Her extended family included many generations of children who had the chance to experience her caring heart and belief in their individual potential and her tireless devotion to the teaching profession.


Rodriguez taught for Seguin ISD from 1944 until 1955, resigning her position in August of 1955 for medical reasons. After spending one year away from the classroom she returned to continue her teaching career in 1956 until her official retirement in 1969. Oralia Rodriguez died in 1977 at the age of 59. Oralia Rodriguez Elementary was named in her honor by the Seguin ISD Board of Trustees on Feb. 24, 2009, and dedicated on Aug. 1, 2010.