ATPE is proud to bring you this series of posts from our staff members. Today’s post features our receptionist, Mary Rivera.
What drew you to working for ATPE?
Six years ago, I applied for the receptionist position at ATPE. I was immediately interested in working for ATPE since it was affiliated with education. I come from a big, Texas-sized family, and my parents instilled in us the value of getting a college degree. My dad deliberately bought a house close to UT to make it easy for us to do. I have always been an advocate for education, and many people in my family are educators. Three of my children have worked for Austin ISD, and my husband works for Austin ISD now, so I always know what’s happening in the education system.
How long have you been working for ATPE? What was your first job here?
I am currently the receptionist at ATPE. This year at summit, I was recognized for reaching five years of service to ATPE. Time goes quickly, especially at the beginning of the school year.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned while working here?
ATPE is an association that fully collaborates and is focused on our members, schoolchildren, and the educational system of Texas. Our Marketing and Communications Department is constantly reporting, photographing, designing, and writing for the association. Membership and Legal Departments are on constant calls to provide our members with continuous service. I have observed that there are a lot of devoted people working for ATPE, such as our employees, board members, and volunteers. Before I came here, I never had been exposed to an organization that helps our Texas school employees to this capacity.
What is your favorite part of working at ATPE?
I love the culture here at ATPE. There are so many personalities in our work place, and I find it interesting to see the talents of my co-workers in their respective job duties. It still amazes me when I see the teamwork that it takes to run this organization. And I love being off for two weeks in December! It allows me to spend time with my husband and grandkids.
Share something fun about yourself that ATPE members might not know.
I contemplated becoming a teacher or nurse but decided to pursue a degree in commercial art. After graduating from college, I worked in the art field for six years. Later, while raising my children, I went to work for the City of Austin, as a customer service representative. That’s where I developed my fast and efficient customer service skills. I am also a freelance artist. In my spare time, I enjoy restoring and painting small statues among other art projects. I am currently working on a religious coloring book. I would eventually like to reproduce it and sell it.