A Q&A with ATPE’s 2019 Associate Educator of the Year

Longtime ATPE member Cesarea Germain was named the Associate Educator of the Year at the 2019 ATPE Summit in Houston. She shared with ATPE the most enjoyable part of her job, her biggest hope for Texas public schools, and more.

Currently an administrative assistant to the George West ISD superintendent, Cesarea previously worked as assistant to the chief academic officer in Corpus Christi ISD and had been with CCISD for 26 years. She’s been with ATPE since 1998.

Why did you choose ATPE?
I was a member of a union. My mentor, Sylvia Gutierrez, mentioned ATPE and told me why it was better than the union. Trusting her and her word, I switched to ATPE and have been a member since.

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is the people I work with. My fellow co-workers have made my transition to George West so pleasant and comfortable. The community in George West is friendly and welcoming, and no one is a stranger. The students are so polite and willing to help their elders in any way possible. You don’t have to ask them to help. Students will automatically say, “May I help you?” and will help with pleasure, a smile on their face, and will go the extra mile to make sure the task was done right.

What is your biggest hope for the future of Texas public schools?
My biggest hope is that representatives and senators realize the importance of financing education. More and more demands are placed on both administrators and educators in the school system, with no financial backing. School districts are having to become creative in balancing the budgets, without affecting student education—at some point, something is going to give. More and more teachers are leaving the profession because of the lack of pay, the long hours, and providing students supplies out of their own pockets that parents refuse to replenish. Not to mention, they’re dealing with student behavior and lack of interest on the parents’ part. Teachers are literally raising some of the children by teaching manners, correct ways to behave, feeding students in the classroom, and more. School districts are having a difficult time filling positions, especially with the lack of pay.

What is the most important thing Texas educators can do for their profession?
Go out and VOTE! Vote for those who support education and the value of education. The largest profession in the state of Texas is educators. We can make a difference by going out and voting for the right people to hold positions in the state Legislature and Congress. I cannot emphasize enough: We can make a difference by getting out and voting.

Share something fun about yourself.
I enjoy being with my family and spoiling my grandchildren. I am a simple person, and everyone is my friend. God has truly blessed me.
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