Being a new mom and tackling unexpected teaching challenges help Chelsea Rico and her students thrive in the classroom.

03/16/2023 Alumni Spotlight

Rico graduated from McMurry in 2013 and majored in elementary education. While at McMurry, she completed student teaching at Lee Elementary (now Stafford Elementary) in Abilene ISD, which led to a full-time teaching position. In 2020, she was awarded Teacher of the Year for her district and for Region 14. This year she will complete her 10th year teaching at Stafford Elementary.

She adapted to quick teaching changes, including moving from teaching Kindergarten to third grade right before a school year started and teaching during a pandemic. Those challenges coupled with having her own child have empowered Rico to better advocate for her students and be the best resource she can be for them to feel safe, loved, and valued.

“My favorite things about teaching are my students and the relationships I get to build with them and their families,” Rico said.

At McMurry, she was a member of Delta Beta Epsilon, which she credits for building the leadership, intrapersonal, and communication skills that she’s used throughout her career and personal life.

“The best thing about McMurry is the close-knit community,” Rico said. “I learned how to navigate relationships very well during my time there thanks to that.”

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