Going for first: San Benito student to compete at Educators Rising Nationals

SAN BENITO — Ashley Barahona likes to stay busy.

Whether by tutoring younger students or playing the saxophone for the San Benito High School marching band, Barahona always has a full schedule.

Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics National Honor Society, Business Professionals of America and Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) are among her many activities.

TAFE being her favorite, she said.

This summer the high school senior will compete at the Educators Rising National Conference in Dallas, a competition for rising educators.

Barahona won the regional competition as well as state and will now proceed to the next round.

This competition consists of going through creating an impressive resume, cover letter and mock interview to become a teaching assistant.

“It feels so surreal, I didn’t believe it at first,” Barahona said. “I feel pretty good; I’m confident. It feels great to see your hard work pay off.”

Barahona and her education and training teacher, Dodie De La Fuente, will be traveling this summer together for the national competition from June 22 to 25.

This is the third time a student with the TAFE association in San Benito competes at a national level.

“I like teaching a lot. I mentored middle school students in their math classes and it was a great experience,” Barahona said. “I had a student who did not speak English and her teacher did not speak Spanish and after I helped her she was able to pass the state exam. It helped me realize how teaching can impact a student and how you can change someone’s life.”

According to De La Fuente everything she does she gives 100 percent.

“Ashley is meticulous, detail oriented and takes her time to do everything to perfection. She always has to add that special touch,” De La Fuente said. “She is just the type of student you love to have. She is always thankful and I find that very rare.”