Three teachers continue parents’ legacy at Harlandale ISD

Three teachers continue parents’ legacy at Harlandale ISD
Posted on 09/01/2017

Three Harlandale ISD educators discovered that – besides their passion for teaching – they all share a special connection.

Pre-K Teachers Lisa Hernandez, Guillermo Zavala III and Susan Solano began working together at The Fenley Center this year, and soon realized that they all have something in common. They all have parents who not only taught at Harlandale ISD, but who also worked together at Columbia Heights Elementary School in the early 70s. What an incredible coincidence!

It was Hernandez who first made the connection when she met Zavala III and Solano in the past; however, this is the first time that they all realized that they would be “repeating history” by working together just as their parents had done years ago.

“Our parents had the opportunity to work together, and now to see their children carrying on the tradition of teaching is incredible,” Hernandez said. “I’ve heard a lot of traditions where there’s a lot of Harlandale teachers, and then their children come to teach. But, to hear a story about three different teachers that taught together, and now their children are teaching together, I think that’s something more out of the box.”

All three teachers were inspired by their parents to become educators and feel happy to continue in their footsteps.

“It’s crazy, but it’s fun,” Zavala III said. “Till this day, my dad still helps me with anything that’s going on.”

The proud parents (Antonia Pachecano, Hernandez’s mother; Guillermo Zavala Jr., Zavala’s father; and Barbara Solano, Solano’s mother) were also surprised to learn of the unique connection.

“My mom thought it was funny, and she began reliving memories,” Solano said. “She was like, ‘Oh yeah! I remember when this and that happened.’ She just loved the uniqueness of it all.”

All three teachers have been a part of the Harlandale Family for many years, and hope to continue to impact the lives of many more students.

“Seeing the kids discover something new is the most rewarding experience. Last year, we had a kid who went from having speech problems to reading in front of the class,” Solano said. “To see the confidence radiate out of him was just one of those great moments for me as a teacher.”

The family legacy may continue as Zavala’s 6-year-old daughter, Maya, recently shared with him that she wants to be a teacher like him.

“She said she wants to be a teacher, so let’s see what happens in 20 years,” he concluded with a smile. 

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