SAN ANTONIO — Stadi Vargo of Judson ISD's Hartman Elementary School is our KENS 5 EXCEL Award winner this week. In addition to the award, she wins $1,000 from Credit Human.
Vargo is well known in the district, according to the superintendent himself.
Teaching is not something she just does, it's who she truly is and the children love her day in and day out.
"She's the best teacher ever," said a student.
This isn't just a classroom, Hartman Elementary is like a home for many of these kids.
"She lets us do stuff that we want to do," said another student. "She loves all of us."
They're talking about Staci Vargo, their first grade teacher.
"I don't talk to them," said Vargo. "I talk with them. You have that conversation and you allow them to disagree."
Judson ISD has been a second home for Vargo pretty much her entire life.
"I went to what is now Hopkins Elementary," said Vargo. "It was Kirby Elementary while Mr. Hopkins was the principal there. Then I went to Kirby Middle School, and I'm a 1999 graduate of Judson High School. Whoop whoop."
It's even where she met her high school sweetheart. To this day, he helps her build school projects.
"She comes up with the crazy ideas and I'm just the muscle to get it built.," said her husband.
Ideas like a reading phone made of PVC pipes.
"It helps them not just sound out words, but hear themselves sound out words," said Vargo. "It builds better reading skills."
Watching her, you'd think Vargo has been teaching her entire career, but not so much.
"I didn't go into teaching right away, said Vargo."
Life happened and she had to put the teaching dream on hold to care for her family. It wasn't until her 30's she was able to get her teaching certification.
Now not only does she have her own classroom, but also an after school Lego club, which is made up of 36 children.
"I think they are awesome," said a student. "It makes me feel like I'm part of this team, like I love my teachers so much."
"It is some STEM activities, but they have to learn how to be partners to build and create stuff," said Vargo.
Creating stuff is in her spirit, never afraid to go a little wild.
"I'll bring in, like, worms and stuff while we're studying soil so they can see that," said Vargo.
Seeing is believing as the saying goes, and her love for these kids is clear.
"Watching them blossom into these courageous and brave kids… it's amazing," said Vargo. "These kids are fantastic, and they work so hard for me, and I'm so proud of them."
Congratulation to Ms Vargo!
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