Megan Rios, Cedar Hill Graduate, Named Plummer Teacher of the Year

Megan Rios headshot

Amazing CHISD Teachers Impacted Rios

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) When Megan Rios, a Cedar Hill High School Class of 2007 Graduate, thought about becoming a teacher, she had positive memories of her CHISD educators at the forefront of her mind.

“I had some amazing teachers throughout the years, but the ones that made the biggest impact on me were the ones I had in elementary and intermediate school – Mrs. Ruiz, Mrs. Lichtenwalter, Mrs. Ford, Mrs. Burns, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. Phillips and Mrs. Franklin,” Rios said. “I always knew I wanted a career helping kids, but I didn’t realize I wanted to be a teacher until I did student teaching. As soon as I stepped in a classroom, I knew it was where I was meant to be.”

Rios, a Kindergarten Teacher at Plummer Elementary, is the 2020-2021 Plummer Teacher of the Year. She is one of two CHISD Graduates to earn Campus Teacher of the Year honors this year, along with Tiara Frazier of Waterford Oaks Elementary.

“Mrs. Rios always perseveres through every challenge,” Plummer Principal John Edmun said. “She puts scholars first. Her deep roots in Cedar Hill make her passion for teaching even greater. She is truly a beacon for the Plummer Family.”

Rios, in her eighth year as a Kindergarten Teacher at Plummer, began her career as an instructional aide (for one year). She said it’s an honor to receive the Campus Teacher of the Year award.

Honored, Thankful & Proud to Be Part of CHISD

“I work with the best teachers and I look up to so many of them,” Rios said. “I came to Plummer fresh out of college and my Plummer Family helped me grow (and continue to grow) into the teacher I am today. I am so thankful that I have gotten to learn from such incredible people.”

Rios attended Highlands Elementary, Belt Line Intermediate and Permenter Middle School before graduating from Cedar Hill High School. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

“I love teaching where I was taught,” Rios said. “Cedar Hill ISD is truly my home, and I am proud to work in a district that cares about kids and values their teachers.”

Like many of her peers, Rios said adapting to being a teacher during the COVID-19 Pandemic was a challenge.

“The most challenging aspect of teaching during a Pandemic has been engaging 5-year-olds through a screen,” Rios said. “I adapted to this by creating virtual lessons that encouraged scholars to interact with me, interact with each other, and to learn as much as possible by doing, not just watching.”

Becoming an Even Better Teacher

Rios is completing her Master’s Degree, in Mathematics Education, from the University of Texas-Arlington this year. She plans on continuing her work as a Kindergarten Teacher.

“I am earning a Master’s Degree to become an even better teacher for my scholars,” Rios said. “I am always trying to grow as a teacher and be better than the year before. I am so happy where I am, spending my days with my precious scholars and my awesome team.”

Rios said seeing her impact on scholars several years down the road is very rewarding. Her first group of Kindergarten scholars, nearly a decade ago, are about to begin their high school journey.

“I love getting to know my kids, not only as scholars, but as little humans who have amazing thoughts and ideas to share,” Rios said. “I will never get tired of listening to my kids share what’s on their minds.”