North Shore Elementary Volunteer honored in Austin as a 2013 Hero for Children

Houston, Texas: Maria del Carmen Rivas was honored Friday, September 20, 2013 by the State Board of Education (SBOE) in Austin, TX as an outstanding advocate for children. Each year the Texas Education Agency honors outstanding volunteer efforts by citizens who give of their time, knowledge, and skills. These volunteers make a tremendous impact on the lives of students in GPISD and around the state of Texas.

For this award, Mrs. Rivas was the only volunteer to be selected in the Region IV area, which is a state education service center serving all of Houston and a seven-county area composed of 50 public school districts, educating more than 1.1 million students. Statewide, 17 individuals were chosen this year for their contributions to public schools in Texas.

Mrs. Rivas and the other recipients were recognized by the State Board of Education with a certificate of honor, a copy of the SBOE approved resolution formally acknowledging their selfless work to promote students’ success, and an Acknowledgement Certificate from Gov. Rick Perry. In addition, Mrs. Rivas will have her name engraved with other notable individuals on a plaque permanently displayed at the Texas Education Agency.

Mrs. Rivas said, "I feel happy to represent, not just Galena Park ISD, but Houston.  To be among people that have been considered outstanding school volunteers like Barbara Bush is an honor." Former First Lady, Barbara Bush, was recognized in 1994 for her support of volunteerism in Texas schools.

Texas Education Agency News highlighted the contributions of Mrs. Rivas: 

A volunteer at North Shore Elementary School, Rivas works with struggling bilingual first graders and in the Life Skills classroom. She also helps with collecting “picture day” money, filling in for lunch duty, helping children get to the nurse’s office, chaperoning field trips, assisting with morning and afternoon dismissals, distributing Backpack Buddy meals for needy children, and delivering Christmas gifts to needy families.

 North Shore Elementary principal, Mrs. Esmeralda Perez, said, “Mrs. Rivas has created a legacy at North Shore Elementary.  Mrs. Rivas will always be remembered at NSE as the little lady with the BIG heart.  Volunteers like her are remembered not only by the countless hours of service, but by her unselfish caring, patience and love for our students.  It's no wonder that she has been honored among people like Mrs. Barbara Bush. I am honored to have her as one of our volunteers at North Shore Elementary.”

Galena Park ISD is proud to have the continued support of parents and community members like Mrs. Rivas dedicated to improving the educational experience of students.  The district encourages parents and others who are interested in volunteering or mentoring at the schools to contact the principals for more information on the many opportunities to serve.


Maria Rivas

Pictured: Top Row: District 4 SBOE member Lawrence A. Allen, Jr. ;Esmeralda Perez, NSE Principal; Victor Escobedo, husband; Maria Del Carmen Rivas, award recipient; Carmela Garcia, NSE Counselor

Front Row: Stephanie Abigail Escobedo and Victor Emmanuel Escobedo, Mrs. Rivas' children





Media Contact:

Crystal Murray | Assistant Superintendent for Communication Services | | 832.386.1063