By: Noah Ramos & Carol Sexton
For this month’s Staff spotlight Mrs. Rife was chosen out of our lovely staff and boy does she have quite the story to tell. For those who don’t know Mrs. Rife, she is a paraprofessional who helps out students by guiding them to a path that makes them happy as well as being a great listener to students’ concerns. Mrs. Rife didn’t always plan to work in education, in fact she wanted to go into the military but was dissuaded by concerns from her mother and decided not to go. When she started attending UTSA she wasn’t sure what she wanted to be and was undeclared until her junior year where life suddenly changed her plans. Mrs. Rife got married to a member of the military and off she went around the world with her husband for his job.
Mrs. Rife has lived in many countries and a good amount of states as well such as Japan, Australia, England, Washington to name a few. When Mrs. Rife was in England, she remembers it being very beautiful and green where the weather went from feeling like summer for 2 weeks before suddenly turning cold the next day. The people she met during her time there were very friendly and loved to imitate our accent as well. Mrs. Rife was living in England when 9/11 happened and heard the announcement of what was happening through a radio and threw the military base she was at in a frenzy. While all this was happening Mrs. Rife volunteered to help make sure that parents could get their kids and making sure the kids were calm until everything had become safe once again. After the ordeal the next day Mrs. Rife was hired because of the actions she had shown during the situation with her ability to perform under pressure as well as having the best interest for the children. Her neighbors were very supportive during this dark time and brought over casseroles while checking up on her family to see if there was anything else they could do to help.
When she was in Okinawa, Japan which is a set of islands that are very hot her time there was pleasant and the people appreciated when they were spoken to in Japanese and were a friendly bunch. Her kids had to take a culture class where they learned about their host country and a funny story was when she was on a train in Tokyo they were having trouble with directions when a kind couple helped them get to their destination. They lived in cement/steel reinforced buildings since typhoons would occur and their power was often lost so instead of snow days they would have typhoon days in Okinawa. When this happened her daughter would go to her friend’s house and the brother would have the friend’s brother come to their house to have fun since when the typhoon would happen they had to stay in the house for 3-4 days.
When moving around this much Mrs. Rife was worried that her children would be sad having to leave friends behind and have to frequently have to adapt to new environments so quickly. However, when she asked her children when they grew up they were actually quite happy since now not only do they have friends all around the world they talk to but they got to experience many things while moving everywhere. Now her son is studying contract law while her daughter has become an office manager which has made Mrs. Rife very proud. Mrs. Rife herself has become paraprofessional of the year and has met some of her old students. Many had changed since the last time she had seen them and her advice for current students now is to do what makes you happy. So, when you see her in the halls or in class make sure to thank her for all she does for our school here at PHS!