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Jensen sub Mary Rosignon feeds students’ bodies and minds

Jensen sub Mary Rosignon feeds students’ bodies and minds
Posted on 04/04/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Jensen sub Mary Rosignon feeds students’ bodies and mindsby Dwight Henson
PISD Communications


How big are the hearts of Pasadena ISD teachers? When it comes to retired PISD teacher Mary Rosignon, who stands barely taller than five feet, hers might just be bigger than she is.

That’s because, for the past six months, the current substitute teacher has been paying off student lunch balances at Jensen Elementary, and shows no signs of stopping.

“I couldn’t stand to see the kids go hungry in the classes I was subbing for,” explains Rosignon. “After I’d send three or more ‘free or reduced lunch’ applications home with them, and get nothing back, I just knew there had to be some other way I could help them out.”

That’s when Rosignon reached out to Jensen Elementary Principal Judy Diaz with a proposition.

“She told me she wanted to pay off all the outstanding student lunch balances throughout the entire school,” said Diaz. “We were blown away!”

According to Diaz, 85 percent of Jensen students qualify for free or reduced lunch, under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The NSLP provides nutritionally balanced food to students whose family cannot otherwise afford.

“When my students brought in any food at all, it was always junk food,” said Rosignon. “I couldn’t just stand by, knowing that’s all they were eating.”

Students qualify for NSLP based on household income and must return a completed form in the beginning of the year.

“The problem is, many parents never fill out the forms,” said Diaz. “Even though we set-up registration stations to assist parents in filling out the forms, many still slip through the cracks. Sometimes it’s a literacy issue, other times it’s because our parents have so much to deal with, and it can be overwhelming.”

That’s where Rosignon comes in. True to her teaching roots, she assessed her classroom environment, identified issues and concerns and came up with a solution.

“She’s our resident angel,” said Diaz. “The craziest thing is how humble she is about it all. I mean she really wanted us to keep this all a secret until I encouraged her to share her good deeds.”

“As a kid, I had a good family and a fortunate upbringing,” added Rosignon. “My parents taught me to always pay it forward, and this is just my way of doing so.”

Jensen Elementary substitute teacher Mary Rosignon and Principal Judy Diaz
Jensen Elementary substitute teacher Mary Rosignon and Principal Judy Diaz