The young man who nominated Villarreal told his teacher he “enjoyed coming to school every day.”
“He’s a very bright student,” Villarreal said. “I was blown away by his comment. I had no idea when they told me. What an honor to think you have made an impact on one of your students - it’s great!”
The 2006 Refugio High School graduate said the influence of two people contributed to his decision to teach in elementary school.
“My mother always baby-sat children when I was growing up,” he said. “She always said ‘the best thing you can do is have an impact on a child’s life,’” he said.
The other influence came at the hands of his kindergarten teacher, Phyllis Hayes, of Refugio
“She was a great teacher,” Villarreal said.
The second-grade teacher believes that connecting with young students can influence their love of learning.
“I try to find out what their learning style is and use a teaching style that fits them,” he said.
Half-way into the first year of his career, Villarreal says, “I can’t think of a better job than what I have.”
He is the son of Willie and Rosie Villarreal of Refugio.