Student Teacher Shares Surprising 10-Year Connection With Fallen Pecos Officer

Student Teacher Shares Surprising 10-Year Connection With Fallen Pecos Officer

PECOS, TX (KWES) - It's a connection that's gone full circle in ten years. A student teacher in Pecos learned some surprising news. That's after she was assigned to a classroom at Austin Elementary School this fall.
"God has his hand in everything, and this was part of it," said Irma Martinez, a 2nd grade teacher at Austin Elementary School in Pecos.

Cynthia Jaquez was the recipient of the Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez "Courage Award" Scholarship when she graduated high school ten years ago.

Sgt. Rodriguez was shot and killed back in 2002, as he was doing a routine bus check in Pecos. He was a member of the Trans Pecos Drug Task Force.

The scholarship gave Cynthia the opportunity to start college, where she is studying to become a teacher.

"As a young kid, you think, 'I want to grow up and be this, I wanna be that'. I wanted to be a teacher. So that's kind of where it started. I don't think I would have started had I not received that scholarship," said Cynthia Jaquez, a student teacher from UTPB.

As fate would have it, Cynthia is assigned to Irma's classroom. As the two started talking, Cynthia discovered Irma has a connection to the "Courage Award" Scholarship. Sgt. Rodriguez was her brother.

"We just kind of looked at each other and our eyes teared up. We just hugged I guess at that point. I had no idea," said Martinez.

"Speechless. Speechless. I thought, 'Wow!' What started off me achieving my goals was through the courageous deeds her brother did, and I get to end it with her," said Jaquez.

Needless to say, the two have bonded. Irma says she's also learning from Cynthia every day.

It's a sign that although gone, her brother's legacy is still very much alive.

"His death was tragic, but this has brought something good out of it. He's still doing something," said Martinez.

Cynthia tells us when she graduates from UTPB in December, she would love to teach at Austin Elementary. Mrs. Martinez says she's already put in a good word.

"She's a really hard working young lady and she's going to be an awesome teacher," said Martinez.