UPDATE Sept. 15, 2023 - The story featuring Mary Gomez, the recent Comal ISD 590 honoree, caught the eye of one of her former first-grade students who is all grown up now and works as a producer at KSAT-12 in San Antonio. MJ Ienatsch stopped by Freiheit Elementary to visit with Ms. Mary and featured her in a KSAT-12 segment which is included here. This is truly a testament to the many lives that Ms. Mary has touched over the years.
Aug. 29, 2023 - For two decades, she has encouraged, taught and cared for Comal ISD students in its School Age Child Care (SACC) program, and on Friday, she was surprised with the district’s customer service award for her dedication and passion for going the extra mile.
Mary Gomez, 80, couldn’t believe it when her name was called during a staff meeting at Comal ISD’s Support Services office on Aug. 25. She received the district’s ‘590’ award for her customer service after being nominated by a colleague. The district covers 589 square miles and when an employee provides exceptional customer service by going out of his way, it is considered going the extra mile and equaling 590.
Gomez, who has worked as an after-school aide for 20 years is the perfect example of the award’s intention.
With tears in her eyes and a standing ovation, she proudly accepted the award along with a specially designed t-shirt honoring her work.
“I love the kids,” says Gomez, who currently works with kindergarten and first grade after-school students at Freiheit Elementary but started at Goodwin Elementary which became Goodwin Frazier Elementary. “I like to watch them grow. I do a little extra reading and writing with them just to give them a little help.”
She doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. Gomez explains that being with the students keeps her young and being with her colleagues keeps her inspired.
“I have never thought of it as going to work,” she says. “I think of it as just another good day to give of myself because I want to see the kids grow and have opportunities that I didn't have when I was younger.”
Of course, she is the one who truly inspires. At age 41, she received her high school diploma, and at 60, she ended a career in retail to begin a career with Comal ISD.
“What makes it more rewarding,” she says, “are the hugs. I hear across the room, ‘Ms. Mary, I love you.’”
Now, who wouldn’t go the extra mile for that!
-After school aide Mary Gomez received the Comal ISD 590 award recently and celebrated 20 years with the district’s School Age Child Care (SACC) program.
-After school aide Mary Gomez is pictured with Comal ISD Superintendent Dr. John E. Chapman III.
-KSAT-12 San Antonio producer MJ Ienatsch is one of Mary Gomez's former students.