From newsroom to classroom: Conger seeks raising better people


Olivia Cooper

CHS9 Spanish teacher Reyna Conger teaches her fourth period class on Thursday, Feb. 17. Conger has been teaching at Coppell ISD for five years.

Nathan Cheng, Staff Writer

Immigration can be an arduous and anxiety inducing process and is one CHS9 Spanish teacher Reyna Conger knows well. Graduating with a degree in journalism from la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Venezuela, Conger moved to the United States in 2000 and earned a teacher certification in 2014 before moving to Coppell in 2016 to teach in Coppell ISD. 

What is your professional background? 

I am from Venezuela and my first career was in journalism. I moved to the U.S. in 2000 to pursue a master’s degree in communications [at Georgia State University]. In 2002, I got married and moved to Texas. I stayed home and decided to become a certified teacher eight years ago.

What did you do to pursue a career in journalism when you were in Venezuela? 

I graduated as a journalist in 1995. I worked in Venezuela for seven years before I decided to move to the U.S. The school was called Universidad Catolica Andre Bello in Caracas and it is one of the best schools in Venezuela.  

What did you do when you first arrived in America?

I was a student. I studied English for a year before starting my masters at Georgia State in Atlanta. 

Why didn’t you pursue journalism after arriving in the United States?

I tried to do an interview with CNN in Spanish because my English wasn’t good. It didn’t go very well and I also needed a sponsor for my work visa because I was still an international student. My school in Venezuela did not provide a sponsor so I wasn’t allowed to work in the U.S. I could have worked for free but I decided to study and then I met my husband and we moved to Texas. 

What made you want to be an educator?

When I was in college, I was an assistant teacher for a class called “generos periodisticos” or journalist styles. It’s when you explain how to do interviews or how to write news articles and things like that. I always liked teaching. Even before I got my alternative certification, I worked part-time at the Spanish Schoolhouse for two or three years and I really enjoyed it. Then before I decided to pursue teaching, I stopped for about two years to make sure that it was something I really wanted to do and it was. 

When did you get to CISD? 

It was five years ago. I was at [Coppell Middle School North] for one year before I moved to CHS9 and this is my fourth year here. I taught social studies to dual language kids and then the second semester, I taught Texas history and Spanish I and II. Since I moved here, I’ve taught Spanish II and III, and this is the first year I am teaching AP Spanish IV. 

What is the biggest thing you want to impress on your students? 

I want them to be better people. More than academically, I want them to see that the language is a gift for life. That it’s not just to get a grade in a class. I want them to see more than a grade. 

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