For 28 years Becky Robles has been the welcoming smile for El Paso KinderCare families. This year that smile and those years of hard work earned her more than happy families – they earned her the title of Best in Class.
“The feeling is unexplainable, being with the company so long, now I know it paid off,” Becky said after returning home from Orlando, where she was recognized on stage, celebrated with a dinner hosted by Knowledge Universe executives, and featured in a video about this year’s honorees.
“Just standing up there in front of thousands of people was unreal. I felt so blessed and so honored,” she said.
The honor for Becky and her center may be a new accolade, but the motivation that got them there is hardly new at all. Becky says she’s still motivated to work each day at the Vista del Sol KinderCare by the smallest people who walk in the door.
“It’s the children. The hugs are amazing,” Becky said. “These children are really worth it. It’s unreal, and it’s priceless.”
Teachers and parents credit Becky’s positive attitude with the center’s success.
“Besides being a fantastic professional, she is also many other things, including a warm smile, a hug, an open door, and a shoulder when you need it,” wrote four-year parent Elizabeth Herget.
Being Best in Class for Becky has never meant just making the classroom experience positive, it has meant reaching the entire community, one she has connected with in a deeper way than parents even expected.
“No matter how bad of a morning I may have had, or how bad a day I’ve had, when I walk into the center and hear the sincere happiness in Ms. Becky’s voice when she greets me I can’t help but smile at her and get over whatever it was for the moment,” said KinderCare parent Tanya Taylor.
Assistant Director Martha Gamero, a 25-year KinderCare veteran herself, said Becky’s open communication style strengthens the team in the center and is a major factor in the trust families have in the whole staff.
“She has a one-on-one-with everybody,” Martha said. “All the parents, no matter time of day, they know they can find her in the building.”
Pat Wright has been a teacher with KinderCare for 31 years – 23 of them with Becky.
“We can do our job in the classroom with the kids, but is the person in the office who makes us want to come to work every day,” Pat said. Even visitors can sense how great the center is thanks to Becky’s leadership, Pat said. “Yesterday she was giving a tour. Her face, the way she was doing it, the prospective parent was just looking at her and taking it all in.”
Even when things don’t go perfectly, teachers say Becky helps keep things under control.
“She’s very understanding,” said teacher Luisama Bernal. “If there are issues, she knows how to work things out. She never gets upset.”
Situated five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, and near U.S. Army’s Fort Bliss, Vista del Sol KinderCare has helped foster a stronger sense of community among local military and border patrol families as well.
“Our military and law enforcement families, they recommend our centers to coworkers. It’s like a big family because everybody just knows each other,” Becky said. “You walk in and you see all those military families and they’re greeting each other.”
Regardless their background, Becky knows all families seek that same peace of mind that comes with knowing their children are in a safe and loving environment. As parent Elizabeth Herget put it: “For those things I can never express how truly thankful we are to have Ms. Becky, not just as our center director but as part of our family.”