Teaching at Murnin Elementary School is a family affair for Lisa Carrasco and her two daughters, Sabrina and Leah. They call themselves “Carrasco cubed.”
The second grade teacher has been at Murnin ES since 2010, first as an instructional assistant and then as a classroom teacher and team leader. Sabrina came to the school in 2018 as a first grade teacher, and just before the school year started, Leah joined the Murnin staff as a third grade teacher.
The sisters were out shopping together when Leah got the call from the Human Resources Department after being displaced from another elementary school.
“We couldn’t believe it,” says Lisa. “I told my principal, ‘if you want another Carrasco’ but we didn’t think it could happen.”
Though they’ve always considered themselves a close family, the dynamics change in the work environment.
“It’s a different relationship at school,” says Sabrina. “I look at her as my mentor and colleague. My students think it’s hilarious if I slip and say ‘hi Mom.’”
The trio don’t see each other as often as one might think during the day, as they’re spread out in different areas of the school and in different grade levels. But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced a virtual start to the 2020-21 school year, they found themselves in much closer quarters – the same dining room.
“We were all living together at the beginning of last year. The home/work separation was awful,” Leah said.
The set up had some advantages though. They could lean on each other for support especially overcoming the technical challenges.
“They are so savvy with technology,” Lisa said. “It just takes me longer.”
Lisa came to the teaching profession later in life, after finally finishing her bachelor’s and master’s degrees made more difficult with many moves as a military family. Sabrina knew she wanted to be a teacher at an early age, especially after watching her mother’s journey.
“My mom is an amazing teacher and I felt like I had big shoes to fill. I’m my own person but I’m also her daughter. Now I feel like I’m holding my own,” Sabrina says.
Both Leah and Sabrina are also studying to be school counselors. There’s even a fourth Carrasco teaching in Northside – Lisa’s husband, a retired army veteran, is a woodshop teacher at Clark HS.
Both daughters have also come to the same realization about what they say and do in the classroom.
“Oh my gosh, I am my mother,” Leah says.
“I sound like my mom,” Sabrina says.
Though they’re enjoying the time together as Murnin Mariners, it’s short-lived. Lisa just accepted a position as an early literacy specialist at Passmore ES. It’s a job her daughters encouraged her to pursue.
“It’s bittersweet,” Lisa says. “Murnin is my home and I’ve grown so much. I didn’t think I could be a leader. I started later with my career so I could be a role model for my kids.”
Her daughters will carry on the family legacy at Murnin, but with one adjustment.
“She’ll just be our mom,” says Leah.