EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) announced its six finalists for 2022 Texas Teacher of the Year, and a local teacher is among the distinguished educators.
Ramon Benavides, a biology teacher at Del Valle High School, is one of three finalists for Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year.
The six finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges made of educational leadership association representatives, business and community leaders, a member of the State Board for Educator Certification, a member of the State Board of Education, and former Texas Teachers of the Year.
The panel will choose two state-level winners — Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year — and pick one to represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year Program.
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Oct. 15, 2021, at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, where the 40 regional Teachers of the Year will also be recognized.
“More than ever before, it has been reaffirmed that Texas teachers perform miracles every day as they inspire children even in the most challenging of times,” said Kevin Brown, executive director of TASA, which has coordinated the Texas Teacher of the Year program since 2011.
Benavides is the son of migrant farmworkers who dropped out of school at a young age but went back to become educators in the Rio Grande Valley.
His love of learning is extensive and he serves as both educator and student.
Benavides said he’s passionate about sharing “the fascinating world of biology” with students at Del Valle and El Paso Community College for more than a decade in the hopes of cultivating future leaders from the Borderland.
Additionally, he says he enjoys leading by example and serving as a role model for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who face similar obstacles to education as he did while growing up in South Texas.
Benavides holds degrees across multiple levels that include a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a bachelor of arts in chemistry from the University of Texas at Brownsville and a master of arts in teaching science from UTEP.
Currently, Benavides is pursuing a doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy from Texas Tech University.
Benavides is a STEM advocate who says he wants to deliver a message of change to students, teachers, education leaders, policymakers and more “to see a difference in the current paradigm — thus, ensuring underrepresented students attain a fair chance at success in STEM professions.”