Weatherford and Ysleta ISD teachers recognized as 2020 Texas Elementary and Secondary Teachers

Local News

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Ysleta ISD teacher Michelle Sandoval and Weatherford ISD teacher Karen Sams are the 2020 Texas Secondary and Elementary Teachers of the Year.

The Texas Association of School Administrators held its awards ceremony and luncheon at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Friday afternoon.

“It’s all about positive energy, kindness and making sure that we instill that into them every day,” Sandoval said about connecting with her students. “Out there in El Paso. we may not have all the resources that really big schools might have, but we make it work every single day and resilience is a huge thing on our campus.”

Michelle Sandoval of Ysleta ISD poses for a photo with TEA Commissioner Mike Morath. (Steffi Lee/Nexstar Media Group)

Sandoval says local businesses and other organizations in her community play a significant role in ensuring her students have access to resources they need.

Sams will represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year program. She says she hopes to empower other educators to educate decision-makers.

“Just having that constant feedback with the people who are making our laws and the people who are in the trenches doing our jobs so that we can work together to come up with solutions to make public education be even stronger than what it is today,” she said.

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath says that ongoing feedback is needed.

“Listening to the realities they face and the challenges they face — it really informs what we do to try to support teachers as professionals and to grow the health of the profession,” he said.

The finalists for Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year were: 

  • Juliette Broussard, Rick Schneider Middle School, Pasadena ISD 
  • Perla Lozoya, Dr. Sue Shook Elementary, Socorro ISD 
  • Karen Sams, David Crockett Elementary, Weatherford ISD 

The finalists for Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year were: 

  • Kami Dodds, Brady High School, Brady ISD 
  • Jennifer Garner, River Road High School, River Road ISD 
  • Michelle Sandoval, Parkland Middle School, Ysleta ISD 

The Texas Teacher of the Year program has been around since 1969. Since 2011, the association annually recognizes and rewards teachers “who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching,” according to a press release. 

There were 40 Regional Teachers of the Year. 

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