EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s no secret that El Paso has some amazing educators. This year, the rest of Texas will be aware of it too. Tuesday, the Texas Association of School Administrators released their finalists for top three Elementary Teachers and top three Secondary Educators.
Perla Lozoya, a fourth-grade teacher at Dr. Sue Shook Elementary in Socorro ISD, was one of the three finalists in the Elementary Teacher category while Michelle Sandoval, an eighth-grade math teacher at Parkland Middle School in Ysleta ISD was named as one of the three finalists in the Secondary Teacher of the Year category.
“My classroom is a safe community where my students are known and valued. It is a place where they build foundational skills and make sense of big ideas,” said Lozoya, who has taught fourth grade for the past four years at Shook Elementary. “But learning opportunities extend beyond our classroom. As a teacher, I make sure that experiences beyond the boundaries of our school are integrated into the core of our learning.” Lozoya was a social worker prior to beginning her teaching career 14 years ago.
“Transparency is everything in education. When you are a real human in front of your students, you earn respect,” said Sandoval, who has taught eighth-grade math at Parkland Middle School for the past year of her 10-year teaching career. “My only wish is that when I am transparent with them and show them that I too was from Northeast El Paso with a middle-class working family, that they too can be successful. I hope I can give them the key to their dreams with simple lessons on the fundamentals of money.”
The other finalists for Elementary Teacher of the Year are Juliette Broussard, Rick Schneider Middle School, Pasadena ISD, and Karen Sams, David Crockett Elementary, Weatherford ISD.
The two other finalists for Secondary Teacher of the Year are Kami Dodds, Brady High School, Brady ISD, and Jennifer Garner, River Road High School, River Road ISD.
The final announcement will be made at the Texas Teacher of the Year awards ceremony in Austin on October 25.