new car
Photo courtesy EPISD

Clardy Elementary teacher awarded new car by Casa Nissan

And the winner of the Nissan Kicks is…Laura Chavez. Green Bay Packer Aaron Jones made the announcement while putting on a cap with the Clardy fox mascot, signaling to a packed Casa Nissan that Chavez won the contest.

The first-grade dual language teacher at Clardy Elementary racked up the most votes in the contest that drew more than 145,000 online votes over the past two weeks. She and four other El Paso ISD teachers were vying for the 2022 Nissan Kicks valued at $21,000.

“I’m very happy, very emotional,” Chavez said. “It wasn’t something I was expecting at all. All the other ladies are so deserving of it. I want to thank Casa Nissan for this contest and for valuing the work that we do as teachers.”

An overjoyed Luke Lowenfield emceed the event thanking teachers for their investment in the future. He acknowledged their work, especially through the pandemic – remaining a mainstay in the lives of students.

“There is so much joy and love in our hearts to celebrate these women and men who are teachers in EPISD,” Lowenfield said. “Thank you. We need you. We depend on you. Our future is in your hands.”

Hometown hero Jones, who had the honor of announcing the winner, spoke highly of the EPISD teachers who guided him through his years at Ross Middle School and Burges High School.

“Teachers have a special place in my heart,” Jones said before the announcement. “Since I moved here, EPISD has been my family. Some of those teachers aren’t just teachers. They’re family and they have been right there with me along the way.”

Superintendent Diana Sayavedra thanked Casa Nissan for their willingness to recognize teachers in El Paso ISD and for their investment in teachers.

“It’s an exciting day here in El Paso and for El Paso ISD and Casa Nissan,” Sayavedra said. “This is just a testament to the type of community we have here in El Paso, a community that cares, who values education because education is the opportunity equalizer.”

In a surprise pep-rally style announcement at Burges High School during National Teacher Appreciation Week, Casa Nissan announced the five finalists in the running for the Nissan Kicks. The five finalists were selected from a pool of more than 80 teacher nominees – one from every El Paso ISD campus – who were selected by their peers.

The four finalists are:

  • Amaris Vega – Special Education teacher, Cielo Vista Elementary School
  • Helen Rivera – Special Education teacher, Magoffin Middle School
  • Gabriela Almeida – third grade dual language teacher, Sunrise Mountain Elementary School
  • Veronica Rodriguez – second grade teacher, Zavala Elementary School

The four finalists received a goody bag that included a year of oil changes and a night at the Chihuahuas in the Casa suite for 20 guests

Here’s the story that helped Chavez win the car:

Chavez is the sole provider for her family. Her husband is a stay-at-home dad, taking care of and homeschooling their ill son who needs constant medical supervision. They currently share one vehicle, an unreliable model that is more than 20 years old. Through it all, Chavez works tirelessly to always be prepared with her lessons for her students and makes sure that she provides them with the education that they deserve. She is a kind, loving, and caring educator that works hard for her students daily, regardless of the hardships she is going through.

To watch the announcement and read the stories of the finalists, click here.

Story by Reneé de Santos – El Paso ISD   |  For our complete coverage of El Paso ISD, click here.