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Mesita, El Paso High earn EPISD Teacher of the Year Honors

A dedicated dual-language educator and a veteran-turned-instructor earned the top prizes at this year’s El Paso Independent School District Teacher of the Year

Jill McGee, a second-grade dual-language teacher at Mesita Elementary School was named the Elementary Teacher of the Year; and Michael Reese, dual-credit social studies and broadcast journalism teacher at El Paso High School, was named the EPISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

McGee and Reese will represent the District in the Region 19 Teacher of the Year contest this summer. The contest is the qualifying contest for the Texas State Teacher of the Year Award.

Judges made note of McGee’s inventive and innovative lessons that keep her students learning and interested in school. She is an 11-year veteran of the classroom who integrates traditional learning methods with new technology and active learning techniques.

Reese’s passion for education was singled out by the judges, who said his use of technology and his approach to student learning made him stand out. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Reese has taught for 6 years.

McGee and Reese were selected from a list of 10 finalists that went through a rigorous selection and interview process.

The other finalists are:

• Christina Marenco, Burges High School

• Marta Romero, Lincoln Middle School

• Heike Brindley, Richardson Middle School

• Holly Thorson, Wiggs Middle School

• Veronica Zuñiga, Cielo Vista Elementary School

• Julie Rodriguez, Coldwell Elementary School

• Meridith Gray, Kohlberg Elementary School

• Cecilia Perez, Lee Elementary School.

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