Team SISD honored its 2016-2017 Campus Teachers of the Year and announced the Elite 8 Teachers of the Year at a reception Feb. 21 at the District Service Center.
Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza, Board Trustees and principals were part of the celebration to recognize the district’s outstanding teachers.
The Campus Teachers of the Year were named through a democratic election process at each school. The nominees are exceptional educators who inspire students, are respected by their peers and have the ability and willingness to make meaningful contributions to education.
“Our teachers are our heroes,” said Dr. José Espinoza, SISD Superintendent. “Teachers, you may not know this, but much of your kindness, your guidance and, also love, touches the lives of all 46,000 plus students. Our school district is on a journey to greatness due to our teachers’ dedication and their commitment and their hard work. Congratulations to all of you and remember in my book, all of you are winners.”
The Elite 8 will move on to the next round of the Teacher of the Year program, in which a committee will interview the finalists and select the 2016-2017 SISD Elementary Teacher of the Year and the 2016-2017 SISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Rod Liston, Pebble Hills High School Teacher of the Year and an Elite 8 finalist, has been an educator for less than two years. He was previously a police officer for 21 years with the El Paso Police Department. He enjoys his new job, but never expected to be rewarded for it.
“I am ecstatic,” Liston said. “I thought I had the personality to be a teacher, but not the right method of teaching. This is amazing.”
Mission Early College High School Teacher of the Year Christopher Nwihim was shocked when his name was announced as an Elite 8 finalist. But he plans to use this highlight in his life as a teaching moment for his students.
“Hard work does pay,” Nwihim said. “This is a nice surprise. It feels like a dream. I love teaching.”
Sue Shook Elementary Teacher of the Year Stephanie Estrada was happy to be able to represent her school, the teachers and the administration.
“These are the people who helped me become the teacher I am,” she said. “I am so grateful.”
The top two teachers will be announced at the SISD Teacher of the Year Gala, which will be celebrated May 13 at El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are on sale now and available through April 17. Tickets can be ordered through each campus secretary.