Ysleta ISD educator wins Region 19 Secondary Teacher of the Year

Michelle Sandoval, an eighth-grade math teacher at Parkland Middle School in the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD), has been named the top Secondary Teacher of the Year in the El Paso region for 2019-2020.

Sandoval will now compete against the best educators in the state for Texas Teacher of the Year honors.

“This has been such a humbling experience, but I am excited and thrilled to represent my city, my campus, and my community,” Sandoval said, adding that she was dazzled by the caliber of her fellow regional Secondary Teacher of the Year competitors.

“Once you hear the stories of all the finalists – why they teach, and why they’re so passionate about what they do – you realize the bar has been set so high,” she said. “So when they called my name as the winner, it was so incredible! It’s a memory I am never going to forget.”

Sandoval, who begins her 12th year in education when YISD classes get under way Aug. 26, says her enthusiasm for education began as a first-grader, when she stepped inside the “energetic and loving” classroom of a teacher whom she still considers the “ultimate example of an educator and true role model.”

“Her impact on my life was grand,” said Sandoval, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UTEP. “I knew I wanted to become a teacher who would touch the lives of so many young minds.”

Sandoval now joins other regional winners from across the state to compete for Texas Teacher of the Year. Six finalists will be named in the coming weeks, and state winners will be announced later this fall.

“We are honored and excited to have Ms. Sandoval represent our district and Region 19 at the Texas Teacher of the Year competition,” said YISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre. “She is an exceptional teacher with a true passion for public education, and we are proud to have her on our championship team at Ysleta ISD.”

Sandoval was among 21 El Paso-area educators who qualified for the 2019-2020 Elementary & Secondary Teacher of the Year competition organized and sponsored by the Education Service Center (ESC)-Region 19 and TFCU.

Winners were announced at a special ceremony Thursday. All regional finalists won Teacher of the Year honors at their respective school districts earlier this spring.

Region 19 encompasses 12 school districts in El Paso and Hudspeth counties, as well as several charter schools.