Last week, the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) announced that a teacher from Ysleta ISD is among the six finalists for the 2022 Texas Teacher of the Year program.
Ramon Benavides is the son of migrant farmworkers who dropped out of school at a young age, only to return and become educators in the Rio Grande Valley. He says that their journey was the beginning of his: He’s been passionately sharing the “fascinating world of biology” for the last 12 years at Ysleta ISD’s Del Valle High School and El Paso Community College in hopes of producing future leaders from the El Paso border region.
Benavides says he enjoys serving as a role model for youth with socioeconomic backgrounds and educational attainment obstacles similar to those he encountered growing up in South Texas. He holds multiple degrees, including a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a bachelor of arts in chemistry from the University of Texas at Brownsville, and a master of arts in teaching science from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
He is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Texas Tech University. Benavides is a part of several state and national professional organizations. He has been published in two publications and has participated in several research internships with Rice University and UTEP. He is also a national STEM advocate for The Society for Science and the Public.
Benavides says he recognizes the importance of equity and inclusion in all STEM classrooms and that he wants to deliver a message of change to students, teachers, educational leaders, and policymakers “to see a difference in the current paradigm — thus, ensuring underrepresented students attain a fair chance at success in STEM professions.”
Benavides will be interviewed October 14 by a panel of judges composed of representatives of educational leadership associations, community and business leaders, a member of the State Board for Educator Certification, a member of the State Board of Education, and prior Texas Teachers of the Year.
The panel will select two state-level winners — Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year — and designate one to represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year program. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony Oct. 15 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, where the 40 Regional Teachers of the Year will also be recognized.
The Texas Teacher of the Year program has honored excellence in classroom education since 1969. The program, facilitated by TASA since 2011, annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching.
In 2015, Texas Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples of Amarillo ISD became the second Texas teacher to be named the National Teacher of the Year. Learn more via this link.