Ramon Benavides, a biology teacher at Del Valle High School in Ysleta ISD, has been selected as the 2022 Texas Teacher of the Year, and will now go on to represent the state of Texas in the prestigious National Teacher of the Year competition.
Benavides was named the winner by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) during a ceremony Friday at Del Valle High School, where Benavides was surprised with the award and a check from TASA Deputy Executive Director Charles Dupre in front of a cheering crowd of students, staff, faculty, Ysleta ISD Trustees, and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre.
A separate winner was named as the 2022 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year, but Benavides will represent the state of Texas in the 2022 National Teacher of the Year competition.
“For me, teaching isn’t a job – it’s a dream. Sometimes I go home and I tell my wife, ‘I’m actually getting paid for this?’” said Benavides, who has taught at Ysleta ISD and El Paso Community College for 12 years. “I truly, truly enjoy working with kids and allowing them to see what they can possibly become in the future.”
Ysleta ISD officials share that this is the seventh time that a teacher from Ysleta ISD has won Texas Teacher of the Year – more than any other school district in the state.
The son of migrant farmworkers who dropped out of school at a young age, Benavides pursued a career in education after seeing his parents not only return to school, but eventually become teachers in the Rio Grande Valley. He holds bachelor’s degrees from both UT San Antonio and UT Brownsville, a master’s degree from UTEP, and is earning a doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Tech University.
Benavides is part of several state/national professional organizations, was published in two publications, and participated in research internships with Rice University and UTEP.
He is also a national STEM advocate for The Society for Science and the Public. He recognizes the importance of equity and inclusion in all STEM classrooms, and 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.”
“We are thrilled to coordinate the Texas Teacher of the Year program because the award is the highest honor our state bestows upon its teachers,” Dupre said. “And we are proud that Ramon Benavides will represent Texas teachers across our great state and at the national level.”
“Through his leadership and dedication, he exemplifies excellence in teaching and the impact on student success that this program seeks to recognize,” Dupre added.
Benavides was selected as the 2022 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year, but his official title is 2022 Texas Teacher of the Year because he was also selected to represent Texas in the competition for National Teacher of the Year.
The Texas Teacher of the Year program has honored excellence in education since 1969. The annual program, facilitated by TASA since 2011, recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching.