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College of Education honors outstanding teachers
By Jennifer Berghom, Public Affairs Representative
Posted: 11/16/2012
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The University of Texas-Pan American honored more than 40 elementary and secondary teachers from all over the Rio Grande Valley Nov. 14 at its eighth annual Teacher of the Year banquet and ceremony.


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The annual event pays tribute to elementary and secondary teachers from school districts throughout the Texas Education Agency's Region One, which includes the Rio Grande Valley. Educators are selected by their respective school districts.

This year, the University honored 43 teachers from 23 participating school systems. All but three of the districts chose one elementary and one secondary teacher to reward. The other three school districts chose just one teacher.

Educators also heard from keynote Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez, UTPA's former senior vice provost for the Office of Academic Affairs for Undergraduate Studies, who talked about the traits that all outstanding teachers have.

Four students from area elementary and secondary schools also gave speeches thanking their teachers — who were also among the night's honorees — for inspiring them to learn.

UT Pan American's College of Education also bestowed its Teacher Legend Award to Wayne Miller, a retired math teacher with more than 30 years experience at several Rio Grande Valley school districts.

The Legend Award is given to longtime educators from the Rio Grande Valley who received their education at UTPA or its earlier institutions and have inspired and created a lasting impact on their students who have gone on to become UTPA faculty members.

The teacher honorees are:

Donna ISD: Elizabeth A. Acevedo; Juan Garza

Edcouch-Elsa ISD: Candelaria Castañeda; Rohny Escareno

Edinburg CISD: Monica Perez; G. Marivel Vela-De La Rosa

Harlingen CISD: Michelle Ayala; Angela De La Fuente

Hidalgo ISD: Diana Guzman; Emmanuel Garcia

La Feria ISD: Reva Ayala; Norman V. Lee III

La Joya ISD: Maricela Contreras; Jose Guajardo Jr.

La Villa ISD: Margarita Maldonado

Los Fresnos ISD: Darcy Ann Boles; Heidi Gomez

Lyford ISD: Leah Harding

McAllen ISD: Alma A. Garza; Marilee Stockton

Mercedes ISD: Dawn Nehr Sepulveda; Anna Maria Mena

Mission CISD: Maria Salinas; Yvette Nevarez

PSJA ISD: Iliana M. Hinojosa; Agnes I. Ocampo

Point Isabel ISD: Joanna Wolfe

Roma ISD: Maria E. Gonzalez; Annabel R. Saenz

San Isidro ISD: Delma Saenz; Alyssa Bardwell

San Perlita ISD: Jessica Moczygemba; Juan Muñoz

Santa Maria ISD: Samantha Morales; Mark A. Aguero

Sharyland ISD: Tiffany Rodgers; Laura Colegio

United ISD: Sara Rodriguez; Michelle Hix

Valley View ISD: Vanessa Salazar; Lilia Lozano

Weslaco ISD: Yvonne Chapa; Feliberto De Anda