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2015 – 2016
Teachers of the Year

19 Regional and State Teacher of the Year awards in 25 years!

District Teacher of the Year, Elementary: Cynthia Cooksey, Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary

Cooksey_Cynthia7

As the school librarian, she says, her role is not to provide answers but to provide the tools so students can research and discover answers on their own. She is an avid learner herself. Last year, she took on robotics. She earned a grant from the McAllen Education Foundation and formed an after-school robotics club. Known as the Coding Chicks, her team entered a national robotics competition and took first in the state and second in the country. She also “flipped” her library. She created a series of instructional videos for students to watch prior to coming to the library. This allowed students to get to work more quickly and use their time more productively. Storytime is something not to be missed at Perez. Ms. Cooksey has been known to use puppets and has even dressed up for a story about pirates.  She finds joy in the faces and testimonials of students who enter her library.

District Teacher of the Year, Secondary: Debra Cavazos, Dorothea Brown Middle School.

Cavazos_Debra5Ms. Cavazos says she still experiences joy and fulfillment in working with students after 26 years in the classroom. As a math teacher, she says the most significant learning occurs in situations that are meaningful and student related. Although she likes it when students’ eyes light up when they finally “get” a concept, what really makes her day is when a student admits they actually “like” math. This is especially true when she works with recent immigrant students or those from Regional School for the Deaf. She has coached UIL Number Sense and became a Master Mathematics Teacher in 2014. This is her second campus teacher of the year award, having won at Thigpen in 2000. She considers it a tremendous honor to know she made a difference in the life of a child.

Elementary Teachers of the Year

Trevino_Krystle31

Francisca Alvarez Elementary
Krystle N. Treviño

Trevino_Kristen33

James Bonham Elementary
Kristen Treviño

Quintero_Veronica25

Dr. Carlos Castañeda Elementary
Veronica Quintero

Martinez_Norma17

Jose De Escandon Elementary
Norma Martinez

Castillo_Diana4

Victor Fields Elementary
Diana Castillo

Davila_Thelma9

Reynaldo G. Garza Elementary
Thelma Davila

Tijerina_Mia29

Leonelo H. Gonzalez Elementary
Mia Tijerina

Lopez_Ignacio14

Lucile McKee Hendricks Elementary
Ignacio A. Lopez

Garcia_Isabel11

Sam Houston Elementary
Isabel Garcia

Pina_Ester22

Andrew Jackson Elementary
M. Ester Piña

Morales_Michael20

Christa McAuliffe Elementary
Michael Morales

Torres_Sandra30

Ben Milam Elementary
Sandra M. Torres

Markham_Laura16

Jose Antonio Navarro Elementary
Laura Markham

Cooksey_Cynthia7

Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary
Cynthia A. Cooksey

Morales_Floyd19

Sam Rayburn Elementary
Floyd M. Morales

Sanchez_Jessica28

Theodore Roosevelt Elementary
Jessica Sanchez

Ascencio_Linda2

Blanca E. Sanchez Elementary
Linda C. Ascencio

Canchola_Carolina3

Juan Seguin Elementary
Carolina Canchola

Puig_Rebeca23

Thigpen-Zavala Elementary
Rebeca Puig

Maldonado_Hilda15

Woodrow Wilson Elementar
Hilda Maldonado

Secondary Teachers of the Year

Cavazos_Debra5

Dorothea Brown Middle School
Debra Cavazos

Valdez_Monica32

Dr. Rodney D. Cathey Middle School
Monica Valdez

Gilbert_Wendy12

Alonzo De Leon Middle School
Wendy Gilbert

Guerra_Sandra13

Michael E. Fossum Middle School
Sandra L. Guerra

Quintanilla_Andrew24

Abraham Lincoln Middle School
Andrew Quintanilla

Arguelles_Juan1

Homer J. Morris Middle School
Juan Arguelles

Cortez_America8

William B. Travis Middle School
America M. Cortez

Rodriguez_Cesar26

Achieve Early College High School
Cesar Rodriguez

Morin_Erick21

Instruction & Guidance Center
Erick W. Morin

Dearth_Marian10

Lamar Academy
Fontaine Dearth

Chapa_Vanessa6

McAllen High School
Vanessa Chapa

Molina_Sylvia18

Memorial High School
Sylvia I. Molina

Salinas Garza_Rebecca27

James “Nikki” Rowe High School
Rebecca J. Salinas Garza

19 Regional and State Teacher of the Year awards in 25 years!

Name

School

Year

Mary Ellen Cavazos Bonham Elementary 1991-92
Leo Ramirez** McAllen High 1992-93
Eduardo Reyna* Brown Middle School 1993-94
Debra Taylor Rayburn Elementary 1995-96
Barbara Johnson Garza Elementary 1996-97
LeAnna Morse Memorial High 1996-97
Jeanette LaFevers Rowe High 1997-98
Betty Bloomfield McAllen High 1999-00
Nancy Birkenmayer McAuliffe Elementary 2000-01
Cynthia Mills Memorial High 2000-01
Lorenz Villa Gonzalez Elementary 2001-02
E.A. Tanner Rowe High 2002-03
Peggy Baldwin Rayburn Elementary 2003-04
Dora Newell **# Thigpen-Zavala Elementary 2008-09
Rachelle Grace $ Memorial High School 2010-11
Debra Schiller Perez Elementary 2011-12
Katherine Moore Milam Elementary 2013-14
*= state finalist
**=state teacher of the year
# = HEB Lifetime Achievement Educator finalist in 2008-09
$ = HEB Excellence in Education Award winner for Secondary School Leadership, spring 2011

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