San Angelo ISD announces District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year

Sylvia Graves (left) & Lena Rivera (right)
SAISD District Elementary & Secondary Teachers of the Year
Courtesy: San Angelo ISD Communications Department

SAN ANGELO, Texas – San Angelo ISD is proud to announce Lena Rivera as this year’s district Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Sylvia Graves as this year’s district Secondary Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Rivera teaches second grade at Fort Concho Elementary, and Mrs. Graves teaches the 18+ vocational program for SAISD.

Twenty-Four of our San Angelo ISD teachers were nominated by their campus and recognized on April 28th at the 2021 District Celebration for their outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching the children of San Angelo. Prior to the District Celebration, a panel of judges reviewed applicants nominated from each campus and chose Mrs. Rivera and Mrs. Graves as our district Teachers of the Year. The district Teachers of the Year were kept a secret until announced at the District Celebration.

Mrs. Rivera and Mrs. Graves exemplify the characteristics within our SAISD Educator Profile through their commitment to providing their students with an inspiring educational experience which prepares their students to be future-ready, whatever that future may be.

Mrs. Rivera’s colleagues had the following to say about her in her Teacher of the Year nomination application. “Mrs. Rivera engages her students in learning through a multitude of innovative activities. She encourages her students to explore learning through many different facets, such as song, dance and multi-cultural studies. Mrs. Rivera sets expectations for her students in all areas, academic and otherwise. Mrs. Rivera gives each of her students personal attention. She is an advocate for their needs academically, physically, and emotionally.”

The Teacher of the Year nomination committee, comprised of Mrs. Graves’ colleagues, had the following to say about her. “Sylvia has made acceptance the expectation, by training adult students with disabilities to succeed in what can sometimes be a harsh world, emphasizing strengths over difficulties. Sylvia focuses on four major principles of independence: career exploration, work based learning, job readiness, and self advocacy. Sylvia has worked endlessly to provide instruction
and support for students with disabilities to gain the necessary skills and experiences to successfully transition into competitive integrated employment in a variety of fields.”

Mrs. Rivera and Mrs. Graves will now compete for the Region 15 Teacher of the Year. The winner of the Region 15 Teacher of the Year will then be nominated for the Texas Teacher of the Year award. We wish Mrs. Rivera and Mrs. Graves the best, and are proud and honored by their service to the students of San Angelo and San Angelo ISD.

SAISD Campus Teachers of the Year include:
● Jillian Houchins, Alta Loma Elementary
● Kim Smith, Austin Elementary
● Lourdes Pasillas Cuevas, Belaire Elementary
● Whitney Crim, Bonham Elementary
● Kristi Forsberg, Bowie Elementary
● Jessica Kretschmer, Bradford Elementary
● Emily McMorrow, Carver Learning Center
● Terrell Parkes, Central High School
● Kristin Bailey, Crockett Elementary
● Adriana Mathews, Fannin Elementary
● Lena Rivera, Fort Concho Elementary
● Shari Garcia, Glenmore Elementary
● Adam Chappell, Glenn Middle School
● Theresa Maskill, Goliad Elementary
● Halie Curtis, Holiman Elementary
● Amanda Arnold, Lake View High School
● Karen Rastetter, Lamar Elementary
● Sylvia Becerra, Lee Middle School
● Sindi Grimes, Lincoln Middle School
● Chloe Brassie, McGill Elementary
● Ruth Sanchez, Reagan Elementary
● Sylvia Graves, Sam Houston/Special Programs
● Valerie Jones, San Jacinto Elementary
● Margaret Zwiebel, Santa Rita Elementary

Thank you to Concho Educators Federal Credit Union President Jerry Merrill and Vice President/CFO Kathy Gonzales for your support of our Teachers of the Year and the donation of the engraved award provided to each winner. Thank you to VividPop for the beautiful balloons which created an extra special gift for our winners on top of the award.

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Courtesy: San Angelo ISD Communications Department

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