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SAISD celebrates its 2018 Teachers of the Year

2018 Teacher of the Year
Andrea Greimel, Adriana Abundis and Michelle Grajeda were named the District’s 2018 Distinguished Teachers of the Year.

 Three outstanding educators were selected Feb. 22 as SAISD’s 2018 Distinguished Teachers of the Year.

They are Andrea Greimel, bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher, Carvajal Early Childhood Education Center; Adriana Abundis, 8th-grade mathematics teacher at Irving Middle School; and Michelle Grajeda, dual-credit, Advanced Placement English teacher at Young Women’s Leadership Academy. They will now be considered as nominees for a variety of outside honors.

The educators were selected earlier this year from a group of 91 teachers who were named Teachers of the Year for their school. Each school's Teacher of the Year was selected by a vote of his or her peers. All had the opportunity to submit a written application for SAISD Distinguished Teacher of the Year, one each of which was selected for the elementary, middle and high school levels from a pool of outstanding candidates.

Following is the full list of each school's Teacher of the Year and the subject or grade level taught.

Teacher of the Year: High schools

  • Advanced learning academy (4-11): Emily Barker Delgado, 5th grade
  • Brackenridge: Leann Dinsdale, business
  • Burbank: Brandon Brunch, math
  • CAST Tech: Megan Whalon, Spanish
  • Edison: Ray Sanchez, business
  • Fox Tech: Janice Cuccia, P.E.
  • Highlands: Hercilia Breton, Spanish
  • Sam Houston: Veronica Marines, ELA
  • Jefferson: Deborah Velasquez, algebra
  • Lanier: Georgina Flores, graphic design
  • St. Philip's College ECHS: Tammy Clark, math
  • Travis Early College: Emily Hanley, ELAR
  • YWLA: Michelle Grajeda, English

Teacher of the Year: Middle schools

  • Davis: Marianne White, ELA
  • Harris: Elizabeth Castillo, social studies
  • Irving: Adriana Abundis, math
  • Longfellow: Anna Olguin, STEM
  • Lowell: Ana L. Perez, science
  • Page: Theresa McKendrick, math
  • Poe: Shirlene Bee, science
  • Rhodes: Rogelio Nava, ESL
  • Rogers: Manuel Reyna, P.E.
  • Tafolla: Jerry Romero, Japanese
  • Twain: Diego Navia, P.E./health
  • Whittier: Leilani De La Garza, science
  • YMLA: Bryan Foster, math

Teacher of the Year: Academies

  • Advanced learning academy (K-3): Jen Rabat, 1st grade
  • Ball: Adam Rodriguez, 5th grade
  • Beacon Hill: Matthew Blow, 4th grade
  • Bonham: Holly Clifford, theater arts
  • Bowden: Laura Ruiz, 3rd grade
  • Cotton: Luz Maria Perez, 5th grade
  • Forbes: Tammara Ganey, special education/GEC
  • Foster: Cynthia Hernandez, 6th grade
  • Hawthorne: Susan Castro, kindergarten
  • Japhet: Jacqueline Portillo, 3rd grade
  • M.L. King: Linda Gladney, ELA
  • Mission: Stephanie Hoffman, 2nd grade
  • Will Rogers: Troy Thomas, 6th grade
  • Steele Montessori: Patricia Forero, kindergarten
  • Twain Dual Language: Lucianne Pena-Miller, kindergarten
  • Woodlawn: Cristina Carrender, 4th grade bilingual

Teacher of the Year: Elementary schools

  • Arnold: Sandra Calderon, 5th grade bilingual
  • Barkley-Ruiz: Crystal Valdez, music
  • Baskin: Leah Rios, pre-kindergarten
  • J.T. Brackenridge: Michelle A. Chambers, special education/GEC
  • Briscoe: Jackie Avalos, special education/GEC
  • Cameron: Kimberly Durick, special education/ACE
  • Collins Garden: Marcela Villarreal, 3rd grade
  • Crockett: Yvette Sanchez, 4th grade
  • De Zavala: Yvonne Velasco, 4th grade
  • Douglass: Felecia Bunch, kindergarten
  • Fenwick: Kristina Martinez, 3rd grade
  • Franklin: Erin Garcia, 3rd grade
  • Gates: Veronica Saenz, 1st grade
  • Graebner: Laura Sanchez, 2nd grade
  • Green: Isabel Cepeda, 3rd grade
  • Herff: Debra Reasor, 1st grade
  • Highland Hills: Angela La Fosse, 3rd grade
  • Highland Park: Patricia Rosales Carrranza, special education/GEC
  • Hillcrest: Christopher Buckley, P.E.
  • Hirsch: Veronica Guerrero, kindergarten
  • Huppertz: Brenda L. Sanchez, 1st grade
  • Kelly: Tatum Almendarez, 3rd grade
  • Sarah King: Janice Widel, 3rd grade
  • Lamar: Alison Vives, 6th grade
  • Madison: Valerie Moreno Gonzalez, 3rd grade
  • Margil: Doris Blanco, 6th grade
  • Maverick: Kristin Ivy, 3rd grade
  • Miller: Krystal Mercado, 1st grade
  • Neal: Leandra Castaneda, special education/GEC/dyslexia
  • Ogden: Gina Gaytan, 3rd grade
  • Pershing: Pedro Coronado, 6th grade
  • Riverside Park: Stephanie Williams, art
  • Rodriguez: Yesenia Gomez, 5th grade bilingual
  • Schenck: Sarah Bishop, PPCD
  • Smith: Francine Rose, special education/BSC
  • Stewart: Vanessa Ibarra, kindergarten
  • Storm: Veronica Vela-Botello, 3rd grade bilingual
  • Washington: Gabrielle Garcia, 1st grade
  • Wilson: Stephanie Garcia, pre-kindergarten
  • Woodlawn Hills: Pamela Pickert, special education/ACE

Teacher of the Year: Early childhood education centers

  • Carroll: Monica White, pre-kindergarten
  • Carvajal: Andrea Greimel, pre-kindergarten dual language
  • Gonzales: Roselia Maya, pre-kindergarten
  • Knox: Tracie Solis, pre-kindergarten
  • Nelson: Valerie Castillo, Head Start
  • Tynan: Elizabeth Gibbons, pre-kindergarten

Teacher of the Year: Special campuses

  • Cooper Academy @ Navarro: Marinel Sanchez, ELA and art
  • Estrada: LaNell Taylor, English
  • Satellite campuses (Healy Murphy): Laura Tully, math