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Adriana Abundis wins EXCEL Award for SAISD

  • Excel Award 2
  • Excel Award 3
  • Excel Award 1

Adriana Abundis, an SAISD Distinguished Teacher of the Year, is being recognized throughout Bexar County for excellence as an educator.

The eighth-grade math teacher at Irving Middle School learned during a surprise visit to her school that she is SAISD’s recipient of a 2018 EXCEL Award, presented by KENS5 and Credit Human.

“Ms. Abundis has built rapport with people of all ages, especially her students,” Principal Olivia Almanza-Pena said. “Her ability to connect with them and her talent at teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics, are both truly superior.”

From her own experience, Abundis understands the struggles of her students. Abundis, whose first language is Spanish, was born and raised in Los Angeles after her parents came to the United States from Mexico. Both her parents were unable to complete high school due to family circumstances, and Abundis says that education has always been a vehicle for opportunity and her desire for redemption for her family pushes her to create new opportunities for her students. Abundis tries to instill in her students the same determination she had while in school.

“I want to support youth in understanding that education is their most critical of life opportunities and that learning is not simply an opportunity to grow one’s intellectual capacity, but also analyze and challenge notions that are unjust and misinformed,” she said.

After Abundis graduated high school, she knew that she must continue her education.

“I knew in my heart I needed to go to college, and to go to college, I had to go to school every day and to get to school every day, I had to get myself there,” Adriana Abundis told KENS5.

And go to college she did. Abundis has a B.A. from Michigan State University and took graduate courses at the University of the Incarnate Word. She is currently finishing work on an M.A. from the Relay Graduate School of Education while starting a second master's degree in bilingual education with the University of Texas at San Antonio. She uses her education and seven years of teaching experience to offer solutions and support for all of her students.

“I strongly support and challenge their development in ways that will transform them as students and as learners,” she said.

In addition to teaching, Abundis has participated with a UTSA Teacher Quality Grant for mathematics and the UIW Teacher Quality Grant for Science where she attended monthly professional development collaborating with algebra, mathematics and science instructors from multiple districts. She has attended national math conferences where she has presented, created learning targets, tasks and activities for students.

Last school year, Abundis was one of three SAISD educators selected Distinguished Teachers of the Year from a pool of campus-level Teachers of the Year, representing each District campus.

The EXCEL Award includes a silver apple trophy, $1,000 cash prize and a feature story that aired on KENS5.