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From May 7-11, Harlingen CISD, like many districts across the nation, is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week. On Monday, May 7, district administrators kicked off the week with celebratory visits to Milam Elementary and Vernon Middle School where two of HCISD’s top educators were named Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year.

Noelia Garza from Milam and Manuel Garcia from Vernon were recognized for their exceptional work in the classroom and making a difference in the lives of their students.

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“We have some amazing teachers throughout our district. Every year we highlight and recognize teachers that really exemplify incredible work,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. This year, it is a great honor to recognize Noelia Garza and Manuel as HCISD’s Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year. These two outstanding individuals have found their purpose and their why and use that passion for teaching to inspire their students.”

The teachers received surprise visits during afternoon assemblies at their respective campuses.

Garza, whose motivation comes from her desire to build people and to have a positive impact on those around her, said that being an educator is not an easy task but an important one.

“I’m here because I really love my job and I love my students – past, present, and future,” she said speaking to the student body. “You all are awesome. The future is super bright and I’m here to guide your path.”

Garcia, whose desire is to make a difference in his students’ lives just as teachers have made a difference in his own life, was at a loss for words after receiving the news.

“I’m a speech teacher and I think I’m a little speech-less,” he said. “I’m deeply honored for this opportunity and I’m very happy that I get to teach. I get to hopefully make a difference in my students and hopefully they can put into practice what they learn in their daily lives.”

Along with their designations as exemplary teachers, a 500-dollar Teacher of the Year grant recognizing excellence in education was awarded by the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation to each of winners’ campus in their honor.

Noelia Garza and Manuel Garza will be representing HCISD in the Region One Teacher of the Year competition.

Click here for more photos of the Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Click here for more photos of the Secondary Teacher of the Year.

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