Educators across the nation are celebrated yearly during Teacher Appreciation Week. On May 3, district administration surprised Gladys Sanchez from Long Elementary and Erika Uribe from Vela Middle School with the recognition of district teachers of the year.
Out of 1,200 teachers from across Harlingen CISD, one elementary and one secondary teacher is chosen each year to represent the entire district.
Long Elementary students and staff waited excitedly in the cafeteria for a surprise visit. Superintendent Dr. Alicia Noyola arrived along with a group of district administrators to make the announcement.
“The top elementary teacher is Ms. Sanchez,” Dr. Noyola said. “She does a lot of great things in this district not just for her students that are sitting right here, but she does a lot of things for all the teachers across this district. She helps them to get ready to be the very best teachers they can be. She serves on a lot of committees that help us plan the work that we do here in Harlingen, and we could not be as great a district as we are if not for teachers like Ms. Sanchez.”
Gladys Sanchez is a second-grade teacher who has been teaching at Long for 16 years.
“I am really honored,” Sanchez said. “You know I do all this because I love teaching, I love students, and I love you guys. Everything I do is because I want to make things better for everyone. I have worked with so many amazing teachers and principals, and I am just so thankful to be here at Long. I love Long!”
After their visit to Long Elementary, the administration team made their way to Vela Middle School. They entered the school ILC to join a meeting that Erika Uribe was part of.
“We know that this has been a year like no other, and teachers have really been the glue for kids,” Dr. Noyola said. “Your campus teacher of the year actually happens to be here. You all know what a phenomenal job Erika has done this year by being that constant for kids, being that glue that keeps kids connected. So, we also wanted to recognize Erika as our district secondary teacher of the year.”
Vela Assistant Band Director Erika Uribe has worked in the school district for 13 years.
“Thank you, guys,” Uribe said. “I appreciate it so much, and we do what we do because we love working with all of your children, and all the children of the district. Our goal is to make the best possible experience for them. I think because of principals and what the admin does for us, we have been able to accomplish a lot of things. We look forward to what is coming in the future. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to rise to the top.”
In addition to the celebrations and the gifts that Sanchez and Uribe received, Long Elementary and Vela Middle School will each receive $500, an award donated by the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation.