There are more than 1,200 teachers at Harlingen CISD. Two educators, one from the elementary level and one from the secondary level, are selected each year to represent the entire school district as Teachers of the Year.
On May 2, district administrators made surprise visits to Treasure Hills Elementary and Cano Freshman Academy to announce this year’s honorees: Moises Vargas and Janie Guetzow.
At Treasure Hills Elementary, Moises Vargas was surprised in his pre-K classroom.
“We just want to say thank you for all the wonderful work you do not just with your students, but all of our kids across the district,” Superintendent Dr. Alicia Noyola said. “You have played such a critical role in so much of our work with early childhood. So, we not only want to recognize you, but thank you for the work that you do.”
School and district administrators took turns congratulating Vargas.
“Mr. Vargas, it has been a dream being your administrator,” Treasure Hills assistant principal Kimberly McCutcheon said. “We are ecstatic to put kids in your classroom every year because we know they are going to grow and develop here.”
Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education Loranda Romero also recognized Vargas.
“I remember the very first time I saw this young man,” Romero said. “He was in Step Up. He was a part of our cohort and from the very onset, I was very impressed. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. We truly appreciate what you do here. You are definitely the gold standard for early childhood.”
Vargas responded with gratitude and excitement.
“I am just so blessed to come and teach every single day and just show others how much kids are capable of,” Vargas said. “Sometimes we underestimate them, but just give them a shot and they can really show you what they can do, and I am glad that I am part of their educational journey.”
After announcing the Elementary Teacher of the Year, the group of administrators headed to the Cano Freshman Academy ILC to announce the Secondary Teacher of the Year.
“We have fantastic teachers across this school district, and it is often difficult to narrow that down to one Secondary Teacher of the Year, but we are so proud of Mrs. Guetzow,” Dr. Noyola said. “I mean, every year at least 100 students come through her classroom, and we think of the span of your career and all of the students she has impacted. So, we want to congratulate you, and tell you how proud we are of your work.”
School and district administrators took turns congratulating Guetzow.
“It is such an honor to be able to recognize Mrs. Guetzow this way,” Cano principal Imelda Trevino said. “Everything I present to her, she is always asking me if it is purposeful, and she always reminds me to keep my eye on that so that we can do the very best for our students. So, I thank you for that.”
Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education Dr. Joseph Villarreal also shared a few words.
“This is one teacher you will remember as you go through life and the impact that she has had on you and your education,” Dr. Villarreal said.
Guetzow responded with a message of appreciation.
“Thank you to my students,” Guetzow said. “I do this for them. I love my job. I love coming in every day and I love seeing the younger teachers come in and eventually move up. I take no shame in staying in the classroom until I retire because that is where my passion is. I couldn’t do this alone. It takes a department, a campus, and administrators who support us in every way possible. So, thank you all for the support you give us each and every day.”