Two Zavala Elementary leaders named Apple Distinguished Educators


Zavala Principal Tanya Garza and Instructional Coach Erika Galvan were recently named to the Apple Distinguished Educators Class of 2017.

The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) program recognizes education leaders worldwide who transform learning with innovative uses of Apple products. Through this elite distinction, these two fortunate educators have joined a lifelong, supportive, and welcoming community that will provide them with new ideas and opportunities for educational excellence and leadership.

“I really can’t believe that two of us from the same campus were selected,” Principal Tanya Garza said. “ There has only been about 2,100 people that have been selected worldwide. To be a part of that is almost unbelievable to me.”

The ADE program isn’t the school’s first involvement with Apple. The campus was previously selected as a ConnectED school,  a program that provided the campus with Apple technology. Although ConnectED is not directly associated with ADE, Garza believes it might have assisted in their selection.

“ConnectEd is giving us the professional development and technology we can use in the classrooms,” Garza said. “I think for an Apple Distinguished Educator, it’s more about what we are doing with all of that now. For me, if I think back to before the technology came into place, teachers were still trying to do a lot of collaboration in the classroom through projects. What technology has done is taken it to the next level.”

Teachers are transforming learning by incorporating the use of applications into their lessons.

“Before, students had the option of turning in an essay, a play, or a drawing,” Instructional Coach Erika Galvan said. “Now they have the option of turning in a keynote presentation, a movie, or an animation. They have a bigger variety of choices to express themselves. Using technology is such a huge advantage and they are learning it in Pre-K.”

Beyond the new iPads and Macs, it’s Zavala’s dedicated staff and administration that is providing a successful learning environment. The staff at Zavala is 100 percent Apple Teacher Certified.

“Now with the ADE recognition, I am wondering, what is going to come next,” Galvan said. “The ADE program is going to allow us to bring back so much to Zavala and HCISD because we are going to be able to share everything we are learning.”

Garza and Galvan will attend the ADE Academy in July.

The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program began in 1994 when Apple recognized K-12 and higher education pioneers who are using a variety of Apple products to transform teaching and learning in powerful ways. Today it has grown into a worldwide community of over 2,500 visionary educators and innovative leaders who are doing amazing things with Apple technology in and out of the classroom.


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