Zavala Elementary, Harlingen High School educators selected as district teachers of the year

A Zavala Elementary School and a Harlingen High School teacher were selected as Harlingen CISD’s elementary and secondary teachers of the year. 

With school closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos made the special announcement via Zoom, an online video platform. 

Dr. Cavazos revealed that Zavala Elementary School teacher Christine Medrano had been selected as HCISD’s elementary teacher of the year for her continuous commitment to early childhood education. 

The Zavala Elementary School staff met on Zoom for teacher appreciation week. That’s when the surprise announcement was made. 

“Great teachers come forward and lead the rest,” said Dr. Art Cavazos, noting that Ms. Medrano has proven to be an educator who lends a hand around campus. “Thank you very much for all you do and congratulations.”

Ms. Medrano thanked her colleagues at Zavala Elementary for supporting her and encouraging her every step of the way. 

“I started to get the chills” when Dr. Cavazos spoke about the teacher of the year, she said. “I’m speechless, and my Zavala family has been a big contributor to my success.” 

Later on Monday morning, Dr. Cavazos popped in on another Zoom meeting, this time one in which Harlingen High School teachers were conversing about School@Home. 

He announced that Ms. Teresa Cuellar had been selected as the district’s secondary teacher of the year. 

Ms. Cuellar teaches education and training as well as child guidance, part of the district Career and Technology Education (CTE) program. 

Ms. Cuellar is loved by her students, including by those who are interested in also becoming future educators. The key to classroom success for Ms. Cuellar has been building valuable connections with her students. 

“I love my job,” Cuellar said. “My heart is full, that’s why I smile every day.”

Dr. Cavazos thanked Ms. Cuellar and Ms. Medrano for maintaining such high standards as students transitioned to learning from home while schools remained closed. 

Both teachers received flowers and balloons delivered to their homes, the icing on the cake.

The teachers advance to the regional round, where they will be considered for regional teacher of the year. 

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