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Teachers of the year recognized at dinner and board meeting

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Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge,” and Harlandale ISD has its share of teachers who bring out the best in their students. In fact, 22 of them were honored at the Teacher of the Year Recognition Dinner at Harlandale Middle School on February 19.

One by one, each school’s principal stood before the crowd of about 80 people and shared touching comments, funny stories or just an explanation of what set aside their Teacher of the Year. Then, each honoree was handed a “Teachers Make the Difference” pin. They also got to enjoy a specially prepared meal by Chef John Stewart and students from the Culinary Arts program and live music by McCollum High School’s assistant principal, Dale Hahn, and teachers, Brooke Holyock and Joshua Vance.

The festivities didn’t end there. Each Teacher of the Year was also recognized at the School Board meeting following the dinner. “He is brilliant.” “She cares for us like mama.” “He doesn’t give us much homework.” Those were just some of the comments students shared about their Teacher of the Year and they were read aloud as the Board of Trustees and Superintendent Rey Madrigal presented each honoree with the official Teacher of the Year trophy.

Mrs. Gabriela Ortega from Adams Elementary was handed a special plaque Tuesday night as she was named the HISD Teacher of the Year. The fine arts teacher is also the recipient of the KENS5 ExCEL Award and the district’s nominee for the Trinity Prize Excellence in Teaching award.