EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) announced its six finalists for the Texas Teacher of the Year in 2022, and a local teacher is among the distinguished educators.
Ramon Benavides, a biology teacher at Del Valle High School, is one of three Texas Teacher of the Year finalists.
The six finalists will be interviewed by a panel of judges made up of representatives of educational leadership associations, business and community leaders, a member of the State Board for the Certification of Educators, a member of the State Board of Education, and alumni Texas Teachers of the Year.
The panel will select two statewide winners: Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year, and will choose one to represent Texas on the National Teacher of the Year program.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on October 15, 2021 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, where the 40 regional professors of the year will also be recognized.
“More than ever, it has been reaffirmed that Texas teachers work miracles every day as they inspire children even in the most difficult times,” said Kevin Brown, executive director of TASA, which has since coordinated the Texas Teacher of the Year 2011 program.
Benavides is the son of migrant agricultural workers who left school at an early age but became educators again in the Rio Grande Valley.
His love of learning is extensive and serves as both an educator and a student.
Benavides said he is passionate about sharing “the fascinating world of biology” with students at Del Valle and El Paso Community College for more than a decade in hopes of cultivating future Borderland leaders.
He also says he likes to lead by example and serve as a role model for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who face similar barriers to education as they did while growing up in South Texas.
Benavides holds degrees at several levels that include a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio, a bachelor of arts in chemistry from the University of Texas at Brownsville and a master’s in arts in science teaching from UTEP.
Benavides is currently pursuing a doctorate in politics and educational leadership from Texas Tech University.
Benavides is a STEM advocate who says he wants to convey a message of change to students, teachers, education leaders, policymakers and more “to see a difference in the current paradigm, thus ensuring that underrepresented students have a good chance of ‘success in the STEM professions’.
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