We are in complete awe of the teachers who were nominated in Alamo City’s Amazing Teacher contest! We asked our readers to nominate teachers who have made an impact in their and their children’s lives. With more than 7,000 teachers in one San Antonio school district alone, there are thousands of wonderful educators in the San Antonio community, and we are honored to be featuring some of them today.
Here is an introduction to our finalists. We want our readers to help us determine who will receive the title of Alamo City’s Amazing Teacher!
Voting will open Tuesday, May 22 and continue through 8:00 A.M. on Friday, May 25.
Voting has closed and the winner will be announce this week!
Cassio Andrade Silva
Texans Can Academies – San Antonio Can, Instructional Coach, Social Studies Teacher, Boys Basketball Coach, FIE Trainer
Students of local non-profit high school Texans Can Academies – San Antonio Can are often facing overwhelming struggles in and beyond the classroom. Many of these students are former dropouts or simply didn’t succeed in a traditional high school environment. The teachers of San Antonio Can are a special group, serving both the educational and the emotional needs of each student through customized lessons and instruction, flexible schedules and an environment that promotes learning in a new way.
Coach Silva is a shining example of what it means to be an amazing teacher. He is admired by students and fellow teachers for an unmatched ability to be the change agent in his student’s lives. He is often recognized by students and staff as the teacher who encourages students to buy into their own education for the first time in their lives. He understands that in order to succeed these students need to be able to relate to the materials and he has to bring it back to basics. He creates lessons that speak to the interests of the student while teaching them the skills they need to successfully pass testing and go on to graduation, something most of these students merely dreamed of when starting.
Coach Silva was recently asked what hopes his legacy will be as a teacher.
“I want to have a legacy of teaching curiosity and creating lifelong learners. I hope that my students never cease to be students of life and continue to search for knowledge in whatever interests them. For their knowledge is the only possession that can never be taken away from them.”
As the boys’ basketball coach, Coach Silva ends every season with a tradition he started at San Antonio Can: The Tie Ceremony.
“Most of these boys will only wear a tie if they are going to a funeral or to court. These are not court ties, these are not funeral ties. These are graduation ties, these are job interview ties, these are military oath ties, these are the first day of college ties, these are ‘I will be successful ties!'”
“My biggest goal as a coach is never to win games or create great basketball players. My goal is to transform boys into great men that understand that through hard work and dedication they can win at life.”
Coach Silva is truly an exceptional teacher and person. He helps to bring these students back from a path that was usually paved with immense obstacles and put them on the path to graduation and life accomplishments. These students leave Coach Silva’s class with more self-esteem, more emotional stability, more education, and more guidance. He goes beyond just imparting the knowledge they need to pass a history class, he wants them to leave with the skills to have an accomplished life. He continues to change lives every day in real ways through his work. We hope you can see what we see with this incredible San Antonio teacher.
Nominated by Jessica Hall
Basis North Central San Antonio, Math and Science Teacher
Mrs. Collins is an amazing and nurturing math/science teacher at Basis. My daughter has rediscovered her love for math and science this school year. She is always excited to go to school and has specifically asked me not to pick her up from school early because math/science is her last class of the day. Mrs. Collins is always prompt to work with parents to solve any issues your children may have.
We will be eternally grateful to Mrs. Collins for her dedication to our kids at Basis.
Nominated by Madai Rangel
SAISD, PPCD Teacher
Ms. Eisele has been an instrumental person in the life of our family. She was the PPCD teacher for my son with autism 12 years ago and now has been my 5-year-old daughter’s PCCD teacher for the past 2 years. Ms. Eisele has taught so many children with special needs that they are smart, loved, and important. She has given our family hope that our children will be productive children and have the ability to rise up to the challenge of living with autism. She loves all children as if they were her own and we are truly blessed to have been assigned to her classroom 12 years ago. This being our second child with autism, Ms. Eisele welcomed our family once again with opened arms. We love her more than words can express. It would be an honor to show our appreciation by nominating her.
Nominated by Nora Leza
Archdiocese of San Antonio, St. Anthony Catholic High School, Spanish Teacher
Mr. Flores goes out of his way to creating lasting relationships with each student and their families. Not only does Mr. Flores make school fun for all of his students by taking them on meaningful field trips, he is passionate about serving the school with his time. Mr. Flores is a natural born photographer and volunteers his time to attend extracurricular school events to take pictures of our school. He also plays the accordion at functions if asked. Mr. Flores never complains when serving others. Mr. Flores is definitely an AMAZING TEACHER!
Nominated by Jennifer Torres
Giant Steps Learning Day School, Preschool Teacher
Wow… what can’t I say about Mrs. Garcia! She is amazing! She loves my son as if were her own. She is very friendly and patient! She loves to make learning fun! She is always willing to dress up and be silly with the kids at the school. She definitely embraces the school’s motto… learning through play! We will miss her morning and afternoon smiles when we leave the school for Kindergarten.
Nominated by Jaclyn Karimjee
Brooks Collegiate Academy, 3rd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Herrera knows each and every one of her students as her own! She has created a culture of teamwork and friendship in her class, all of her students treat each other with respect and encourage each other. She recently sent out a letter mailed to each of her students home address that encouraged them before taking the STAAR test next week. She told them the test does not define them and she knows what they are capable of. She is truly a special teacher!
Nominated by Lisa Smith
St. Thomas Episcopal School, 2-year old teacher
Miss Pam has the youngest students at St. Thomas, the young 2s. She works so hard to individualize instruction and make each child feel secure in her classroom. She teaches social skills and potty training; colors and Jesus stories; and she helps each child reach his or her potential. She communicates with each family and always has a smile on her face. She teaches the children Spanish, dances with them in music class, and models a loving concern for all to her students.
Nominated by Debra Root Copeland
NEISD, Cibolo Green Elementary, 1st Grade Teacher
If ever there was a teacher deserving of recognition, it’s Mrs. Jordan of Cibolo Green Elementary School! This first-grade teacher makes learning FUN! She’s creative and thoughtful, structured yet silly, organized and flexible. Most importantly, every child in her care feels loved, encouraged and supported. We have been blessed with two years of her amazing teaching in the classroom!
My daughter and her entire kindergarten class looped with her into first grade! Two years of instruction from a teacher known for her calm ways, her simple yet effective redirections, her silly character voices while reading, and her amazing classroom management skills.
She tries new things, welcomes parents into the classroom, and keeps us informed of our child’s progress. Our kids are LOVED! My daughter has a passion for writing, and I’m constantly finding notes written to the “best teacher ever!” Drawings are scattered throughout our playroom illustrating my girl holding her teacher’s hand. When she plays school with her siblings, I “hear” Mrs. Jordan’s voice.
The 23 students in her class showcase her talent on a daily basis. From the mouths of her first graders, you’ll hear kind words, words of encouragement, “I” statements, and children working through their disagreements in conversation. They are remarkable children with a truly talented teacher modeling for them! Not only are the academic subjects covered, but more importantly, positive social skills are constantly taught and reinforced. She’s created an amazing community in her classroom!
Keep in mind that Mrs. Jordan also serves the school by sitting on several committees. (We don’t get to keep her all to ourselves!) She constantly looks to better our school and has improved the science committee, serves as an art chair for an after-school club, welcomes student teachers each year, and also serves as her grade-level chair.
It would be a wonderful treat for Mrs. Jordan to be recognized for the positive impact she has on our children!
Nominated by Kathy Hoyme
Great Hearts, Great Hearts Monte Vista North, Science Teacher
Ms. Lindberg makes science come alive for her students. On a recent 8th Grade Field Trip, her students shot off the rockets they made and measured the altitude they traveled with the instruments Ms. Lindberg had them build. Her high school chemistry students decorated the hallways of the school for Earth Week and the younger students were encouraged to complete an Earth Week Challenge with the answers to be found in the displays. Finally, Ms. Lindberg even dresses the part. She has outfits that are science-themed, including a periodic table dress.
Nominated by Christina Shakoor
Great Hearts Monte Vista South, Reading Specialist and 504 Coordinator
Honestly, I wish I could somehow recognize almost every teacher my child has ever had, we have been incredibly blessed. I just don’t feel like there are words or gestures adequate enough to thank any of them. However, even among this amazing group of people, Mrs. Lessner stands out. She has worked with my youngest son for the past three years. He will never have a bigger advocate than her and he absolutely adores her. He is dyslexic and struggles academically. This year for the very first time he is reading on grade level, approaching where a student should be for his age. He also managed to pass the STAAR test, something he has been far from doing in the past two years. One year he was struggling with behavior in a class with a young first-year teacher, she set up a meeting and went over behavior strategies specific for him and he never had another problem in that class. This was beyond her duty, she didn’t have to step in. She saw a student she cared about struggling and knew she could help because of her relationship with him and years of knowledge she has acquired. She helped both my student and that young teacher by doing what she did. She has encouraged and challenged and brought out more than any of us truly expected all without breaking him. I am forever grateful. I have mourned many special teachers as my students have moved along but this one is going to be particularly hard for me.
Nominated by Denise Carpenter
St. Anthony Catholic High School, Math Teacher
Mr. Morin holds his students to high standards. Class time is used efficiently, and he has a way of teaching his students so that they are able to understand various math concepts. He also sponsors a Robotics club where he is able to impart his knowledge utilizing his engineering background. His ability to be firm but fair in his assessment of student capabilities makes him an excellent teacher.
Nominated by Ron Glazener Jr.
Texans Can Academies, San Antonio Can High School, History Instructor
Mr. Rodriquez is not only an amazing teacher he is an amazing mentor to our students. He not only teaches History but he teaches life. Rodriguez’s classroom is life changing. Our students are here because they have dropped out of traditional high school for whatever reasons and these are some of the most challenging students to teach. Mr. Rodriguez has had a 90 % passing rate on the state STAAR with these challenging students. He expects no less! He motivates and truly cares about his students which is why a bond just forms naturally between him and his students. He has dedicated his life to teaching these non- traditional students and making a difference in their lives. His teaching style and connection with the students is remarkable. He is one of a kind!
Nominated by Debra Cruz
NEISD, Kindergarten Teacher
Mrs. Taylor has been inspirational to my son’s educational and emotional growth this school year. I have seen daily changes in my son that has amazed me every time. He goes to school in the morning as one person as comes out as another. Her patience, empathy and genuine love for my son is reflective in his eyes and everything that he does. She is the greatest teacher any parent would adore and appreciate to educate their child. I only wish she could be my son’s teacher every year.
Nominated by Rudy Mata