Teacher from Cornelius won HAABE’s Elementary Bilingual Teacher of the Year Award

Last Saturday 28th, the Houston Area Association for Bilingual Education (HAABE) hosted its 36th Annual Bilingual/ESL Teacher of the Year Banquet to recognize the excellence in teaching in three categories: Elementary Bilingual, Elementary ESL and Secondary ESL.

This year 29 Bilingual and ESL teachers in the Greater Houston Area were acknowledged for their outstanding work.

“We realize that teacher appreciation is an important component in schools that promotes the achievement of linguistically diverse students,” said HAABE president Dr. Susana Franco-Fuenmayor.

The finalists from seven school districts and one charter school district received a certificate of excellence for promoting bilingualism and biliteracy among students.

Houston ISD competed with 14 finalists and won in the category of Elementary Bilingual HAABE Teacher of the year with Mr. Roberto Leyva Jr. from Cornelius Elementary School.

The third-grade educator manifested that he “believes in this motto: It is better to be prepared for an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. Every day I wake up thinking that something great is going to happen, that I am making a difference. Every day I wake up and I choose to go to work. I am a proud bilingual teacher from Houston, UH proud alumni, and I thank Houston ISD and the Multilingual department for giving me this opportunity to participate.”

Ms. Kayo Mitra from Fort Bend ISD was selected as Elementary ESL HAABE Teacher of the Year and Ms. Hazel Zavala from Galena Park ISD won the Secondary ESL HAABE Teacher of the Year.

Houston ISD’s finalists were:

Secondary ESL: Amanda Vasquez (Burbank MS)

Secondary Bilingual: Dulce Leonor Mancillas (Burbank MS)

Elementary ESL:

  • North –
    • Samantha Martin (Roosevelt ES)
    • Judy Brule (Sherman ES)
  • Northwest – Julia Hernandez (Wharton Academy)
  • West – Eden Shapiro (Sutton ES)
  • East – Yliana Moyeda (Sanchez ES)
  • South – Armando Victoria, Jr. (Brookline ES, )

Elementary Bilingual:

  • North – Francisco Usero Gonzalez (Roosevelt ES)
  • West – Liliana Torres (M. White ES)
  • East – Cynthia Berrios (Patterson ES)
  • South – Robert Leyva (Cornelius ES)


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