Blue Haze Elementary third grade teacher Marissa Torres was one of two teachers in Region 11 named a 2017 Region 11 Teacher of the Year during an awards banquet on Aug. 3. Torres is White Settlement ISD’s 2016-17 Elementary District Teacher of the Year.
The Teacher of the Year Program, sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators, allows districts to submit one elementary and one secondary candidate to compete at the regional and state levels. Seventy-two teachers, representing 40 school districts in Region 11, participated in this year’s competition, and Torres and Amanda McKnight of Lewisville ISD were recognized by Region XI.
District winners who competed for the regional award were required to complete seven lengthy essays describing their educational history and professional development, professional biography, a defining lesson they have developed, a special project or initiative they have spearheaded, an example of how they connected students to their community, knowledge of educational issues, and their message should they be selected as state teacher of the year.
“I believe there is so much more to what we do than simply teaching our state standards,” said Torres in her essay describing a lesson that defines who she is as a teacher. “We have the obligation and privilege to help create lifelong learners who will confidently bring not only their ideas into the world, but also kindness and empathy.”
Blue Haze Principal Sarah Deslatte said, “Marissa exhibits the qualities of a great educator and leader—she is tenacious, models and expects excellence, and most importantly, her students know that she truly believes in each and every one of them.”
The banquet, hosted by the Education Service Center Region 11 and funded by EECU, recognizes all of the teachers of the year from school districts in the North Central Texas region.
Torres will now compete at the state level for the Texas Teacher of the Year award.