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District celebrates top students and District Teachers of the Year
Mission CISD made sure the hard work and success of their top teachers and students didn’t end the 2020 school year without personal recognition.
With campuses closed and major end-of-the-year events still up in the air due to coronavirus social distancing measures, the Mission Consolidated Independent School District had to get creative this year. On Tues. May 5, Superintendent Dr. Carol Perez and administration took a caravan of congratulations across the district in cooperation with local law enforcement.
The caravan, which took off from the MCISD Central Office at 9 a.m., made stops at the houses of every valedictorian and salutatorian of Mission High School, Veterans Memorial High School and Mission Collegiate High School. They also stopped at the homes of their two district Teachers of the Year – typically, MCISD honors these teachers at a banquet held during this week (Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8, 2020).
Superintendent Perez spoke to all the graduates and teachers, thanking them for their dedication and expressing her pride.
Damian Gonzalez, the VMHS valedictorian, was with his parents when the caravan stopped at his house. They took pictures of him as the administration congratulated them and placed a sign noting his accomplishment on their lawn.
“I wasn’t expecting it – I just woke up, this all feels super surreal,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just really happy to share this with my family, because honestly I do this for them.”
Gonzalez is planning on attending Rice University in the fall, and intends to major in mechanical engineering.
“I’m just really happy, I’m filled with a lot of emotions right now,” Gonzalez said as he and his family watched the caravan pull away. “Hopefully I have a lot to look forward to, and this is just one big step.”
The caravan also stopped at the houses of both MCISD Teachers of the Year. Once there, the administration presented each teacher with their award, a yard sign and a $500 check provided by the Education Foundation of Mission CISD.
The Mission CISD Secondary Teacher of the Year is Joselito Guanzon from Mission High School, where he teaches AP Physics and chemistry. He has been teaching for 17 years, and has been with MCISD for ten.
“I did not expect this – they just texted me that they were coming, and I was [wondering] why,” Guanzon said. “I thought that they were coming around because it is Teacher Appreciation Week, and I was like ‘are they going to do this for all the teachers in the district?’ I didn’t know, this was a surprise.”
Guanzon is also the Robotics Coach for MHS, which has seen several successful years of competition.
“It feels great and very appreciated,” Guanzon said. “I’m so happy.”
The Mission CISD Elementary Teacher of the Year is Rebecca Munguia from Bryan Elementary School. Munguia has been a teacher for 23 years, and currently teaches english and math as a part of Special Education Services at the campus.
These two teachers were selected by a panel of judges consisting of a cross-section of the Mission CISD area communities. Munguia and Guanzon will now represent Mission CISD as Teachers of the year during the next school year.
According to a press release from the district, they will also be entered into the Region One Teacher of the Year contest, which is affiliated with the state and national programs. The applications used by Mission CISD are the same ones used in those programs. They include information on the teachers such as professional background, educational history and several questions that delve into their teaching approaches, and thoughts on issues impacting the teaching profession.
The other teachers selected by their schools as Campus Teachers of the Year are: Jessica Villarreal, Alton Elementary School; Rosemarie Underwood, Cantu Elementary School; Melanie Ramos Perez, Castro Elementary School; Erika Martinez, Cavazos Elementary School; Bonnie Hernandez, Escobar/Rios Elementary School; Alicia Bazan, Leal Elementary School; Alva Salinas, Midkiff Elementary School; Ana Salinas, Mims Elementary School; Mario Flores, Marcell Elementary School; Maria Davalos, O’Grady Elementary School; Marisol De La Rosa, Pearson Elementary School; Hortencia Morales, Salinas Elementary School; Fabiola Salinas, Waitz Elementary School. Ana C. Perez, Alton Memorial Jr. High School; Martin Villegas, K. White Jr. High School; Anne Rodriguez, Mission Jr. High School; Vanessa Ramos, R. Cantu Jr. High School; Anthony M. Charles, Mission Collegiate High School; Carolina Ramos, Veterans Memorial High School; Robert Nino, Roosevelt Alternative School; Liz Acosta, Options Academy.