Trinity University Names 19 Finalists for Teaching Excellence Award

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(From left) SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez, Trinity prize recipient Andrea Lucas, and Lamar Elementary Principal Brian Sparks.

Robert Rivard / Rivard Report

(From left) SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez, Trinity Prize recipient Andrea Lucas, and Lamar Elementary Principal Brian Sparks celebrate Lucas' Trinity Prize in 2018.

Trinity University announced Tuesday that 19 educators in the San Antonio area have been chosen as distinguished educators and finalists for the 2018-19 Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

The award, which has recognized outstanding performance in public education since 1982, will be given to two recipients on March 22 in the Stieren Theater on Trinity’s campus following a panel review by local business and civic leaders. Educators were nominated by area school districts for their leadership in the school and district, passion for education, outstanding classroom performance, and commitment to community service.

Alamo Heights Junior School STEM Coordinator Jeff Wheatcraft, who won the Trinity Prize in 2018, went on to be named Secondary Teacher of the Year and Texas Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association of School Administrators. Last year’s other Trinity Prize winner was Andrea Lucas, a fourth-grade bilingual teacher at Lamar Elementary School.

The two winners will be awarded checks for $2,500, while each finalist will receive $1,500. One of the 19 finalists will receive a What-A-Teacher award from Whataburger.

Nominations for the award come from the 19 districts affiliated with Trinity’s Center for Educational Leadership.

This year’s finalists are:

  • Erika Guerrero, CTE/special education teacher at Alamo Heights High School in Alamo Heights ISD
  • Wendy Zamzow, AP physics teacher at Boerne-Champion High School in Boerne ISD
  • Amber Galvan, fifth-grade reading/social studies/science teacher at Specht Elementary School in Comal ISD
  • Timothy McMeans, art teacher at East Central High School in East Central ISD
  • Evangelina Perez, pre-K 3 and 4 dual-language teacher at Loma Park Elementary School in Edgewood ISD
  • Katie Michna, library media specialist at Cole Middle/High School in Fort Sam Houston ISD
  • Olivia Robinson, seventh-grade ELA teacher at Leal Middle School in Harlandale ISD
  • David Dodge, eighth-grade math teacher at Kitty Hawk Middle School in Judson ISD
  • Mary Sims, ELAR teacher and STEM-based elective teacher at Stacey Jr./Sr. High School in Lackland ISD
  • Brynn Luikens, fourth-grade ELA teacher at Stahl Elementary School in North East ISD
  • Priscilla Prather, family and consumer sciences teacher at Folks Middle School in Northside ISD
  • Todd Olivera, health science/athletic trainer at Randolph High School in Randolph ISD
  • Andrea Greimel, bilingual early-education teacher at Carvajal Early Childhood Center in San Antonio ISD
  • Jesus Gutierrez, third-grade math and science teacher at Somerset Elementary in Somerset ISD
  • Michael Tudyk, music teacher at Five Palms Elementary in South San ISD
  • Cheryl Kindred, art teacher at Heritage Elementary in Southside ISD
  • Michael Sandoval, pre-AP world geography and AP human geography teacher at Southwest High School in Southwest ISD
  • Irma Garcia, third-grade ELAR and social studies teacher at Robb Elementary in Uvalde ISD
  • Rebecca Summers, lower school teacher at the Winston School in San Antonio

One thought on “Trinity University Names 19 Finalists for Teaching Excellence Award

  1. Ms. Garza, I am a strong advocate for using diacritical marks on Latino/Spanish surnames. In your article, there are several surnames that should have had an accent mark: Galván, Pérez, Gutiérrez and García.
    What governs the use of the diacritical marking in Pérez and Gutiérrez is the following ‘rule:’ words in Spanish ending in a consonant other than ‘n’ or ‘s’ are normally stressed on the final syllable, e.g., Carvajal and Sandoval. If the word ending in a consonant is stressed in a syllable other than the final one, it requires an accent mark: Pérez and Gutiérrez.
    A second ‘rule’ states that if a word ends in a vowel OR ‘n’ or ‘s,’ the stress is placed on the penultimate syllable: Guerrero and Olivera. If that rule is not followed, then an accent mark is required: Galván.
    García is governed by a third ‘rule:’ The stress falls on a weak vowel (i or u) which is immediately next to a strong vowel (a, e or o). The accent mark makes the weak vowel as strong as the strong vowel. Thus, in García, the accent over the i gives us three syllables in the word: Gar-cí-a and that surname now (with the accent mark) follows the second rule.

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