EL PASO, TX (KTSM) — On Saturday night, the region’s second-largest school district announced its Teachers of the Year.
The Socorro Independent School District held its 2022 Teacher of the Year Gala on May 14 at the El Paso Convention Center, honoring Irasema Torres and Vanessa M. Payan as the best in the district.
As the 2022 SISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, Torres teaches fourth grade at Vista Del Sol Elementary. She has been teaching for 15 years and says she aims to help all students overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.
Torres said she was honored to be recognized along with her fellow Teachers of the Year at the special event.
“I realize that I’m a role model now,” Torres said. “I know that at every stage of my career, even outside of the classroom, I can be a role model not only for my students but also for other educators.”
As for Payan, the 2022 SISD Secondary Teacher of the Year, she teaches at Hurshel Antwine Middle School. She is a theatrical arts teacher and has worked in education for 13 years. SISD officials say she is an energetic teacher who strives to ensure her students stay positive and motivated.
Payan said she was grateful to represent teachers in general, but especially fine arts educators.
“My students said, ‘You got it, Ms. Payan,'” she said. “My students always think the best of me. They’re going to be as excited as I am because they know they’re just as important to my success than anything else.
SISD Superintendent, Nate Carman, Ed.D., and Chairman of the Board, David O. Morales, congratulated all campus teachers of the year and thanked all teachers for their outstanding work in bringing students to seize their opportunities.
Elite 8 finalists also received special recognition for their achievement in class.
KTSM Chief Meteorologist Monica Cortez was the emcee for the event, which attracted more than a thousand SISD teachers, family members and special guests.