Rivera named Texas Bilingual / ESL Educator of the Year

At the 49th Annual Texas Association for Bilingual Education Conference held on Tuesday in El Paso, Seminole Junior High Reading Teacher, Ms. Coral Rivera was the recipient of the First Place Grant in the amount of $750, funded by the Summit K12 organization. Ms. Rivera was recognized as the Top Teacher in the State of Texas in English Language Proficiency Growth & Closing the Domain 3 Gap with Emergent Bilingual Students for 2019 through 2021. 

Summit K12 provides standards-based supplemental curriculum to districts in order to close academic achievement gaps and ensure growth for all students. This organization evaluates student performance data for each district at the campus level in order to calculate growth. The growth accomplished at Seminole Junior High, matched those of schools in much larger school districts such as El Paso ISD, Austin ISD, and the Houston ISD.

“There are many teachers in different subjects that help me every year with our ESL students. This award is just as much theirs as it is mine,” stated Rivera. “Simply put, we are One Tribe at the junior high. I am humbled, and I realize that it is because of the students and my tribe at the junior high that we are receiving this award.”  

Within one school calendar year, Rivera more than doubled the percentage of growth in English Language Proficiency Standards for the junior high campus; 16% growth in 2019 to 43% in 2020. Rivera confidently added that, “Seminole Junior High wasn’t finished yet.” 

“I am still shocked. I feel like our children should receive the reward or at the very least have to come and stand up on stage with me”, stated Rivera. “Had it not been for their hard work, we would not have been thrust into the spotlight as we have been.” 

“I feel like I am able to connect with my students because many of them can relate to being migrant workers or having worked in the fields in order to make ends meet,” stated Rivera. “That is where I started. Many teachers have contributed to the person I have become. It is because of a teacher that I became a teacher.

We are incredibly proud of Ms. Rivera and appreciate her relentless pursuit of excellence! Congratulations!