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El Paso, TX — Ysleta Independent School District teacher Marlene R. Gallegos has been named the 2014-2015 Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Education Service Center (ESC)-Region 19, and will now compete for Texas Teacher of the Year honors in October.
Gallegos, who teaches 10th- and 11th-grade chemistry at Parkland High School, was among 22 El Paso-area educators who qualified for the regional competition after winning Teacher of the Year honors at their respective school districts. Region 19 encompasses 12 school districts in El Paso and Hudspeth counties, as well as several charter schools.
“Ms. Gallegos was selected as the best of the best in the Ysleta Independent School District after being nominated by her peers at Parkland High School, and she is a remarkable human being and an exceptional teacher who has had a tremendous impact on students, colleagues, and the school,” Dr. De La Torre said. “We are proud to have her on the Ysleta team.”
Gallegos, who credits her high-school teachers for inspiring her love of chemistry and teaching, is a graduate of Eastwood High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Dallas, as well as two master’s degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Even though Gallegos began her professional career in corporate America and earned a hefty salary, she said she “had no problem changing careers and going into teaching.”
“Teaching is a very rewarding experience that cannot be compared to any size paycheck ever earned,” Gallegos said.
Ysleta ISD, a two-time national Broad Prize finalist, serves 42,500 students in pre-K through 12th grade in 63 campuses, including two K-8 international schools and one early college high school. YISD’s state ratings are among the best in El Paso – every campus met the state’s academic standards, while several earned special distinctions in math, English language arts, science, social studies, student progress, closing performance gaps, and postsecondary readiness.
Now, Gallegos will join other regional winners from throughout the state to compete for Texas Teacher of the Year. State winners will be announced at an Oct. 24 awards ceremony in Austin.
“We are honored and excited that Ms. Gallegos was selected to represent our district and Region 19 at the Texas Teacher of the Year competition,” said YISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre.
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