EDINBURG – The Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District recently announced that the 2020-2021 District Elementary Teacher of the Year is Yvonne Garza and the District Secondary Teacher of the Year is Cassandra Sanchez.
Garza is a third-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School and Sanchez is the head band director and the head of the Fine Arts Department at South Middle School.
“I am just very excited, emotional, grateful, thankful and just really proud,” Garza said.
Garza grew up in the small town of San Isidro, where she said that she learned the value of having small class sizes and personal connections with her teachers. She graduated from San Isidro High School and pursued her dream of becoming a teacher by attending the University of Texas Pan American (UTPA).
Garza accepted a teaching position at Jefferson Elementary School, where she has worked since graduating from college in 2000.
“It really means a lot to me right now as I’m entering the second stage in my career,” Garza said. “I’m more appreciative. I have a different perspective on what I do in the classroom.”
Sanchez was in a Google Classroom with her students, when she received the news that she had been selected as the Edinburg CISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.
“I got a text message and I looked down at my phone and it said ‘Hey, you should check out the ECISD page,’” Sanchez said. “All the kids were really excited and I got to share the news with some of my beginner band students.”
Sanchez grew up in Edinburg and attended South Middle School, where she currently teaches. She graduated from Edinburg North High School and then earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in music from UTPA.
“It’s really wonderful working here in Edinburg,” Sanchez said. “I actually went to South Middle School in eighth grade, so I find it really fascinating and wonderful to be back home.”
Garza and Sanchez will now advance to the Teacher of the Year regional competition.