2018 Texas Teachers of the Year
On September 15, 2017, TASA named Tara Bordeaux, a media arts teacher in Austin ISD, the 2018 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year and Marissa Torres, a third-grade teacher in White Settlement ISD, the 2018 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year.
Tara Bordeaux, 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year
“I know first-hand how hard life can be on a young heart, and I know how easy it is to give up. I know, because I did, and I dropped out of high school,” said Tara Bordeaux, 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year (and Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year).
“My hope is that as a teacher, I can inspire my students to persevere, and succeed in ways I never could. I believe that every student deserves the opportunity to learn from teachers who truly care about the impact they are making in a child’s life,” she said. “I chose to become a teacher because I wanted to give students the chance to chase their dreams and learn how to believe in themselves even if the world gives them reasons to stop believing.”
Bordeaux has taught media arts at Lanier High School in Austin ISD since 2013. Prior to that, she spent 10 years working in television and film production in Los Angeles. She holds a bachelor’s degree in film and photography from the University of Texas at Arlington. In her four years as an educator, Bordeaux has built a nationally recognized media arts program. Her students’ work has been featured in national advertising for Alamo Drafthouse Theaters, PSAs televised on PBS, and documentary short films premiered at SXSWedu. It has also won multiple awards in film production competitions.Bordeaux was selected to represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year program as Texas Teacher of the Year.See her Teacher of the Year video, produced by Austin ISD.See her speech to the Texas State Board of Education in April 2018.
Marissa Torres, 2018 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year
“One of my goals as a teacher has always been to create lifelong learners who will contribute positively to their community,” said Marissa Torres, 2018 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year, who teaches third grade and serves as the third-grade team lead at Blue Haze Elementary in White Settlement ISD near Fort Worth.
“I don’t want to just help students arrive at the ‘right answer’ in my classroom. I want to help guide them to become independent problem solvers who can apply their skills and knowledge beyond the classroom,” she said. “Starting on the first day of school, I strive to connect everything we do to the real world and to emphasize the importance of contributing positively to both our classroom community and their outside communities.”
Torres hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in elementary and special education from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York, and a master’s degree in literacy education from the State University of New York at Oswego. She has taught in White Settlement ISD since 2012 when she moved to Texas from New York, where she began teaching in 2006. Torres was elected, by a schoolwide vote of her peers, to attend the Ron Clark Academy teacher training in 2016 and instructs other teachers on implementing the strategies she learned at the Ron Clark Academy.Contact: Jennifer Garrido, Texas Teacher of the Year Coordinator
2018 Texas Elementary & Secondary Teachers of the Year
On September 15, 2017, TASA named Tara Bordeaux, a media arts teacher in Austin ISD, as the 2018 Secondary Teacher of the Year, and Marissa Torres, a third-grade teacher in White Settlement ISD, as the 2018 Elementary Teacher of the Year. Bordeaux was chosen to represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year competition. Learn more.