Ysleta High teacher tops in state
By Gustavo Reveles Acosta / El Paso Times
For the second year in a row, an Ysleta Independent School District educator earned the Texas Teacher of the Year award and will represent the state in the national contest later this year.
Ysleta High School math and science teacher Paul Cain was named state Teacher of the Year by the Texas Education Agency -- a selection some deemed historic.
"To have back-to-back teachers from the same school district win this award is unprecedented," said Ysleta Superintendent Hector Montenegro. "Certainly, we are very proud of Mr. Cain and his accomplishment. It speaks to the level of education that children in our school district receive."
Last year, Dana Boyd, then a teacher at Dolphin Terrace Elementary School, won the state award and went to Washington, D.C., to compete for the national title.
Cain, a 31-year veteran of the classroom, said he was humbled by the award.
"Throughout this whole process I have asked myself 'Why me?' " he said. "Everyone has been very supportive, though, and I hope to represent Ysleta High School and Ysleta ISD well."
Officials with TEA said Cain's win is historic not only because it's the first time a district has won consecutive teacher-of-the-year awards but also because with this year's victory, Ysleta becomes the winningest district in state history.
Since the award was created in 1969, Ysleta teachers have won it five times.
"Clearly, high quality teaching occurs in (Ysleta) daily," said Robert Scott, the acting commissioner of education. "Thank you, Mr. Cain, for creating a caring classroom in which all students feel valued."
Cain will win thousands of dollars in state and local prizes, as well as several technology upgrades for his classroom.