Del Valle Elementary bilingual fourth-grade teacher Sara Dominguez and Ojeda Middle School seventh-grade math teacher Sara Payne were named DVISD Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year at the May 19 School Board Meeting. A committee from Del Valle Education Partners interviewed each school’s Teacher of the Year and read their applications to make the overall selections.

Dominguez and Payne will represent Del Valle ISD at the regional level for the State Teacher of the Year program that is coordinated by the Texas Association of School Administrators. The overall district Teachers of the Year represent DVISD as ambassadors at events throughout the year. As ambassadors, each teacher shared their vision as an educator.

For Payne, it is essential that all planning and initiatives focus on student success by teaching with a growth mindset. “I hope to see all my students create goals, realize their dreams, and continue to learn throughout their lifetime,” Payne said, “My role as an educator is to teach students the skills necessary to overcome obstacles, to think independently, to work in a collaborative environment, to resolve conflict, and how to set and achieve their personal aspirations.”

Dominguez uses her role as an educator to instill a passion for lifelong growth in her children. “I often tell my students they are professionals, to which they respond with looks of bewilderment,” Dominguez said. “However, I truly believe this; children are professional learners. They are born with an innate urge to learn about everything around them, driven by interest and curiosity, and as teachers we have the honor and privilege of cultivating this natural process in a way that enhances our students’ lives.”

The Del Valle Education Partners program involves business and community groups in a collaborative partnership with the Del Valle schools to enhance each student’s educational experience. It is a non-profit organization that supports DVISD activities that will enrich or otherwise positively impact the education of students attending Del Valle ISD.

Sara Dominguez  - Elementary Teacher of the Year Sara Payne  - Secondary Teacher of the Year