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Rice School Educator Named HAABE ESL Teacher of the Year

May 2, 2012 @ 10:48 am

From left, Juanita Soliz, Teresa Barton and Carmen Parra pose with their awards.

Teresa Barton, an English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) teacher at HISD’s The Rice School/La Escuela Rice, has been named the Elementary ESL Teacher of the Year by the Houston Area Association for Bilingual Education (HAABE).

Barton was selected from a field of 150 finalists from Houston, Fort Bend, North Forest, and Pearland ISDs, 27 of whom were from HISD. She advanced to the citywide competition after earning the same distinction—Elementary ESL Teacher of the Year for 2012—at the districtwide level in HISD. One of her colleagues at The Rice School, Juanita Soliz, was also named HISD’s Bilingual Teacher of the Year for 2012.

School Improvement Officer Debbie Crowe noted how unusual it was to have two districtwide honorees from a single campus. “But I attribute that to the culture of the school,” she said, “and the fabulous teaching and learning that takes place there under Principal Kim Hobbs. La Escuela Rice really caters to every child, and you can see the evidence of differentiated instruction everywhere.”

The other honoree at the district level was Burbank Middle School’s Carmen Parra, who was named HISD’s Secondary ESL Teacher of the Year for 2012.

Barton, Parra, Soliz, and dozens of other educators from the greater-Houston area were recognized on April 27 during HAABE’s thirtieth annual awards banquet.

The organization also awarded college scholarships to two local seniors: Liliana Balboa (Reagan HS) and Thu Anh Nguyen (Chávez HS).

To see a full list of honorees from HISD, please visit the HAABE website.

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