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San Felipe Del Rio


Telephone (830) 778-4010 April 24, 2018


San Felipe Del Rio CISD Announces Campus Teachers of the Year

April 24, 2018– Every day, hundreds of SFDRCISD teachers encourage, inspire and motivate students to reach for academic success. These dedicated leaders work to make a difference in the future of tomorrow—and their hard work and devotion do not go unnoticed.

Toward the end of each school year, campuses select one outstanding educator to receive the coveted Campus Teacher of the Year title. This designation not only allows for district-wide recognition, it also comes with a commemorative portrait and recognition plaque, a $100 cash award from the SFDRCISD Education Foundation and other gifts and prizes from local community businesses.

SFDRCISD is honored to name several outstanding elementary and secondary educators who will compete for the title of San Felipe Del Rio CISD’s Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year. Each teacher was nominated by their peers at their respective campuses.

SFDRCISD’s Teacher of the Year Committee will review nomination materials and then vote to select one elementary and secondary finalist for the 2018 Teacher of the Year honors. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Carlos H. Rios, will recognize the district finalists during the SFDRCISD Teacher Awards celebration and then announce the new Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year. This year’s event is scheduled to be held on May 10th at the Del Rio Civic Center.

The winners will advance to the Regional Teacher of the Year competition, which is coordinated by Regional Education Service Center 15. Every fall, 40 Regional Teachers of the Year are selected — one elementary and one secondary teacher from each of the 20 Education Service Center regions in Texas. Six finalists are then chosen from among the 40 semifinalists. If successful at the regional level, the Region 15 Teacher of the Year will advance to compete for a top state honor – Texas Teacher of the Year.

Since 2002, twelve SFDRCISD teachers have been named Region XV Teacher of the Year: 2002 – Marta E. Galindo; 2003 – Marta Gonzalez-Stitts; 2004 – Donna R.G. Swanson; 2008 – Jorge Limon; 2009 – Carrie De La Rosa; 2011 – Cindy Dunlap; 2012 – Elda Garcia; 2013 – Patricia Villarreal; 2015 – Maria Hudgins; 2016 – Raquel Cardenas and in 2017 – Natalie Foster & Kelly Lujan. In 2002, the late Marta Galindo, was named Texas Teacher of the Year.

This year’s SFDRCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year nominees are:

Martye Fluth, Irene C. Cardwell Elementary


Martye Fluth is a Pre-kindergarten teacher at Irene Cardwell Head Start. She earned a Master’s Degree (1990) in Early Childhood Education and Bachelor’s Degree (1989) from Stephen F. Austin State University. She has an Early Childhood Handicapped Endorsement and an English as a Second Language Certification, and has received PECS and TEACCH training. Martye currently serves on her campus’s Science Fair Team and on the Campus Improvement Plan Committee. In a past district she has served as a Pre-kindergarten Team Leader and an Attendance Committee member. She has also taught in Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities and Kindergarten. Martye says that her calling to the teaching field came early in life, and it shows in her passion for instilling a lifelong love of learning in her young students. It is Martye’s ambition to combine her range of experience with her ability to be a compassionate, enthusiastic teacher, who will positively impact her students.

Juanita Gomez, Buena Vista Elementary

Grade 1

Ms. Juanita Gomez is a first grade teacher at Buena Vista Elementary School. She graduated from Sul Ross University in 1992. She currently holds a Lifetime Certification in teaching first through eighth grades. Ms. Gomez has taught first grade for twenty years at Buena Vista but she has a total of thirty-four years of educational teaching experience. Some of the positions that she has served are as: Cluster Leader for her grade level, UIL Coach, STEM member, Student Council Sponsor, Tutor of students, Mentor of Student Teachers, TELPAS rater and STAAR tester. Reading is a passion for Ms. Gomez as this is the foundation of first grade. The goal in her classroom is for all students to READ.

Erika Barrera, Dr. Fermin Calderon Elementary
Grade 2

Erika Monique Barrera is a proud Texan 2nd grade teacher at Dr. Fermin Calderon Elementary, and is currently in her fifth year of teaching. She is the product of SFDRCISD, as she graduated from Del Rio High top of her class in 2007. Erika holds a Bachelor's Degree from Sul Ross State University graduating with honors in 2013. Her experience is in early childhood education as she has taught in kindergarten and second grade. Erika is a phenomenal inspiring educator, as her desire for teaching beams throughout each and every day. She is a member of her school’s leadership team and was selected as Dr. Fermin Calderon Elementary teacher of the month for October 2017, honored as the one who best exemplifies the Team Concept.

Janice Marie Segura, Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary
Reading, Grade 5 

Janice Marie Segura was born into a family of educators and knew from an early age that teaching was in her future. She is a 1992 graduate of Del Rio High School and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in 1996 from Sul Ross State University. She is certified in Elementary Self-Contained (Grades 1-8) and her area of specialization is in Mathematics. She has also recently become a certified GT teacher. Currently Mrs. Segura is a 5th grade Reading teacher at Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary. For the past two years she has been the Team Leader for her cluster. Along with teaching in the classroom she is the Spelling UIL coach during UIL season. Mrs. Segura is a veteran teacher of 21 years and takes pride in what she does and shows her compassion for her students through her dedication to her job.

Marlene Diaz, Garfield Elementary
Reading, Grade 4 

Marlene Diaz is a 4th grade Bilingual Reading teacher who uses her experiences studying and travelling abroad to spark her students’ interest for learning. She attended John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, as part of a study abroad program (2010) and has a Bachelor’s Degree from University of the Incarnate Word (2011). She is also TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certified from TEFL International Barcelona, Escola Mediterrani in Barcelona, Spain (2014). Marlene is a member of Garfield’s Lighthouse Team and the Student Learning Action Team Coordinator.

Adriana Vasquez, Lamar Elementary
Math & Science, Grade 3 

Adriana Vasquez is a 3rd grade math and science teacher who promotes learning by providing a fun and exciting classroom environment and strongly believes that if the body is active, the mind is active. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College in 2014. Adriana was a 2nd grade teacher for 3 years. She founded and has co-sponsored the Creative Arts Club since 2016. Adriana has also been a co-sponsor for the U.I.L. Music Memory team and a co-sponsor of the yearbook committee.

Julissa Lemus Bustamante, North Heights Elementary
Science, Grade 5 

Julissa Bustamante Lemus is a 5th grade science teacher who inspires her students to seek future careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.  She provides engaging, high quality instruction that captivates and challenges her students on a daily basis.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree from Angelo State University (2000) in Early Childhood.  Julissa is currently the Science Fair Coordinator at her campus and the 5th grade representative in the District Planning and Decision Making Committee (DPDM). Recently, she was recognized by Curriculum and Instruction for her contributions to curriculum writing.  Prior to teaching at SFDRCISD, Julissa was an Instructional Coach at Dallas Independent School District (DISD) for 14 years. During her time at DISD, she was responsible for the instructional growth of many campuses.

Abigail Mansion, Ruben Chavira Elementary

English Language Arts, Grade 3

Abigail Mansion is lively 3rd grade reading and writing teacher who enhances the learning of her students through music, story-telling and builds a loving classroom culture. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Park University (2015). Abigail is the lead sponsor of the Ruben Chavira Student Council and helps with a variety of organizations at her school. She was awarded the January teacher of the month for Ruben Chavira and is honored to represent the school as their Teacher of the Year.


This year’s SFDRCISD Secondary Teacher of the Year nominees are:

Dolimer N. Gonzalez-Sanchez, San Felipe Memorial Middle School,
Mathematics, Grade 6 

A native of Puerto Rico, Dolimer N. Gonzalez-Sanchez is a 6th grade mathematics teacher at her fourth-year mark of a profound dedicated career in education. Early age admiration toward teachers’ creativity and vocation, along with own enthusiasm to assist others presented teaching as her ideal profession where to express desires. Dolimer has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Secondary Education in Mathematics (2012), carries a teaching certification from Texas and Puerto Rico, and a GT Certification from ESCU Region 15 (2018). Among ongoing goals is to complete a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Texas Tech University in May 2018. She currently instructs not only to general population but advanced (GT), ESL and 504 students, also serves as a U.I.L. Coordinator and Sponsor for her campus. Being a lifelong learner, the ultimate professional achievement is to evolve with the necessary expertise while teaching mathematics to general and special population students, and collaborating rigorously with colleagues in elaborating long-lasting instructional techniques for our diverse students’ needs.

Amanda Salas, Del Rio Middle School
Mathematics & Special Education, Grade 7 

Inspiring. Encouraging. Determined. These are just a couple words that can describe Amanda Jo Salas. She was born and raised in Del Rio, Texas and ventured away to pursue her degree in biology and her dreams of traveling. She was a recipient of Minorities in Marine Science Undergraduate Program funded by the National Science Foundation and was flown to Washington State to conduct graduate research work with Dr. Van Alstyne about the “Effects of dopamine on the growth and photosynthetic rate of Ulva lactuca”. She was able to present her findings to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Seattle, WA. During her research, she was part of an outreach program teaching 2nd and 4th grade students about marine life. This is when she discovered her passion for teaching. Upon returning to Texas, she changed her degree to psychology with the intent to pursue certifications in teaching. Upon graduation, she completed her certifications in Generalist EC-6, Mathematics 4-8, Special Education EC-12 and Core Subjects 4-8. Three years ago she moved back to Del Rio and accepted the position as a Mathematical Co-Teacher and has greatly impacted the math department and her students with her enthusiastic teaching styles. She has also founded Las Senoritas and Caballeros Club at Del Rio Middle School for students to be part of a sisterhood and brotherhood where strong ethics and character is built. Not only has she been able to transform her classroom to a world of mathematical adventures, but she is inspiring students to create a resilient moral compass to pursue their dreams.


Gabriela Padilla, SFDRCISD Early College High School
English Language Arts, Grade 10

Gabriela Padilla, daughter of Juan and Delia Padilla, is an English teacher for Del Rio’s Early College High School. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Psychology from Angelo State University. Ms. Padilla began working in the classroom as early as age 15 with Del Rio High School’s CTE Ready-Set-Teach program and is now a member of the CTE Advisory Committee.  She plans to continue her teaching career with San Felipe Del Rio CISD and encourage her future students to be life-long learners and achievers. “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” Malala Yousafzai

Robert R. Lopez, SFDRCISD Blended Academy
Science, Grades 9-12

Robert R. Lopez is a 9th – 12th grade MAPS science teacher at Blended Academy. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Sul Ross State University (2012). Robert is an assistant high school softball coach and the head BASSA sponsor at Blended Academy. He is also a member of the campus leadership team. Lopez has inspired students to take control of their education, but to love their community and become good members of it through service; taking teaching beyond the classroom.


Adan Cortez III, Del Rio High School
CTE- Hospitality & Tourism, Grades 9-12

Chef Adan Cortez III, is a Hospitality and Tourism teacher at Del Rio High School. He has an Associates of Applied Sciences from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin (formerly Texas Culinary Academy) (2006) and a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly UT Brownsville) (2010).   He currently serves his community on two boards and he is an active member at the Community Garden developing cooking classes and summer camps for the youth of Del Rio. “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime,” is the approach he takes to teach a love for the Culinary Arts. “Food is life and knowledge is power!”