Abilene ISD selects 2020 Elementary and High School Teachers of the Year

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ABILENE, TX. (KTAB/KRBC)- Teachers can be considered among the heroes of this pandemic. Going above and beyond to make sure their students are still learning despite the shutdown of schools. Abilene ISD recognized two teachers for their efforts this school year.

“I would put these two teachers up against any school district in the world,” said Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young.

Lee Elementary 3rd grade teacher Chelsea Rico, and Cooper High School English teacher Jimmy Pogue have gone above and beyond to educate their students, regardless of whether they’re physically in school or not.

“I just try to create a community where they feel safe and they feel like they can share things, and off of that, I feel like the do more learning,” said Chelsea Rico.

“This is unprecedented and just to see the work that is being done and the things that we’re accomplishing I think is a really, is a testimony to the profession of teaching,” said Jimmy Pogue.

While adjusting to online classes has not been easy, these educators are noticing some of their students, are more comfortable interacting in class while they are at home.

“She would talk to me one on one, but she never ever talked louder than a little whisper in my classroom, and so it’s just really good to see them smiling and laughing, and this is a hard time, so when we are able to see them, it’s really good,” said Rico.

This year’s winners are creating lessons that help their students deal with the issues we are currently facing.

“I think that it’s really important that students see be it through literature or be it through history, whatever, that great crisis is often times is followed by great triumph,” said Pogue

During these tough times it’s imperative to have a light to guide us through the darkness, and teachers provide hope, optimism, and a sense of purpose for this community every day.

“I’m just thankful that I get to do that every single day, I get to live out my dream and serve our community,” said Rico.

“I couldn’t be more proud, I couldn’t be more thankful to be a part of Abilene ISD and to be a cooper cougar today.”

Being named AISD Teachers of the Year is just the first step for both Rico and Pogue. These fine educators are up for Regional Teacher of the Year, and if they keep winning, their hard work and dedication could be recognized statewide, nationally, and even around the world.

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