Dallas ISD named the teachers and principals of the year at the inaugural 2021-2022 Educator of the Year Awards presented by the Dallas Education Foundation and sponsored by Reliant.
The event at The Statler Ballroom celebrated all of the outstanding finalists and educators in the district. Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who is set to depart Dallas ISD after 42 years in education, shared his heartfelt thanks with the teachers and principals in the room.
“The fact that we get to celebrate in person these outstanding educators is incredible,” Hinojosa said. “I want to thank you for your outstanding work, especially over these past two years.”
Each of these exceptional educators received $5,000. All finalists were also recognized and awarded $1,500 each. A list of winners and finalists can be found online at dallasisd.org/toy and dallasisd.org/poy.
Principal of the Year
Primary Category Winner: Antonio Verduzco, B.H. Macon Elementary School
Antonio Verduzco is completing his fourth year as Principal at B. H. Macon Elementary School and his 18th year in Dallas ISD. He began his career as a bilingual teacher at Margaret B. Henderson Elementary in 2001. B.H. Macon Elementary has implemented data-driven instruction to tighten student achievement gaps. Verduzco is a first-generation Mexican American who was raised in Oak Cliff by an immigrant grandmother and aunt.
Secondary Category Winner: Katherine Wanserski Eska, North Dallas High School
Katherine Wanserski Eska is in her fifth year serving as principal at North Dallas High School. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and a minor in education, Eska started her career in Dallas ISD in 2009 as a math teacher, cheerleading sponsor and department chair at Spruce High School. Eska works every day to ensure that all students and their families have access to opportunity, such that they may achieve their individual goals.
Choice/Magnet Category Winner: Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson has served as the founding principal of Sudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy for the last four years. A native Dallasite and proud Dallas ISD graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, he is especially proud to serve as an educator in his home community. Inspired by his own teachers, he is a 22-year veteran educator, having served as a teacher, teacher mentor, basketball coach, grade-level chair, campus instructional coach, AVID coordinator, assistant principal, and principal (elementary and secondary) – all in Dallas ISD.
Teacher of the Year
Primary Category Winner: Wildrem Andrade Matamoros
Born in Honduras, Wildrem Andrade Matamoros moved to Dallas at the age of nine and was enrolled at Louise Wolff Kahn Elementary in Dallas ISD. Eleven years later, she would return to that school, this time as a first-year bilingual teacher. Andrade Matamoros has been a leader in initiating and implementing impactful writing and social-emotional strategies on her campus while also serving as the campus activity coordinator and coach for academic teams. Her dream when she was five years old was to be an orgullo hispano, someone Hispanic people could look up to. She is grateful for the opportunity to teach in Dallas ISD and to work in the community where she grew up.
Secondary Category Winner: Sara Gill, Ann Richards STEAM Academy
Sara Gill, a sixth-grade English Language Arts and Reading teacher at Ann Richards STEAM Academy, joined Dallas ISD in 2014. A native Texan, she was born in Dallas, raised in Garland, and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. At Ann Richards, she holds the responsibilities of sixth-grade representative on the Faculty Advisory Committee, facilitator of grade-level content professional learning and member of the Culture Committee, and maintains a model classroom that new and progressing teachers can observe.
Choice/Magnet Category Winner: Aaronda Smith, George Bannerman Dealey Montessori and Vanguard Academy
Aaronda Smith is a Reading Language Arts Honors 8th grade instructor at George Bannerman Dealey Montessori and Vanguard Academy. A 16-year Dallas ISD veteran teacher, she has instructed middle and high school students at three institutions of learning in a variety of disciplines, including reading, debate, strategies for success, literary genres, and creative writing. Smith has one goal in life: to humbly serve every person God places in her path and ensure they leave her presence better than they were before walking into it.