Years before Angel and Christine Hernandez earned recognition for being the Campus Teachers of the Year at Solar Preparatory for Boys and Solar Preparatory for Girls, respectively, they were two new educators trying to figure out how to navigate the profession. Now they are married with a young son, constantly pushing each other to grow and partnering through it all.
As fate would have it, they unknowingly attended rival high schools in northern Virginia and connected in Dallas ISD after college while working with Teach Across America.
“Angel helped me get acclimated to Dallas and the district when I first got here, and it just blossomed from there,” Christine said.
Christine began her official Dallas ISD career at Whitney M. Young Jr. Elementary School while Angel began his career in the district at Thelma Elizabeth Page Richardson Elementary School. After a few years, Christine made her way to Solar Prep for Girls, and Angel was hired about a year later at Solar Prep for Boys.
“We were dating then, and I saw all the innovative ways of teaching at Solar Prep and I loved it, so I wanted to join the team,” Angel said.
Fast forward to four years later and life has evolved for the couple, now married with an almost two-year-old son and both earning the title of Campus Teacher of the Year in the same year.
“We are both so passionate about our jobs and we truly believe you can have an impact on these kids,” Angel said. “If I am going to do this, then I’m going to do it to the best of my ability, and I know Christine is committed to that, too.”
Every day, these two put in the work to help shape their students into the next generation of world-changing individuals. With affirmation, guidance, and positive motivation, they even work individually to create plans for students who need extra assistance.
Over the years, they have grown and learned from each other as well. Angel knows his strengths are leading and management but concedes he had to learn a few things from his wife. “She taught me how to be more creative with my lessons and thoughtful when introducing a new unit because she’s meticulous with her details,” he said.
And Christine has also learned a thing or two from her husband. “He makes me want to constantly try to level up and try new things,” she said. “You can get comfortable in your teaching routine but he’s always trying to find a new way to reach every student.”
Their hard work and dedication are noticed not only by their colleagues and administrators but by their students as well.
“We teach our students to be leaders and confident, so they are very vocal here,” Angel said. Christine agreed, saying, “When you can see every student come in excited and feeling that their voice is heard and they have a piece in their learning, you are doing something right.”
Whether it’s having a “math concert,” where students sing math songs during class, or having a struggling student record their assignment instead of writing it, both teachers try innovative ways to engage their pupils. The commitment they have for each other and for the district helps them to propel their students forward.
“I think I can speak for both of us when I say we don’t do this for the accolades, we do this to better serve the students,” Angel said.