Teacher received award for work with students - Valley Morning Star : Slice Of Life

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Teacher received award for work with students

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Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2019 9:45 pm

HARLINGEN — When Linda Salinas works with students, it’s all about their humanity.

Of course, teaching social studies, US history, AP European history and the drill team are the content areas, but she’s even more interested in teaching substance.

“I love to teach the content but more so I’m working to develop them as leaders in our society, being somebody that’s respectful and helpful,” said Salinas, who teaches at Harlingen High School.

Salinas has been so effective in building a sense or character and responsibility in her students she’s just been awarded the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Awards. The award from Humanities Texas is given each year to twelve teachers.

Nolan Perez, vice-president of the Harlingen school board, commended Salinas for her hard work which resulted in the award.

“The Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award honors the most effective and inspiring teachers to highlight the most noble profession that makes all other professions possible,” he said. “It brings me great joy to celebrate Linda Salinas an amazing educator who cares deeply about the success of every student.”

Humanities Texas informed Salinas last year that one of her students, Oziel Landaverde, had nominated her for the award. The organization gave her details of the application process, but it was her decision whether to actually apply.

“I was honored that a student had even recommended me in the first place,” she said. “I felt that it was something that I may not receive. But if a student believed in me enough to submit my name it’s definitely something I should complete for his sake.”

By May of last year she’d learned she’d actually received the award but the official recognition wouldn’t take place until this school year. Finally on Monday the official ceremony took place. Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. presented her with the award.

Landaverde, who is now in his first year at the University of Texas at Austin, gave a few words about his beloved teacher.

“He talked about why he had nominated me,” she said. “A lot of the teachers, they do love their subjects and they’re good teachers. But what he made note of was that I build these relationships with my students beyond the classroom. He mentioned that had made all the difference, being able to have a teacher that’s concerned about the whole child.”

She received a plaque and a check for $5,000.

“The check was like ‘Oh, that’s nice,’” she said. “But what really surprised me was I received a state flag that actually flew over the state capital of Texas. So that was really special. For me that was the icing on the cake for sure.”

Her passion for teaching emanates from seeing her students’ futures unfold.

“What I enjoy most is seeing them grow and develop over time,” she said. “Working at the high school you have the ability to see them over several years. It’s not a one year come and go. You get to see them progress and grow and then you learn so much about them and things they are involved in.”

That seemed to be the greatest award of all.

twhitehead@valleystar.com

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