Congratulations, 2017 District Teachers of the Year!
Elementary Teacher of the Year
Tammy Rios, a graduate of Duncanville High School, teaches 4th grade math at Alexander Elementary School. She has been with the district for five years.
Tammy’s teaching philosophy is based upon helping her students reach their fullest potential by treating them as individuals. She includes social and emotional strategies along with the academics to help students solve everyday problems. She teaches empathy and a sense of community so her students grow both as learners and human beings.
In her application for Teacher of the Year, Tammy described her experience with a student who had been labeled a ‘challenge’ because he was unmotivated. She developed a relationship with the student where she gave him attention and love and rewarded him for completing academic and behavioral tasks. At the end of the year, the student scored well on his STAAR test and required no rewards. Tammy said her personal reward came when the student told her, ‘I love you.’
Secondary Teacher of the Year
Olish Allen teaches 7th grade math at Byrd Middle School. He has been with Duncanville ISD for 15 years.
Olish’s teaching philosophy revolves around the truism that every student is different and has unique needs. He meets them where they are, not where he assumes they should be. By reminding students what they already know, he can help them move on to larger and more complex concepts.
Olish's favorite part of the job is seeing growth in the students. By making personal connections with his students and celebrating their accomplishments, he has seen their interest in school and learning increase.
Years ago Olish began a mentoring program to tutor at-risk boys. They spent time talking about life and struggles at school and home. Around 10 years later, one of the young men came back and told Olish he wanted to come see ‘the most influential man in his life.’ That reminded Olish that teaching always has a greater purpose.