AUSTIN (KXAN) — Allison Ashley, a third grade dual-language teacher at South Austin’s Becker Elementary, has been named the Texas Teacher of the Year for 2017.
She will now go on to represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year program.
“Ms. Ashley is an exceptional teacher. She is smart and caring, and when you are in her classroom, you can see the connection she has with students. Ms. Ashley brings passion and enthusiasm to her dual-language classrooms, and is an advocate for all youngsters,” Superintendent Paul Cruz said.
Ashley was one of three finalists chosen from candidates throughout Texas. Each finalist was interviewed by a panel composed of members of the educational and business communities, as well as the State Board of Education. Ashley, in her 10th year of teaching, was named 2016 AISD Teacher of the Year.
Before working at Becker, Ashley taught at Perez Elementary for six years and in the Rio Grande Valley through Teach for America.
Even though Ashley grew up in a bilingual family, she said she lost some of her Spanish-speaking skills when she moved to the Boston-area, which did not offer dual-language courses. She told KXAN in August that experience helped pave her way to focus on helping children develop their language skills.
The 2015 Texas Teacher of the Year, Revathi Balakrishnan, teaches in Round Rock ISD. She moved to the U.S. from India at the age of 20, and pursued a Master’s degree in economics. After a 15-year career as a systems analyst, Balakrishnan decided teaching was her passion.