State Teacher of the Year, Ramon Benavides


Courtesy of Angela Rodriguez

Biology teacher Ramon Benavides accepts Teacher of the Year reward.

Sierra Orozco, Reporter

Ramon Benavides Teacher of the year on Oct. 22.

The Texas Association of School Administration (TASA) named biology teacher Ramon Benavides 2022 Texas Teacher of the Year, an outstanding achievement for Benavides, the school and the city. He is representing Texas in the prestigious national Teacher of the Year competition. He is passionate about his job and loves what he does. 

It all starts somewhere and a simple recommendation took Benavides a long way.

“The nomination process started with my fellow colleague Tania Ruvalcaba. We were neighbors last year and she asked me if I would mind if she nominated me for Teacher of the Year. It was a big surprise because I’ve been teaching 12 years and nothing like that had ever happened. I said yes what are the odds of me winning even campus Teacher of the Year,” Benavides said.

Benavides is showing the state that the school has the best teacher in town.

“Its a sense of just letting me know that it’s not what they say about Del Valle but the testimony that everyone is here because of the good teacher at our school, so it makes me proud to know that I work with him. A lot of times It feels good to know that they work for you but I feel proud that I work with him,” principal Antonio Acuña said. 

The school is beyond proud to have this outstanding teacher represent the state of Texas. 

“Our school has always been known to be a very good school academically and when you have a teacher that is recognized for that it’s a good testimony that Del Valle is a great school because of the teachers,” Acuña said.

The milestone comes as a big surprise.

“I’m still in disbelief. I’m still in a state of shock. Sometimes I’ll get texts congratulating me and I still can’t comprehend it,” Benavides said.

Teaching isn’t just a job, it is a passion.

“Sometimes I think ‘wow’ I’m actually getting paid for this just to hang out with kids and not only that but teach them at the same time,” Benavides said.

The Teacher of the Year for the state of Texas has a hopeful spirit and hopes to inspire others as well as make Del Valle shine.

“I know I am opening other people’s eyes across the state and across the nation about what Del Valle is all about. Sometimes Del Valle gets lost since we are a school on the border. Some people forget that we are here but we have been making noise,” Benavides said.

Del Valle is getting the recognition it deserves and Benavides has played a big part in that.

“There has been a huge impact. Now everyone knows who Del Valle is. He is a state teacher now of the year and might even be national. So people will say where is Del Valle or who is Del Valle, so it impacts the school that now everyone knows who Del Valle truly is,” Acuña said.

The Teacher of the Year gives credit to not only himself but to the whole school.

“Our kids are versatile, they are good at whatever they do, they are well-rounded and that’s basically what I’m sharing. It’s not about the awards I’m winning. It’s about the school, the students, the teachers and everybody who works here. Just being able to showcase the school and everybody here has been a joy for me,” Benavides said.

Benavides loves his work environment and wants to put it on the map.

“I am so proud. I want to represent Del Valle the best that I can. I want to represent it for what it is, an amazing school,” Benavides said.

For Benavides the honor isn’t about the teaching, it’s about the positive exchanges.

“The kids are the best part of my job by far. One of my greatest joys is getting to stand outside my classroom and as my kids come in we exchange that smile and for that split second we know that everything is okay,” Benavides said.