Teach for America, PSJA ISD Partner to Surprise Dozens of Educators Before the First Day of School

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Texas Border Business

SAN JUAN – About 80 teachers and staff at Raul Yzaguirre Middle School in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) were surprised with a “Clap In” from members of the community to celebrate the new school year on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019.  

The event was coordinated by the national education non-profit organization, Teach For America (TFA) in partnership with PSJA ISD.  TFA partnered with PSJA ISD to host his event in recognition of the outstanding efforts educators here, across the Valley, and throughout the country make in support of students.  

According to TFA Managing Director, Strategy and DevelopmentJonathan Stevens, the goal was to elevate and celebrate the wonderful and hard-working teachers that are about to start the school year. As part of the surprise celebration, students, administrators, and members of the community lined up to cheer and “clap” teachers and staff into the building. 


“We selected PSJA ISD because Teach for America wanted to look for a community that strongly valued education, had a lot of pride in what they do, and could serve as a model for the rest of the country,” said Stevens. “We want this to spread and be an opportunity for other communities across the country to show their appreciation and kick off a great school year.” 

For Yareli Iglesias, 6th grade Dual Language Science Teacher at Yzaguirre Middle School and TFA Corps Member, the event meant a lot to the her and her colleagues as they prepare for the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 26. 

“We feel so empowered and energetic to start the new school year,” said Iglesias. “I am extremely grateful. It feels great to have PSJA ISD and Teach for America give me an opportunity to give back and nurture my students. It makes me feel like I can make a difference in my community.” 

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In addition to the students and community members clapping in the educators, TFA also provided them with tacos, coffee, school supplies for their classroom, and beautiful messages from students on a special mural comprised of post-it notes generously donated by 3M. 

“It is important for teachers to get the recognition and appreciation that they deserve because they work so close with our students,” said RYMS Principal Dr. Jose Montelongo. “It was amazing to see their excitement. Thank you to Teach for America for working with PSJA ISD to appreciate and thank our teachers.” 

The school district and TFA would like to thank the following leaders who attended the event: US Representative Armando “Mando” Martinez; S.J. Belen Zavala, Constituent Field Representative with US Congressman Vicente Gonzalez; Anissa Guajardo, Caseworker with US Congressman Filemon Vela’s office, Jr.; PSJA School Board President Jesus “Jesse” Zambrano; PSJA School Board Secretary-Treasurer Jorge Zambrano; and Hidalgo County External Operations Director Tony Forina. 

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