Meet a Roadrunner: Alumna Lorena Herrera is first-year educator of year

Lorena Herrera

Lorena Herrera

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(May 28, 2014) -- Meet Lorena Herrera. She recently was named the 2013-2014 Northside Independent School District First-Year Educator of the Year. A graduate of the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Herrera was one of three teachers district-wide selected to receive an award in the First-Year Teacher category.

"I feel so blessed to have had such an amazing experience in my own education that drove me to work so hard as an educator today," said Herrera, a fourth grade teacher at Dr. Martha Mead Elementary School. "It feels so rewarding to know that my hard work since grade school and college has paid off."

In February, Herrera was selected by her peers as the First-Year Educator of the Year for Mead Elementary School. She was then nominated by the school's administration for the district-wide award.

"I am extremely proud of Lorena and of our Teacher Education program," said Karla Broadus, senior lecturer in the Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching. "Lorena was a classroom discussion participator with relevant knowledge about her experience with ESL children in an educational setting. Personally, it is a motivator for me as an educator to know that the reading strategies taught were both absorbed and practiced."

Herrera graduated from UTSA in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies degree. She credits her experience as a COEHD student to her success as an NISD educator.

"The knowledge of the professors has helped me the most in my first year," said Herrera. "Their experiences in all grade levels and classrooms around the country really stuck with me. I can recall many of Dr. Broadus's and Dr. Mari Cortez's stories of their experience teaching and have applied them in my classroom."

In the future, Herrera said she hopes to continue her education by earning a master's degree in educational leadership from UTSA.

"I have always loved learning, and the College of Education and Human Development helped grow that love," she said. "I have tried to spread that love of learning to my students. I encourage them to firmly believe they will go to college and remind them of that daily."

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