We love our teachers, and for a second year, NBC 5 and Southern Methodist University are recognizing Excellent Educators across North Texas.
For October, we introduce you to a kindergarten teacher in Arlington who is going above and beyond to make sure her students get a quality education.
For more than 20 years, Mrs. Silvia Campos-Ortiz has made it her goal to give her young students she calls her children the tools they need for a better future.
This isn’t just a job for Campos-Ortiz – it’s a calling.
"My kids are very special to me. I love to teach them new things, and I love to see them grow academically and socially also," she said. "And I like to have connections with them so that I can help them during this young life and grow."
Campos-Ortiz says she has a special bond with each one of her kindergartners. She teaches them English as a second language at Veda Knox Elementary in Arlington. She says kindergarten is the base of their learning foundation.
"I always have big expectations, high expectations for them. I know that all kids can learn, and they can reach goals and do the best," she said.
"This is her life. It’s not her job, it’s not something she just goes to. If she’s having things happen in the classroom, she tells us about it," said Oscar Campos-Ortiz. "It’s very personal to her. It seems like these are her children, you know aside from us."
And her three children were the ones who wanted to make sure their mother’s dedication to education didn’t go unrecognized. They nominated their mother to be Octobers Excellent Educator.
And it was all a surprise.
Her children wanted this to be a special moment for their mother who they say has sacrificed so much, even at one point working a second job to provide for her family and to make sure her students were getting a quality education.
"On behalf of SMU, and in recognition of Mrs. Silvia Campos' selection as Excellent Educator, I am pleased to present Veda Knox Elementary with a check for $1,000," said Dr. Candice Bledsoe, SMU Simmons School of Education and Executive Director of the Action Research Center. "Mrs. Campos is a shining example of educators who are preparing students inside and outside of the classroom. She is getting them ready for their professional and academic goals," Bledsoe said.
"This is not work. This is my passion," Campos-Ortiz said. "It is very important to love our job. I love what I do."