The Texas PTA named Reilly Elementary kindergarten teacher Maria Elena Pacheco as its 2020 Elementary Teacher of the Year.

The PTA chose Pacheco from nominations across the state and released the recipients Monday. Awardees are invited to attend the Talk of Texas lunch in October during the association’s statewide convention in Dallas.

Pacheco has been teaching for nearly 30 years, including 12 at Reilly. She has a bachelor’s in elementary education from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and a master’s in bilingual education from Southern Methodist University.

“If you have had the opportunity to know her as either a parent or colleague, you know how deserving she is of this award,” neighbor Heather Quimby Kolodziej posted on Facebook. “This speaks volumes of not just her, but also of our school and community. I am so proud to be a part of the Martha Turner Reilly Elementary community and DISD.”

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