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BISD Educator, Rafael Rios, Recognized as the “Educator of the Year” for Closing the GAP with Emergent Bilinguals



Finalists were selected from over 25,000 Texas educators throughout 300 districts


Bastrop ISD educator, Rafael Rios, placed second for the 2020-2021 statewide ‘Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) Educator of the Year’ Award, presented by Summit K12.


Rafael was recognized for improving English language development and Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) readiness at Cedar Creek High School out of more than 25,000 educators.


This inaugural Summit K12 award honored nine bilingual or ESL educators (three elementary, three middle, and three high school) for their dedication and commitment to supporting Emergent Bilingual and ESL students who strengthened their language development gains last year. The nominees were evaluated by their student gains on TELPAS and usage of the Summit K12 program. Winners receive the following award from Summit K12:


  • First Place: $750 award
  • Second Place: $500 award
  • Third Place: $250 award

 “We are so proud of Mr. Rios for being recognized out of more than 25,000 bilingual and ESL educators partnering with Summit K12 across Texas for such a prestigious award,” said Bridgette Cornelius, CCHS school principal. “The gains that our English language learners have made is a testament to the great work of both our teachers and the commitment and dedication of our students to stay focused even throughout the challenges of the pandemic last year.”


“At Summit K12, our goal is to enable every student to reach their summit, and these awards provide a unique opportunity to recognize and acknowledge the hard work of the top educators partnered with Summit K12,” said John Kresky, Founder & CEO, Summit K12. “We want to celebrate the educators who are leading the way when it comes to accelerating language acquisition for their English language learners.”


Recipients of the 2020-2021 statewide ‘Bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) Educator of the Year’ for English Language Development and TELPAS Readiness Awards were at the Texas Association for Bilingual Education (TABE) on October 25, 2021. The full list of winners can be found here.