2023 High School Teacher of the Year

Jacob Pineda, San Elizario ISD


Jacob Pineda

San Elizario ISD


Whether it's showing up early to coach his athletes for football, dragging himself back to his classroom after hours on the practice field to set up stations for his students, or stepping up to run various field day activities for the campus Eagle Success Initiative, one thing is for certain, Jacob puts his entire heart--and sweat and sometimes actual blood–into all of it.

After completing high school, Jacob enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he was a Master at Arms and was deployed to Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009. When he came back, he knew he wanted to continue paying it forward by helping students just like him, students who others give up on because they struggle or don’t immediately see the value of school.

Pineda teaches English 1, a difficult course during a rough year for many students, but the campus instructional coach says that when students see they have Mr. Pineda, they react with excitement not even fully understanding how fortunate they are to have him as their teacher. Whether it's engaging students through digital storytelling or connecting them to books they can and want to read, Jacob integrates relevant and engaging topics into his teaching all while preparing his students for the end of course state exams, and–more importantly--life. His passion and dedication towards making students succeed is palpable, fervent, and admirable.

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