Posted on April 7, 2011 at 2:32 PM
Monday, May 9 at 9:43 AM
SAN ANTONIO -- This week’s ExCEL award winner has a talent for bringing out the hidden creative side of her students.
Southside ISD’s April Lopez teaches art to sixth grade students at Losoya Intermediate School. A cafeteria of enthusiastic children cheered for her success as Wendy Rigby presented her with the KENS 5 Golden Apple Award and SACU gave her a check for a thousand dollars.
For the students under Lopez’s guiding hand, art class is a lot more than just learning how to draw. Lopez is creating a lifelong affinity for creation.
“It is absolutely essential that kids are able to express themselves, not just in athletics,” she said.
The 11 and 12-year-olds who learn drawing and painting are also honing their observation skills.
“She lets us express ourselves with art,” 12-year-old Christopher Garcia commented.
31-year-old Lopez is a third year teacher who has made a big impact at Losoya in the short time she has been working there. Teaching is in her blood.
“My mother was a teacher and I remember as a kid sitting in her classroom and watching how she interacted with her students,” Lopez recalled. “I thought ‘wow, that is something I’d really like to do.’”
For many of these young people, her class is a chance to express themselves in a way they can’t in other classrooms or even at home.
“A lot of people like her,” said 11-year-old Melina Moreno. “I don’t know why, but she’s just cooler than all the other teachers.”
That’s a high compliment from students who are blossoming with Lopez’s guidance.