LACOSTE, Texas — For most of us, we don’t know what we want to do in life until may be after our college years - and that’s if we’re lucky.
But not for Amber Persyn. She had it all figured out at a very early age and her deep love for the job has made her into one of the best and this year’s EXCEL award winner for Medina Valley ISD.
An excited group of people including the Medina Valley superintendent and LaCoste Elementary principal joined in on a special zoom call, all to celebrate one of the best teachers in the district.
“She just has that passion for education and rises above everyone else,” Principal Elizabeth Vera said.
Amber Persyn’s dedication is no secret across the district. She's always on top her game and being recognized was Persyn’s moment.
"That's unbelievable, thank you very much."
She stayed humble as we honored her with our KENS 5 Credit Human EXCEL award.
"We've had so many kids that have done well because of her dedication to them and the hard work she puts in," Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Rohrbach said.
If anyone understands the huge impact her hard work has on children, it’s Persyn.
"I had at teacher in first grade out here a lifetime ago - Mrs. Leer. I remember her so well. She was a teacher at Castroville Elementary,” recalled Persyn. "I just remember her always encouraging me to get to the next level. There were these colored-leveled books and I could never get past this one level and the day I did... She made a tremendous deal of it in the classroom."
Those are the kind of memories Persyn wants her students to walk away with - that feeling of accomplishment.
"That's what I want to do for students. I want to be that teacher they remember," she said. "Whether it be that lesson or that listening ear or that belief in them that they can do it. That's who I want them to remember me to be."
Persyn remembers falling in love with teaching at a very early age, almost as young as her students now.
“My dad would have a section of the garage where I had a chalkboard and a table and play school. It’s always been a gift I wanted to pursue as I grew up. I’d come home and line up my dolls and play teacher. I’d have the names for them and give them the lessons.”
And the classroom would go on to be a place Persyn would spend the rest of her career. She spent 21 years teaching at SAISD before moving closer back home to Medina Valley. As of today, she's taught for 28 years and counting.
Persyn is now an inclusion and math resource teacher for first through fifth grades at LaCoste Elementary School.
“I’ve been able to see both sides and be able to support them not just as their special ed. inclusion resource teacher, but also as that general teacher that used to have a class of 22 or 25 and can understand that perspective.”
You’ll find Persyn in the classroom either co-teaching, supporting another teacher or giving that one-on-one attention to the students who need it most.
"Believing that they can do... There are a lot of misconceptions that there are students that can't do. But may be you just haven't found what they can do yet,” an emotional Persyn said. "All students can learn. All students can be successful."
And to get to success, she says, the key is patience and compassion.
"There are days I go home and cry. There are days I wish I would've done more and there are days I don't think I did enough. Then there are days where something amazing happens…. Or just that student in the hallway who says, 'Good morning, Mrs. Persyn,' and you know you are where you're supposed to be."