SAN ANTONIO — The KENS 5 EXCEL Award honors the best educators in our community. Each year, we visit 19 school districts and we highlight one educator who’s helped change kids’ lives.
This week’s EXCEL winner comes from Alamo Heights Independent School District. He’s only been teaching for three years; at the young age of 25, he is way ahead of his game. His impact is felt inside and outside his classrooms.
Tristin Salinas is a world traveler. "I think it is one of the best professions in the world,” he said. But here, he’s not referring to traveling. It’s something that happens to be much closer to home, like coaching football at Alamo Heights Junior School and forming that special bond in his English classroom.
"I truly do care about them and the success not only in the classroom, but outside of it as well,” Salinas said, “I’m more amazed with them than I think they are of me, for sure. I think they pushed me to want to coach and teach"
His impact is not only felt by students, but noticed by the head of Alamo Heights ISD, Superintendent Dr. Dana Bashara.
"You have not been with us in Alamo Heights for all that many years,” Bashara told Salinas during a virtual celebration, “But you have quickly left your mark.”
To mark his accomplishments, KENS 5 Anchor Sarah Forgany, along with Credit Human, presented Salinas with the EXCEL Award and a $1,000 check.
"Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you,” an excited Salinas said, adding, “Hopefully it'll get me over to Greece. My fiancée and I are really wanting to go there."
He is always willing to go that extra mile, especially for his students like Kyle and Luke. They said the coach doesn’t just stop at helping them in the classroom.
“He’d help me with my other classes, and it would just like, take a lot of stress off of my hands,” Kyle said. Luke jumped in with, "I think he had a really big impact on my life and teaching."
He's teaching them to set no limits and reach for goals they once saw as unobtainable.
"The sky's the limit on what they can accomplish,” Salinas said, “And I think that's what I pride myself in is allowing them to know that they always have someone who has their back."
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