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Thanh Thi wins KENS 5 Excel Award for Southside ISD

"All 800 kids know my name. And that's what I love."

SAN ANTONIO — For years, people told Mr. Thanh Thi he should reconsider teaching, or that teaching just "wasn't for him."

But, he wouldn't give up on his love for educating children. And it's a good thing he stuck with it, because now, he's beloved by students and staff and Southside Independent School District. 

That's why Mr. Thanh Thi is this week's KENS 5 EXCEL Award winner.

KENS 5 Anchor Sarah Forgany asked him, "You teach all 800 kids at the school?" 

And he said, "All 800 kids know my name. And that's what I love. It's literally every morning why I'm so energetic. It's my students. They're the one. 'Mr. T. Mr. T.' Oh my gosh. I know this is crazy, but I feel like a celebrity."

And like a celebrity, when he's in the room, everyone notices.

"Well, he's an amazing teacher. This is my first year here at Southside. When I came my first time to visit, they told me you need to meet Mr. T. So we went over there and I was expecting somebody with a bunch of chains and they said that they have the Energizer Bunny," said Superintendent Ramirez.

This KENS 5 Excel Winner then told us, "The kids love craziness. Like, you have to be loud. You have to be outgoing. You like you just dance around, shake it off."