The recipients of the 2023 Trinity Prize pose for a photo on the stage in Laurie Auditorium
University Names 2023 Trinity Prize Recipients
Trinity honors 15 local educators for leadership and service

Trinity University recognized 15 teachers from the San Antonio area for their outstanding performance in public education by bestowing upon them the 2023 Trinity University Prize for Excellence in Teaching on Friday, May 5.

Now in its 41st year, the Trinity Prize is widely recognized across local school districts and schools as a tremendous honor for individuals and a collective call for professional recognition of educators and Pre-K-12 and post-secondary education in our region. 

These committed educators were chosen by their school district for their commitment and passion for education. Among the criteria for inclusion on the list are outstanding classroom performance, leadership in the school and school district, leadership in the education profession, and outstanding service.

This year's event featured the honorees' families, respective school principals, and district superintendents. The 2021 Texas Teacher of the Year, Eric Hale, delivered the keynote address. The event's special partner, Whataburger, and Trinity's Department of Education undergraduate and graduate students were also in attendance. 

The winners of this year's prize received a Tiffany & Co. crystal apple engraved with their name as a gift from the University and the Office of President Vanessa B. Beasley, Ph.D. Thanks to the generosity of Whataburger through their "Feeding Student Success" program, each honoree received a $500 cash prize, a $250 Amazon gift card for a student organization or effort of their choice at their school or in the community that supports diversity and inclusion in education, and a Whataburger gift basket, including free Whataburger for a year. The University's Department of Education and the Center for Educational Leadership awarded each honoree an additional $150 Amazon gift card for classroom supplies. They also received a City of San Antonio commendation from Mayor Ron Nirenberg ’99.

"Each of you here today received this award for providing service over self," said Eric Hale in his keynote address. "The fact that you are here out of all the hundreds of teachers in the San Antonio area lets me know the type of impact you are making, and it lets me know that you have graduated from being a good teacher to being a phenomenal educator. Educators service the whole child. Educators are responsible for being anything that the students they serve need. You are their confidant. You are their parent while in their presence, their mentor, and their role model."


2023 Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching Honorees

Benjamin Keenan

Alamo Heights High School

Subject: English

Maribel Arias

Oak Crest Elementary School

Subject: 3rd Grade Dual Language

Patricia Rodriguez

Winston Intermediate School of Excellence

Subject: Bilingual Dyslexia Intervention

Yvonne Inzinna

Robert G. Cole Middle School

Subject: 8th Grade English

Elizabeth Padron

Columbia Heights Elementary School

Subject: 1st Grade Dual Language

Emily Peery

Judson High School

Subject: Social Studies (grade 10 and 11), AP World History, and Dual Credit U.S. History

Kathleen Brock

Stacey Jr/Sr High School

Subject: Band and Choir Director

Dr. Yuka Kato

Johnson High School

Subject: Japanese

Carolyn Dennis

Folks Middle School

Subject: Middle School Science

Oscar Garcia-Roman

CAST MED High School

Subject: Middle School Science

David Joseph Gamez

Savannah Heights Intermediate School

Subject: 5th Grade Science

Michael Sorola

South San Antonio High School

Subject: Physics

Jason Garcia

Losoya Middle School

Subject: 8th Grade Science

Cécile Castañeda

Southwest High School

Subject: French I and II; Spanish II

Deanna Strahl

The Winston School San Antonio

Subject: Upper School English and World Geography

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