‘She is a person, not just a teacher’: Borger teacher named a finalist for Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 8:33 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2022 at 9:10 PM CDT
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BORGER, Texas (KFDA) - A Borger teacher is one of three finalists for Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Tricia Shay teaches 9th grade English at Borger High School.

She started off her career as a reporter for the Borger News-Herald before becoming a teacher where she covered Borger Independent School District board meetings and became the official correspondent for the district.

During this time, Shay became a substitute teacher, and this is where she wanted to start teaching children.

When students sit down in her class, she wants them to know they have a place.

“I hope that they leave my classroom knowing that I cared, and I don’t stop caring just because they walk away,” said Shay.

Borger High School Principal Matt Ammerman was part of the nomination process and says Shay does more than just teach.

“She tries to find what’s going to connect with that student, how they learn, she has those heart-to-heart talks with them,” said Ammerman.

Her students say she’s not like any other teacher they have.

“She seems more transparent, she is a person, not just a teacher. She listens more and whenever you need help she actually helps you. She’s more open and she’s still here, all the other teachers are in a bubble,” her students said.

Shay says she just wants to see her students be successful.

“I had one of the kids look at me and he said ‘I’ve never had a teacher say that to me before’ and I’m thinking these are 9th graders and you’ve never had somebody say that they’re proud of you and they want you to be successful, that’s heartbreaking,” said Shay.

She will be travelling to Round Rock next week to see if she is named Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year.

The finalists will be interviewed on Thursday, Oct. 20, before a panel of judges composed of representatives of educational leadership associations, community and business leaders, a member of the State Board for Educator Certification, a member of the State Board of Education, and prior Texas Teachers of the Year.

The luncheon and awards ceremony will take place Friday, Oct. 21 at the Kalahari Convention Center.

Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year finalists:

  • Shelley Jeoffroy, Otis Brown Elementary School, Irving ISD
  • Kari Johnston, Perez Elementary School, Austin ISD
  • Lisa Mackey, Fox Elementary School, Klein ISD

Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year finalists:

  • Andrea Larson, McNeil High School, Round Rock ISD
  • Chris McLeod, Brazoswood High School, Brazosport ISD
  • Tricia Shay, Borger High School, Borger ISD