Special education teacher Olivia Hayes of Brandeis High School has been chosen for Hallmark University’s “Outstanding Educator of the Year 2018” award. The award itself consists of a five-day cruise for two during the summer of 2018. The award is an initiative set by Hallmark University to reward San Antonio educators for positively and significantly changing the lives of their students and community.
When reviewing the nominations for Olivia Hayes, several points were repeatedly brought up about her strong morals and the way she operates her classroom. Reflecting Hallmark University’s mission to change individual lives, Olivia’s nominations acknowledged how tirelessly she works to change her students’ lives and her commitment to helping her students develop skills to be used not just in their daily lives, but in the jobs that they will one day choose based on their interests. This, coupled with many nominations detailing their personal experiences with Olivia, led to the decision to name her Hallmark University’s “Outstanding Educator of the Year 2018.”
Sarah Garza, a colleague from Brandeis High School, said, “Students are inspired and motivated by Ms. Hayes… she has always been such a humble person who thinks the world of her kids as she does for her students at school. Ms. Hayes definitely carries herself as a positive role model for the current and forthcoming students who will have the opportunity to learn from such a kind and compassionate teacher.”
Another colleague from Brandeis High School, Dona Fox, said “I feel students are greatly encouraged by Olivia, especially in all events that special-needs students have outside of the classroom. She attends many events, such as the Special Olympics, dances, and graduation events for and with her students. Within the community, Olivia has accompanied me with feeding the homeless on several occasions. She treats all people with love and compassion, and always makes the unfortunate feel accepted. Her love of others is obvious in both the school environment, as well as in the community. She has been a blessing to know and to work closely with for the past four years.”
While Olivia was chosen as the winner of this year’s award, a copious number of nominations for San Antonio educators were sent in, with many exemplary teachers being recommended and considered. Numerous nominees were recommended for similar reasons, and were noted for their personal care and displayed commitment to providing the best education possible to their students. The runner up was recognized for her dedication, and was presented with an “Educator of the Year 2018 Finalist” Award.
Hallmark University and many colleagues met Olivia in her classroom at Brandeis High School and presented the award with her students watching on. On March 20th, 2018, during Hallmark University’s “It’s Time for Change” luncheon, Olivia was publicly recognized as the “Outstanding Educator of the Year 2018.”