Natalia grad Koehler named Teacher of the Year

Natalia ISD graduate Amanda Koehler Sanchez stands next to the vehicle she will be driving for the next year after being named Laredo ISD’s Teacher of the Year.

It is with profound honor, appreciation, and inspiration to announce and depict the achievements of our many Natalia Alumni. Within recent weeks, former Natalia class of nineteen ninety-nine graduate Amanda K. Koehler Sanchez, daughter of Mac and Lisa Koehler, was on the receiving end of one of Laredo’s highest valued awards.
What began as a simple nomination for Amparo Gutierrez Elementary’s Outstanding Teacher soon led to recognition and winning of United ISD’s Teacher of the Year. For a combined total of nine years Mrs. Sanchez’s extra hours in classroom preparation and devotion to the development of youthful education did not go unnoticed as Mrs. Sanchez can now rest a golden apple alongside many of Laredo’s most influential academic scholars.
Teacher of the Year not only acknowledges the ability to achieve classroom expectations, but takes a very deep look at the ability to influence students beyond numbers and language; in fact, a major distinguishing factor which led to Mrs. Sanchez recognition was her active passion to inspire her children beyond the classroom.
“I realized what I am going to be teaching them is going to stay with them for the rest of their lives,” stated Mrs. Sanchez. Married for sixteen years to her high school sweetheart Pedro Sanchez, Jr, Amanda did not pursue life in the classroom immediately. Obtaining her degree from the University of Phoenix in two thousand and eight Amanda considered an occupation that allowed her to promote welfare not only to her, but more so the prosperity of those she encountered. A mother to three quickly aging young men, teaching gave Amanda the ability to instill good morals into her family and furthermore made caring for her student’s development to resemble the nourishment displayed at home.
“My teaching philosophy is that we have to teach the whole child. I’m helping to create a responsible, compassionate human being. It is beyond academics; you need to constantly realize you’re adding some kind of value to another life,” expressed Mrs. Sanchez when discussing the growth of her students.
Mrs. Sanchez could not travel far without expressing gratitude for the inspiring teachers that came before her. Going back to the root of where her teaching aspirations began, Mrs. Sanchez delivered high gratitude for one teacher in particular, former Natalia ISD teacher Ms. Gloria Loza is a teacher whom Mrs. Sanchez adored dearly. Ms. Loza’s toughness and discipline led to not only good work ethic by the students Ms. Loza taught, but showed that when instructors are willing care for the growth of their students great students result.
Upon winning this award, Mrs. Sanchez is excited for the year ahead of her. Being awarded a vehicle on behalf of Powell Watson she will now have sure transportation to work for the entire academic year. More so, this award now serves as an even greater inspiration to her approach to the classroom. Recognition was not necessary for Mrs. Sanchez to inspire her youth in the classroom, making changes in the lives of the youth is simply an achievement obtained by every teacher. Teachers of every grade level posses the opportunity to inspire the young, yet with such a high influence the responsibility placed our teachers is to continue to inspire for a better tomorrow.
By Andre Hernandez