Shared from the 9/16/2017 Austin American Statesman eEdition


Teacher receives prestigious award

RRISD educator is a former Texas Teacher of the Year.


Revathi Balakrishnan holds an oversized $10,000 check she received as part of the Horace Mann Award for Teacher Excellence. PHOTOS BY MIKE PARKER


Horace Mann insurance agents presented Balakrishnan with a cake and acrystal owl award, along with a $10,000 check.

A Patsy Sommer Elementary School teacher who is no stranger to accolade received a little surprise Wednesday afternoon.

Talented and gifted educator Revathi Balakrishnan sat beside fellow teachers in the school library as representatives walked in and presented her with the Horace Mann Award for Teacher Excellence.

Horace Mann, a national insurance company, partners with the NEA Foundation in presenting the award tofive educators each year across the country. Texas State Teachers Association President Noel Candelaria nominated Balakrishnan for the award, which recognizes educators for their tireless work in the classroom.

Balakrishnan has often found herself in the limelight, having been chosen as the 2016 Texas Teacher of the Year. That accolade allowed her to meet Gov. Greg Abbott at the state Capitol and visit the White House.

In front of her peers, she commended everyone at the school for their dedication toward educating students.

“It’s all about Sommer Elementary. Icouldn’t do this without you,” she said.

Balakrishnan will now join four other educators in a visit to Washington, D.C., in February for the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala. Candelaria described the event as the “Golden Globes of education.”

Horace Mann representatives on Wednesday also presented Balakrishnan with a $10,000 check and a crystal owl award. At the gala, she will find out whether she is chosen among the five educators for a $25,000 award.

Balakrishnan has taught in the district’s talented and gifted program for 11 years, with eight of those years at Sommer Elementary.

Contact Mike Parker at 512-255-5827.

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