2018 Texas Teacher of the Year

Isabella Ilamas, Eric Tejeda, and Sebastian Reyes

Media Arts Instructor named 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year

Earlier this month, Lanier Early College High School Media Arts Instructor Tara Bordeaux was named the 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year.

Bordeaux, who is beginning her fifth year teaching Audio Video Production at Lanier, was recognized alongside forty other Regional Teachers of the Year at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Principal Ryan Hopkins, previous Lanier Principal Kathy Ryan, and Superintendent Dr. Paul Cruz were in attendance for the ceremony.

“It’s overwhelming,” Bordeaux said. “I am beyond honored to represent the district, and humbled to even be considered for this award.”

This is the second year in a row for an Austin ISD teacher to be named Texas Teacher of the Year. Last year, elementary teacher Allison Ashley was given the state title.

“We’re floored,” said Superintendent Paul Cruz. “Two years in a row for Teacher of the Year in the Austin School District. We are so proud of Ms. B. and of Ms. Ashley. It goes to show the caliber of teachers we have who teach every day and have a heart for kids.”

Bordeaux says she had no idea she would go this far. “Being nominated at the campus level was a big enough honor for me. I’m still just in disbelief that all of this is happening, and thankful to be given the opportunity to embark on this journey.”

Before teaching at Lanier, Bordeaux spent 10 years in Los Angeles working in television and motion picture production in Los Angeles, working behind the scenes for shows such as “Criminal Minds,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “Sons of Anarchy,” and films such as “Cloverfield,” “Hitman,” and “3:10 to Yuma.”

“I wanted to bring a little piece of Hollywood back with me,” she said. “It’s important to me that students get to experience the film industry hands-on, and through the Media Arts program, be given as many professional opportunities as possible to network with industry pros.”

Students’ work in the Media Arts Program has been featured in national advertisements for Alamo Drafthouse, public service announcements televised on PBS, documentary short films premiered at SXSWedu, and globally with the Lennon Bus, where students shot and produced a documentary short on the band Third Eye Blind.

“I love working with my students. The most exciting part is watching my students take the tools that I give them, and build their skillsets by taking risks on themselves. There is nothing more satisfying than having one of my students take a small piece of something I have taught them, and then turn around and teach me something they learned on their own, that I had no idea was even possible.”

As the state finalist for Texas, Bordeaux now moves on to the national level, where she will compete against the other State Teachers of the Year in January, followed by a visit to the White House in the spring.

“That’s crazy to me,” Bordeaux said. “I never thought a simple nomination at my campus would send me to the White House. I still think I’m going to wake up one day to a camera crew telling me I’ve been Punk’d.”