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Midland ISD names Vianca Sam 'Rookie of the Year'

Midland ISD names Vianca Sam ‘Rookie of the Year’

Vianca Sam has only worked one semester as a full-time teacher, and, last fall, she was still in school herself, but she’s already earning the respect of her peers at Long Elementary.

Sam was recently named “Rookie of the Year” at the Midland Independent School District Employee Service Awards Banquet.

Then again, Sam is not actually a new face on campus. While finishing up her degree at the University of Texas Permian Basin last fall, Sam was serving as a student-teacher at Long Elementary as part of the Opportunity Culture program. According to Midland ISD, Sam received an unexpected opportunity to become a full-time 2nd grade teacher this spring, and she rose to the occasion.

“It meant a lot to get that recognition from my peers so soon,” Sam said. “It’s really a dream come true. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was three.”

Sam credits her budding skills, in part, to her 4-year-old son Oliver, who has special needs and has taught her about kindness and understanding, states Midland ISD.

“I use what I’ve learned in raising him to teach my students about understanding differences in people,” Sam said. “Students need to know to be themselves.”

Sam said she aims to teach for as long as she can, with a goal of eventually teaching high school biology. Her advice for parents:

“Be involved in your child’s education,” she said. “Communication with the teacher goes a long way. If your student sees that you care about education, they will want to mirror that and make you proud.”