For the second year in a row an Austin educator has won teacher of the year.
Lanier High School audio-visual production teacher Tara Bordeaux was chosen out of more than 350,000 educators.
“It doesn't feel real right now, it's still kind of sinking in,” Bordeaux said.
Tara’s career as an audio visual production teacher at is all thanks to her past.
“I wanted to become a teacher because I had an amazing teacher when I was in high school,” said Bordeaux.
She gave up school in eleventh grade, but one teacher refused to give up on her.
“When I was going through this really hard time in my life, that moment saved me,” Tara said.
Years later, Bordeaux found work in Los Angeles working behind the scenes on films, but she gave up a life rubbing elbows with celebrities to spend time in a classroom with teenagers.
“I think they act the same way sometimes, celebrities and kids. They both have their demands that don't ever seem to be met, but we try,” said Tara.
Bordeaux said she was able to connect with students during her five years at Austin ISD by letting her guard down.
“I don't act like most teachers and I think that's okay. It's important to just be who you are because that also teaches the kids to be who they are. If they feel that you love them for whom they are, they in turn love you for who you are,” said Tara.
Lanier High School principal Ryan Hopkins said he wasn't surprised that Tara won the teacher of the year competition.
“I would say it was hard earned,” said Hopkins.
Hopkins has seen Bordeaux go above and beyond to become a better teacher every day.
“I think what makes her different is that she cares so much about the kids. She gives something of herself, which is priceless, and the kids really respond to that,” Hopkins said.
Tara will now go on to compete for national teacher of the year, but she said even before she got a trophy she already felt like a winner.
“I'm blessed to be a teacher and I'm blessed to teach with some of the most amazing teachers in one of the, I think, greatest districts in the nation,” said Bordeaux.