By Ann Jantz, wyo4news.com
Rock Springs, Wyoming — Eastside Elementary School teacher David Galindo is Sweetwater School District No. 1’s Teacher of the Year.
Galindo, who teaches sixth grade at Eastside, couldn’t be more surprised about receiving the honor.
“I got the phone call at the end of May,” Galindo said about his nomination. “I was very humbled by that.”
And the surprises kept coming. In mid-July, Galindo received another call, this time from the Wyoming Department of Education to inform him he is one of five top teachers in the state up for the Wyoming Teacher of the Year honor. The announcement about who will take home this honor is expected to come out next week.
He noted that there are about 7,400 teachers in the state.
“That really puts it in perspective for me, about what an honor it is.”
Galindo began his teaching career with School District No. 1 after graduating from the University of Wyoming in 2013. Originally from Powell, Wyoming, Galindo just completed his sixth year with the district — entirely at Eastside teaching sixth grade.
He said he only applied to School District No. 1 after college and student teaching in Green River. Why? Because he loved this area and what it had to offer.
“And I was right,” he said.
Galindo said the application process for the district’s teacher of the year is lengthy, consisting of six in-depth questions that focus on issues in education, classroom management and practices, and three letters of recommendation. Each school in the district gets to nominate one teacher for the opportunity to become teacher of the year, so needless to say, Galindo was thrilled Eastside Principal Tina Searle nominated him.
Galindo, however, is quick to credit the team of teachers and staff at Eastside. He said they share this honor with him, if not in name, then in spirit.
“I could never have done this without my support system of co-workers, friends, and family,” he said. “This honor is not only for me, but a great accomplishment for all my colleagues.”
He also credits his wife, Kayla, who he said has stood by him through this whole process. She also teaches at Eastside, in fifth grade.
Galindo also credits the school district — for believing in him and supporting him as he explores his teaching interests, both in the classroom and out pursuing other activities.
“All through my career, the district has supported me in every endeavor and path I wanted to try,” he noted.
He currently is district chairman for math, is the head coach for Rock Springs High School boy’s swim team, and assistant head coach for RSHS girls swim team.
His future plans have him continuing along a path in education. He said he would like to start working on a master’s degree and is planning to head down the principal’s route.
He also would like to, someday, teach music. This might surprise anyone who does not know Galindo, but many parents would not be surprised. He often plays guitar in class for his students and can be seen occasionally accompanying the Eastside choir.
One thing he is sure about, it’s that he will forever be in education.
“I will not ever get out of education. I just will change what I do,” he said. “I love it too much to leave.”