A teacher at Brady High School, Saucedo was recently named the 2016 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association of School Administrators. Soon after, she won a 2016 H-E-B Excellence in Education Leadership Award recognizing her for 10 years of experience and her leadership at the secondary level. The H-E-B award came with a $10,000 check for her and a $10,000 grant for her school.
“It’s been a crazy ride,” the Menard native said. “Being a single mother, I got so emotional at the H-E-B awards. The first year I moved out as a single mom, I made $10,000 that whole year.”
Saucedo has been teaching family consumer science at Brady High for nearly eight years.
“Family consumer science is the new version of home economics,” she said. “It involves life skills ranging from marketing to mental health and counseling, fashion design and culinary arts.”
She is also the sponsor for Brady High’s chapter of FCCLA, a related leadership program. Her students have gone all the way to national competitions for two years in a row. This month, a Brady FCCLA team is competing in parliamentary procedures in San Diego, Calif.
Brady High School Principal Eric Bierman nominated Saucedo for Teacher of the Year because of her dedication and work ethic.
“She’s very involved with our students inside and outside of class,” he said. “She brings to her classroom real-life situations that help kids prepare for what’s in store for them in a positive way.”
Not bad for someone who never planned to be a teacher. A former standout basketball player in high school, Saucedo earned a partial scholarship to junior college and played semi-professional ball for a year in Australia. After returning to Texas and earning her ASU bachelor’s degree in 2004 with a double major in psychology and communication, she worked as a community specialist for the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council for the Concho Valley (ADACCV) in San Angelo.
“I was working with students and probation officers, doing counseling with students, and doing presentations for classrooms and sometimes the campuses,” she said. “Robin Gardner, a counselor at Junction High School, asked me if I’d ever thought of being a teacher and a coach.”
Saucedo’s first teaching job was for Junction ISD.
“My first year, I was driving every other Saturday to Austin to get emergency certified as a teacher,” she said. “I also coached varsity girls’ basketball, junior high volleyball, track and tennis. Then at Brady, I coached golf for five years. We were district champs multiple times and made it to regional almost every year.”
“But it got to a point where I needed to take a break from athletic coaching,” she continued. “Now, I consider what we do with FCCLA coaching.”
Also continuing her own education, Saucedo is pursuing her ASU master’s degree in guidance and counseling and seeking to qualify as a licensed professional counselor. She eventually hopes to earn a doctorate in education.
“So many of our kids are going through things at home,” she said, “and they don’t know how to react to those things and it hurts their schooling. I want to be able to help those kids make those transitions.”
Since she became a teacher, more than 50 of Saucedo’s students have followed her lead to enroll at Angelo State.
“I have used my ASU education every day as a teacher for the last 10 years,” she said. “I use both psychology and communication in my job. ASU taught me responsibility, patience in guiding others, and the ability to be confident in my communication skills.”