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Special Education Teacher Teresa Pena chosen for the Iva Dean Cook

Educator of the Year

Teresa Pena is a Special Education Teacher whose impact is seen everyday she begins teaching her students the

practical aspects of life. She specializes in instructing students in the adult years at the Judson CARE Academy

that is housed at the Judson Education Community Center.

She was chosen as the Iva Dean Cook Educator of the Year. That award comes annual from the Division of Ca-

reer Development and Transition which is part of the Council for Exceptional Children. The group acknowledg-

es individuals and groups that provide outstanding educational opportunities to students through practice and


Most teachers of special needs students have their own unique journey that led them

to their place. She says part of her calling came through the growing up around her

special needs aunt. She could see there was a huge need to teach these individuals

how to live life in a way that allowed them to be self sufficient and productive. After

she wrapped up a college music therapy internship, she knew what she should be do-


Ms. Pena has taken that passion for special students and in the spirit of her aunt, gives

them real life skills to live more have a future and some confidence

about it. As she puts it, “They’re here to learn how to access their community.”

You may remember that last year Ms. Pena was selected as the JISD Teacher of the

Year and the ExCEL

Teacher of the Year for Judson ISD. There's not a doubt

she is a great educator. Congratulations Ms. Pena!!

JISD Teacher Picked For Her

Second Teacher of the Year


Teresa Pena with her DCDT


Getting Her Award

“They’re here to

learn how to access

their community.”

Teresa Pena

JISD Life Skills Teacher