Sam Houston State University’s College of Education has named Hirsch Elementary School Principal Dr. Clare Resilla as one of its 2022 Distinguished Educators of the Year, the highest alumni award presented by the COE each year.
The Distinguished Educator of the Year awards honor accomplished SHSU alumni who have made a positive difference through careers in education — representing urban, rural, and suburban communities — and include all types of educators who have had distinguished careers as teachers, counselors, librarians, administrators and higher education professionals.
Resilla is being honored for her passion for education and leadership at Hirsch, where she began as principal in January 2020, a mere two months before the onset of the pandemic. Her “resilience, passion, and tenacity to advocate for her students and teachers at Hirsch Elementary,” was noted in her nomination.
The nomination went on to note her advocacy for the students at her school and her work in programs such as the Rice University Tapia STEM Camp and National Hispanic Institute Great Debate. Resilla also has worked diligently in improvement plans for her school, and Hirsch Elementary was one of five schools selected to join the Holdsworth Campus Leadership program.
Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinojosa said that, ever since Resilla’s arrival in the district as a multilingual program coordinator, she had exhibited a commitment to empowering students and creating opportunities for them to be successful, a commitment that had made her a great choice to lead Hirsch Elementary.
“Dr. Resilla is a person of profound faith, and that faith extends to her absolute belief in the amazing potential of every student in Spring ISD,” Hinojosa said. “She truly believes in the ability of each and every student to make the most of their education, and as a leader she inspires other educators to rise to the occasion and give their best as well. We’re so happy for her well-deserved honor from Sam Houston State University, and we’re grateful for all she has done and continues to do on behalf of our students.”
Resilla attributes her accomplishments and contributions to her journey as an immigrant from the Philippines who has defied the odds, empowering her to become the leader she is today.
“It is truly an honor to win this award to help pave the way and inspire other minority women from traditionally marginalized minoritized groups to continue dreaming and working to achieve the dreams and goals they have for themselves,” Resilla said. “I want to continue to inspire others with my story, challenging them to pursue higher education and sharing the possibilities afforded to those who continue to be life-long learners.”
Due to the pandemic, last year’s awards were postponed, so SHSU will be honoring 10 educators: five from 2021 and five from 2022. The Distinguished Educator of the Year recipients will be honored during an on-campus ceremony on March 5, at 6 p.m.