El Paso educator with Marfa ties honored for teaching excellence
EL PASO, MARFA – Michelle Uranga Williams was honored as a top ten teacher of the year finalist for her achievements as a teacher/librarian at Travis Elementary School in El Paso.
She is the daughter of Armando Uranga, president of the Ex-Marfa Shorthorns Group of El Paso and Friends.
Williams selection was based on nominations made by administrators within 95 school campuses. The award banquet was held Friday, May 13 at the Centennial Banquet Room, Fort Bliss, where several hundred school officials, teachers and family members attended.
Michelle has been a familiar face during the Marfa Lights Festival as she and her two daughters, Kimberly, Rebecca and son Sean, who is now in the Coast Guard, roam around selling raffle tickets for the annual fundraiser to help Marfa High School students receive a college education. Michelle’s loyalty to Marfa stems from the time she attended St. Mary’s School in Marfa while her father, Mando Uranga, went to serve in the U.S. Army for a tour in Southeast Asia. At a later date, for the same reason she attended Marfa Elementary.
On many occasions Michelle has been praised for her passion to help students to excel with their learning skills since she herself had difficulty learning during her early childhood, due to dyslexia.
During her second year of school was told by a teacher that she would never learn how to read. She overcame those learning barriers and was also honored as the top eight teacher of the year finalist at the Socorro Independent School District in 2011.
Michelle claims that with the support of her parents, tutors, and extra classes she thrived in school, work, and in life. She sees herself as a product of St. Mary’s School in Marfa, Marfa Elementary, Coronado High School in El Paso, New Mexico State University, Phoenix University, and North Texas University.