Joseph Alan Sosa, Teacher of the Year finalist

By Patricia Fraga

The path that led to 8th grade science teacher Joseph Alan Sosa being named a Teacher of the Year finalist was his parents, who were both special education teachers. 

He said their passion for education created a desire in him to teach and create an impact in students’ lives.

“I spent a lot of time in my parents’ classrooms and saw the impact that a teacher can have on students,” Sosa said. 

Sosa has been with Austin ISD for nine years

“I think being teacher of the year requires a commitment to your students to find what their needs are, learning about them and doing your best to meet those needs, whether it's academic or emotional.”

Lamar principal Megan Tesano says Sosa is not only a fantastic teacher but also a leader on campus.

"He is not only a good teacher but a leader on the campus with his peers," said Tesano. "He is someone who dives in and is committed to equity and raising the level of education for all his students."

In his years at Lamar, the percentage of on-level students who passed the science STAAR test almost doubled to 74 percent, and the school earned a Texas Education Agency distinction of academic achievement in science.

Austin ISD’s annual Salute event honors educators throughout the district for their excellence in the classroom. Sosa is one of four finalists for Teacher of the Year. Tune in at 6:30 p.m. May 20 to watch the virtual awards ceremony.