2022 Teachers of the Year Finalists Revealed


On Thursday, two elementary teachers at Perez and Ortega and two secondary teachers at Clifton Career Development School and at Lively Middle School found out they were finalists for Austin ISD Teacher of the Year (TOY). 

  • Tatiana Antonio teaches culinary arts at Clifton,
  • Iraida Amador-Mercado teaches 8th grade dual language social studies at Lively,
  • Kari Johnston is a dual-language teacher at Perez, and
  • Emily Rogers is a 4th grade math and science teacher at Ortega.

Why it matters: Two of these finalists will be chosen as Austin ISD’s elementary and secondary TOY at Salute, our annual celebration of the district’s outstanding educators, and those winners will go on to compete for Texas TOY.

Dig deeper: These teachers are doing some amazing things:

  • In less than a decade, Amador-Mercado has gone from moving from Puerto Rico to the Bronx without speaking English fluently to mentoring Social Studies teachers and supporting new dual-language social studies teachers.
  • At Clifton, Antonio has partnered with PREP kitchen to teach students food industry business.
  • Johnston has taught her Perez dual language students that being bilingual writers gives them more ways to communicate complex ideas more accurately.
  • Rogers has implemented a coding and circuits project to give students a creative way to present their essays at Ortega.

What’s next: The winners will be announced at Salute on Thursday, May 12 at the Austin ISD Performing Arts Center.

  • We will also honor winners in six other categories, including classified staff of the year, PTA of the year, librarian of the year, counselor of the year, assistant principal of the year and principal of the year. 
  • The event will also honor Teachers of Promise.

Tatiana Antonio - Clifton Career Development Center


Iraida Amador-Mercado - Lively Middle School


Kari Johnston - Perez Elementary School


Emily Rogers - Ortega Elementary School