Isaac Padilla receives 2023 Teacher of the Year nomination.

A Truett McConnell University (TMU) education alumnus, who has spent the last five years making an impact in an elementary classroom in Forsyth County, has been nominated for Teacher of the Year.

Isaac Padilla, a 2018 early childhood education graduate and current third-grade teacher at Silver City Elementary School, is in the running with six other teachers out of 3,000 district-wide educators.

“Being a Forsyth County Teacher of the Year finalist is quite an honor,” said Padilla. “It is proof that when we follow God’s calling on our lives, we can truly make a difference.”

The New Jersey native is also the Assistant Wrestling Coach at North Forsyth High School, which is something he is familiar with as a former TMU athlete. Padilla received many recognitions for the sport, including the NAIA Scholar-Athlete award.

His dedication both to his students and to the sport are just some of the many reasons why Padilla was nominated for Teacher of the Year.

“Over the four years Isaac attended TMU, I had the pleasure of watching him grow into an amazing teacher,” said Dr. Julie Lutz, Dean and Associate Professor of Education for The Peter and Gredel Walpot School of Education.

“He utilized unique teaching strategies in order to capture and engage all of his students,” added Lutz. “The atmosphere in his final senior intern classroom was one where students felt safe and totally included in the learning process. Teaching was truly Isaac’s calling.”

Padilla and his wife Haley, who is also a TMU education alum, both teach third grade in the same district. Dean Lutz added how Haley “supported Isaac during their time at TMU and continues that loving support as his wife. I am so proud of them both!”

Padilla says the time at TMU “truly shaped me to be who I am today.” It was during his time at TMU that he realized he wanted to teach elementary students.

“The most rewarding thing about being a teacher is being able to follow my calling from God to make relationships with students and co-workers,” said Padilla. “Teaching is a ministry in itself, and I get to show who God is through my daily activities in life.”


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