Just hours after learning about a fellow English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher’s serious car accident, Mandy Ochoa, an ESL facilitator at Castleman Creek Elementary School, stepped in to support her colleague’s students at Spring Valley Elementary School while the injured teacher recovered on medical leave.
Spring Valley Elementary School Principal Kappy Edwards praised Ochoa’s quick action in response to the accident involving Peggy Pritchett, the school’s ESL program facilitator. Pritchett suffered two broken ankles and a fractured pelvis after being struck by a drunk driver.
In addition to her regular duties at Castleman Creek, Ochoa visited Spring Valley each Friday to work with ESL students, took over language interventions, and communicated with teachers and parents. Ochoa’s efforts were entirely voluntary and not directed by anyone.
Pritchett expressed her gratitude for Ochoa’s assistance, stating, “I will never have the words to express the gratitude I have for Mandy and how she stepped up to support Spring Valley, my students, and me.”
Ochoa also provided ESL tips to Spring Valley staff and rescheduled assessment practice and testing dates to ensure her presence during facilitation. Principal Edwards commended Ochoa for taking care of every detail for the ESL students and supporting the teachers.
In recognition of her exceptional service, Ochoa received the Midway Extra Mile Hero Award, presented at the Midway ISD Board of Trustees meeting in March.
Ochoa attributed her actions to the supportive nature of her colleague, stating, “I can say without a doubt that Peggy would have done the same thing for me, my students, and my campus— she is always taking care of others because that’s just who she is!” She also expressed appreciation for the warm welcome she received from the Spring Valley community.