Science Department Chair and AP Environmental Science Instructor
East Early College High School, Houston, TX
Mr. Saenz was named the 2015 National Teacher of the Year by the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering. He has also served as the advisor for the BEST Robotics Team and the Waterbotics Team, the coach for World Affairs Council WorldQuest, and as a Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth instructor. Mr. Saenz has presented at numerous conferences, such as the Tech-Ed Conference and the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching. He teaches physics and astronomy at Houston Community College. Mr. Saenz earned a Bachelor of Education in science from Southwest Texas State University and a Masters of Education from Texas A&M Prairie View.
Mr. Saenz explains his teaching philosophy, “All my students know how to succeed in every class; teachers tell them day after day how to do that, but the application of that knowledge is what will set them apart from their peers. It is not what a person knows, but how one uses what one knows. The ongoing, guiding question becomes, ‘How will you use your knowledge as a building block of your understanding to guide your abilities, and how, with that understanding, will you impact your life, your future and the lives of those around you. What will your legacy be?’” He continues, “I teach, and the promising future always beckons before me, day after day, as I also learn from the lessons I present, knowing full-well that what I do with students will become ‘applied knowledge’ in their lives.”
Principal Tamera Bolden of East Early College High School describes Mr. Saenz as a “natural teacher.” She explains, “He is a mentor for new teachers, as well as the role model that many of our students have never had and desperately need.” Mr. Saenz’s nominating student adds, “Professor Saenz is a very kind-hearted man who will help his students achieve their goals.”
NSHSS is pleased to highlight our 2015-2016 Claes Nobel Educators of the Year, presented to ten exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to preparing students for success in college and in life. These ten educators are among NSHSS’s student-nominated Claes Nobel Educators of Distinction, a program that recognizes educators who model best practices in teaching, are a positive influence for students and peers, and demonstrate outstanding leadership in education and community engagement. Since the inception of the Educators of Distinction program in 2004, NSHSS has recognized more than 38,000 educators worldwide.