LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Maria Sinapuelas

Position: Librarian
School: Graciela Garcia Elementary School
School District: Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD
City, State: Pharr, TX

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Maria Sinapuelas was nominated by her colleague, Nora Galvan.

Mrs. Sinapuelas teaches at an IB (International Baccalaureate) campus as a librarian.  This is where she takes the lead in helping students with up-to-date technology, digital library access, academic research, literary instructional skills, and many more activities to prepare them for 21st century learning. Students enjoy visiting the library and are ready to start the research projects assigned. 

Mrs. Sinapuelas invites community members, parents, district administrators, and teachers to engage in promotional learning activities that develop a positive, interactive atmosphere within the school and library. She embraces learning by celebrating national events and using such events as instructional tools for learning. 

Mrs. Sinapuelas shares her knowledge with teachers at the district level. Together with fellow librarians, she trained middle and high school, math, science and social studies teachers in the use of instructional resources, eBooks, practice tests for: TSI, ACT, GRE, and many more practice tests to help parents, teachers, students and community members. She is a leader at the district level by being a part of a district library curriculum writing committee. In this group, she is able to share her expertise to correlate library curriculum with district content area curriculum. This helps students be on the same page in both the classroom and library.

"Mrs. Sinapuelas is admired and respected by her colleagues, parents, teachers, and administrators for her moral and ethical values. She is well deserving of this honor," said Galvan.

Comments (33)

Jeanette Garcia Posted over a year ago

Good, passionate librarians are hard to find!! I have to say her school definitely has a true gem in her. Not only does she engage even the youngest pre-kinder children, challenging, engaging and teaching them with todays latest reading technology, she also keeps them engaged and enthusiastic about opening a book and grow a love of reading. I say this because I see this growing passion in my children alike. She shares her enthusiasm for new books with the kiddos. There is no better way to keep young minds excited!

Reina Razo Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sinapuelas is an amazing person and educator. She pours all her time in engaging all students to read and to have a love for reading. She is truly a life changer.

Victoriano Barcelona Posted over a year ago

Sheila is an awesome educator, librarian, and friend. As a librarian, she encourages her students to never stop reading. She even extend her skills to my own children. Overall, she is an amazing individual, reason to receive the award. -

Rosa Vaca Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sinapuelas is an exceptional educator! As a parent, I have seen how hard she works to push students to read and get better and better each day. Although she is not a regular classroom teacher, she gets to know students and parents and is always seen participating in school activities during and after school hours. She truly makes a difference in the lives of many students and our community. Thank you, Mrs. Sinapuelas!

Mateo Dominguez Posted over a year ago

I always enjoyed to be in her class, she inspired me to read more, when I didn’t want to. Now in 8th grade.

Natalia Dominguez Posted over a year ago

Energetic and always supporting her students to excel!

Rhodora T Elizondo Posted over a year ago

Shoela has been a good friend for 16 years. She is a giving, nurturing individual that works with at risk kids through reading at the school where she is a librarian. She is instrumental in my daughters love of reading, giving her books so early that she became a millionaire reader. Shela is always been one of the supporters of the humanitarian projects of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce, never hesitating to help when called.. I am proud to call her my friend. She is an exceptional individual. Rhodora Elizondo Chair, PACC

Fernanda Sanchez Posted over a year ago

I have the privilege to work with Mrs. Sinapuelas, our librarian. She is quick to reach out to us, teachers. She makes it known she has resources and skills that benefit our students and enrich our teaching, she makes our work load more manageable. I am grateful that she is there to support my students and me to find books related to all kinds of interests. She has opened the door to the reading world wider than I could do on my own for my students and my own children. I am truly grateful. Mrs. Sinapulas helps our students connect to reading and digital literacies in a variety of ways, whether it is for our IB planners or research work in our classrooms. She tests our students reading levels and encourages them to read, read, read. And she makes sure that we know the importance of reading to our students. She doesn't give up when a students says, "I didn't like this book." She will find a few others to spark the child's love for reading and to ensure that they continue reading. She also has STEAM activities to engage students in learning technology and problem solving. Mrs. Sinapuelas brings authors to our school for the students to hear stories read to them and to know that they can also someday become writers or anything they want to be. Not only does she do all of the above, she also takes a tremendous amount of time to maintain a vibrant classroom library. Continually researching books, doing the advocacy and paperwork to get copies of new books ordered, keeping them organized and appealingly laid out, managing check out and return processes and so forth. Over the years, Mrs. Sinapuelas has cultivated beautiful relationships with our students, teachers, and staff. I'm glad we have the support of her expertise. Congratulations, thank you, WE APPRECIATE YOU! YOU ARE TRULY A LIFE CHANGER.

CARMEN AMARO Posted over a year ago

Excelente bibliotecaria y gran persona siempre impulsando a los estudiantes a leer y llegar a sus metas. Muchas felicidades Mrs Sinapuelas

VERONICA CANTU Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sinapuelas. Ella es una excelente persona con todos los estudiantes siempre impulsándolos a leer mas y preocupándose por que lleguen a su meta. Muchas felicidades por sus nominacion.

Alex Garza Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Sinapuelas has always encouraged us to read a lot and to get up to one million words.

AXEL CANTU Posted over a year ago


FAVIAN CANTU Posted over a year ago


FAVIAN CANTU Posted over a year ago


Esteban Trevino Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sinapuelas, has a gift to touch lives every day. It goes without mention that she spends countless hours of dedication in order to perfect her craft. She has assisted me in helping our migrant students get connected and learn technologies that they normally would not have access to. She has a genuine educators heart, she helps every student regardless of their level while maintaining high standards. Truly an inspiration

Maria Lujan Posted over a year ago

Mrs.Sinapuelas demonstrates excellence in everything she does.She goes far and beyond to promote reading and technology for our students and our staff.She is an educator I respect and admire greatly.She represents excellence and deserves this honor.

Anacita Sugalan Posted over a year ago

Ms. Sinapuelas is well deserving of this award! She is smart, and she goes above and beyond the call of duty to serve others. Our librarians at Benavides ISD visited the library at Garcia Elementary and she shared her expertise in running the library. She has the passion and excellence to do her job. Above all she loves students! She uses her influence as a librarian to touch the lives of others through reading! She deserves this recognition more than anyone! Thank you.

Jonathan Martinez Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sinapuelas is always encouraging me to read and take AR tests.  I've been able to earn trophies for reading because she always reminds me, my teachers and parents to keep reading.  Everytime she sees me she gives me a hug and she knows my name.  She knows everyone's name and rewards our accomplishments with snacks like nachos or with certificates, medals, trophies, electronics, books, stuffed animals, and more.  She likes to take pictures of students and post them around our school.  When she gets selected we will have more resources to use at the library and I'll be able to read new books.  Thank you Mrs. Sinapuelas for being the best librarian.

Griselda Martinez Posted over a year ago

We should never underestimate the impact one person can have on many allowing them to become life changers.  As a librarian Mrs. Sinapuela has demonstrated a great interest and desire to challenge our children to excel in every area of their education.  She takes a personal approach when it comes to knowing her students and recognizing areas of need.  I've heard her say that her students are her babies.   It's amazing how she is able to keep track of every student at this campus.  She finds innovative ways to engage students in learning and continually strives to reach new goals. Mrs. Sinapuelas is very approachable and makes one feel valued by the way she remembers detailed information about our children.  I've seen her walking from class to class interacting with students, teachers, parents and administrators.  When I think of a life changer, Mrs. Sinapuelas' characteristics come to mind.  She takes on the responsibility to create change and to lead others in a vision of success.  The determination of achieving goals prevents her from giving up and she uses all the available resources she can even if it means her own to help students.  Mrs. Sinapuelas is a very deserving recipient of this nomination as she and many educators at Garcia Elementary work diligently in providing our children with a well rounded education.  Consider her the best candidate and thank you for giving us the opportunity to recognize a life changer. 

Debbie dawang Posted over a year ago


Desiree Longoria Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sinapuelas is an Amazing Librarian! She instructs all student with such great enthusiasm... students can’t help but enter her library with a huge smile on their face! Always positive with a smile on her face, she lights up Garcia Elementary!

Juanita Castillo Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sinapuelas is someone loved and respected at G. Garcia Elem. she is always trying to find different and new technology not only for us but for our students. She is constantly involved with our students before, during and after school. I think she is one of the most dedicated persons i know always finding exciting ways to interest students reading experiences.

Janette Perez Posted over a year ago

In the time I've worked with Mrs. Sinapuelas, I've known her to be remarkably active and dedicated to her school and community!. She knows each and every student in the entire campus by heart and that greatly admirable.

Nadine Guajardo Posted over a year ago

Sheila is a mover and a shaker. She is a strong, determined and dedicated librarian who always strives to bring out the best in her colleagues and students. Sheila has changed my life for the better through her example and support.

Sylvia Posted over a year ago

Sheila has been an amazing individual who has taught me a lot iwith her experience with technolog and resources. She has come into our classrooms with her knowledge of showing us what we can use to make it easier for us to help our students to do research with all her expertise. Not only is she knowledgeable, but she has a loving heart for all our students. Your super amazing Mrs Sinapuelas!

Margarita S García Posted over a year ago

Way to go Mrs Sinapuelas!!!! My daughter Ana Paola went through elementary having Mrs Sinapuelas at the library. Such a good positive energetic lady, Mrs Sinapuelas is sweet and happy . Always in good disposition to listen and serve kids as well as parents. Thank you Mrs Sinapuelas! Well deserved!

Karen Jalife Posted over a year ago

I was fortunate enough to have Mrs.Sinapuelas as my librarian during elementary school. She taught me to fall in love with literature while discovering what interested me the most, science. She is one of those individuals that helped shape my educational career since elementary and kept molding it even when I was in middle school and high school. I am now completing my senior year at The University of Texas at San Antonio and receiving my Bachelors Degree in Biology. If it hadn’t been for such a great role model and mentor like Mrs. Sinapuelas, my dedication and love for learning would have taken a lot longer to develop. This is my way of saying thank you to her and paying it back. Best wishes!

María Salinas Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Sinapuelas is an amazing librarian that is always on the lookout for new innovative ideas to help children learn. She does more than required and goes beyond her duties to provide all children with new technology skills that are needed for the 21st century learner. Her passion about books is transmitted in all her lessons and her competitiveness to always be the best is contagious. She has done many wonderful things for our children in our campus. We are so proud of you Sheila Sinapuelas. You deserve this!

Yolanda castillo Posted over a year ago

I was inspired to change my life by how she exhibited so much compassion for our students.

Cynthia Martinez Posted over a year ago

She changed my sons life. He has ADHD & she has been nothing but positive & nice to him. He has come a long way all cause of a loving Librarian who loves the kids like her own.

Flor Alfaro Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on your well-deserved nomination. I am feeling so much joy for you today. What an impressive achievement! You are a proof that good things comes to those who are willing to help someone before themselves. You’ve earned every bit of success because you have touch so many lives through the love of reading.

Oneida Reyes Posted over a year ago

I’m very grateful to have met Ms. Sinapuelas at Garcia Elementary, she has been a great support for my son Rolando. She’s always going that extra mile for him, doing beyond and above into helping him choose the right books that he will enjoy reading! Thank you Ms. Sinapuelas for everything you do, showing students the love for Reading!! You are awesome! Way to go! PsjaProud

Flor Alfaro Posted over a year ago

Congratulations on your well-deserved nomination. I am feeling so much joy for you today. What an impressive achievement! You are a proof that good things comes to those who are willing to help someone before themselves. You’ve earned every bit of success because you have touch so many lives through the love of reading.