LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Denisse Ochoa

Position: Librarian
School: PSJA North Early College High School
School District: Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD
City, State: Pharr, TX

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Denisse Ochoa was nominated by an anonymous colleague.

Mrs. Ochoa is one of four librarian leaders in her district who have worked laboriously during a new type of setting in education (COVID-19). She has educated many stakeholders on developing campus-based gardens as a project for sustainability.  She is an EcoRise ambassador, and she presents this concept to many stakeholders, including fellow librarians and members of the Texas Library Association District 4. Mrs. Ochoa uses this concept to grow indoor gardens in the middle of her high school library.  Her tips and expertise in gardening are instrumental for those who might not be able to venture out in public due to this time of distress. She truly has a green thumb.

Mrs. Ochoa is skillful with innovative ideas in literacy and research skills, and is able to present concepts in both English and Spanish. The summer projects that she designs develop a great educational climate, even if the concepts are in a virtual setting.  She attempts to find the right book for the right individual as she promotes Manga, Anime and Graphic Novels for students to read during the summer. She and her colleagues design motivational TikTok videos and BookTalks, and they promote art contests by finding Avatar, Bitmojis or other methods that encourage students to participate with the summer activities.

Mrs. Ochoa applies for grants that will help her obtain furniture to mimic a home environment in the library.  She not only teaches about the life cycle of a butterfly, but has students see the entire life cycle by having a netted tent with the cocoons. Eventually, the cocoons hatch into butterflies that are released to nature when the cycle is complete.

Mrs. Ochoa reaches out to the community and collaborates with them on gifts to reward students for their accomplishments.  She is truly an educator who empowers students to get the best education possible.  Mrs. Ochoa is an educator, horticulturist, scientist, librarian, Library Tech Squad leader, Google Certified, and much, much more.  She is truly a LifeChanger!



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