Prosper, Texas Teacher ‘Honored’ With National Teaching Award!

Special Education teacher receives $5000 award

Washington, DC - July 1, 2019

Tanya Barrios, a Special Education and Life Skills teacher at Prosper High School, in Prosper, Texas, has been given the prestigious national Honored teaching award for July.  As part of her honor, Barrios received a $5,000 cash award and a $1,000 gift card, and was profiled by Andrew Exum, contributing editor at the Atlantic.

When Tanya Barrios first met Renee Delfino, who has autism and Down Syndrome, Renee was being kept isolated from other students in a self-contained classroom.  She worked one-on-one with a teacher, but had no interaction even with the other students in her class. Upon seeing this, Barrios shook her head: “It just isn’t right,” she said to herself.  

Barrios was primed from childhood to teach special education: her mother was an aide on a bus for students with disabilities, and Barrios says that meeting her mother’s students gave her a familiarity and comfort with people of all abilities.  As a special ed teacher, Barrios makes sure to figure out not just what a student’s disabilities are, but what their strengths and aptitudes are. Before Renee Delfino entered Barrios’ class, Barrios spent time observing Renee in class, spoke with her mother on the phone several times, and even visited Renee at home. Barrios realized that Renee is in fact very social, and the isolation from her peers in the classroom increased her frustration and agitation.  With Barrios’ support, Renee now attends inclusion classes, eats lunch in the cafeteria with all the students, and participates in Special Olympics. Renee’s mother, Elisa Delfino, who nominated Barrios for the Honored award, attests to Renee’s profound behavioral and academic transformation in Barrios’ class: “Mrs. Barrios has conquered a lot of Renee’s poor behavior by teaching her through love and patience exactly what is expected of her.” Barrios concurs: “I had new expectations, and she met them.”

About Honored

Honored is a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping great teachers in the classroom and to inspiring a new generation of talent to pursue teaching. Each month, Honored shines a spotlight on a teacher who has changed the life of a single student. The Honoree receives a $5,000 cash award, and Honored partners with a world-class writer to tell their story. Honorees are selected from K-12 teachers of all subjects at public, private and charter schools across the country. Honored’s National Advisory Board includes luminaries such as the internationally best-selling author Michael Lewis, founder Charles Best, Teach For America founder Wendy Kopp, and FEED cofounder Lauren Bush Lauren.

For more information about Honored, visit For regular updates on Honored and our monthly Honorees, follow and like us on, and

Honored Press Contact

Brooklyn Batey