Joseph Czubinski – Social-Studies Teacher & Athletics Director
Athletics director and social studies and history teacher, Joe Czubinski – Coach Ski – has been a cornerstone of Dell City High since he joined the district in 2015. He's a dynamic presence in the classroom – and our high-school students consistently single him out for they way he engages their minds and broadens their views of the world. The lessons he teaches as a coach are also powerful ones. For Coach Ski, the Dell City School is more than a full-time job – in addition to teaching, and to coaching and traveling with Cougar teams, he drives our school bus. Coach Ski was selected Teacher of the Year in 2017.
Below is an article from that occasion:
Joseph Czubinski is Dell City ISD Teacher of the Year
Joseph Czubinski – social studies teacher, athletics director and coach – has been named Dell City ISD “Teacher of the Year.”
Czubinski was selected in a vote by his peers, and he learned of his selection Tuesday (May 9), during a staff potluck held as part of teacher appreciation week.
Supt. Jody Kotys, who made the announcement, said school faculty had selected Czubinski because he “is not only an excellent teacher, but someone whose influence has affected students both in and out of the classroom.”
“He exemplifies outstanding character,” Kotys said of Czubinksi, “and his teaching in the classroom has an important impact on students' lives.”
Czubinski will join other outstanding area teachers for a breakfast and orientation session in El Paso Monday (May 15), and he will represent Dell City ISD in the upcoming selection of state and national teachers of the year.
Czubinski was emotional in accepting the award from Kotys. His 22-year career in education has taken him from “the biggest of the big,” like San Angelo Central ISD, to small districts like Dell City. In earlier jobs, Czubinski was named coach of the year, and in 2012 he was selected to coach in the state all-star football game. But he said being honored for his work in the classroom was different.
“I wasn't overwhelmed like I was today,” Czubinski said of those earlier honors. “Today – it's overwhelming to know that your peers have made this choice. You look back, and after 22 years, you think, wow, maybe what I'm doing does matter – you feel it. This makes you feel like you're accomplishing something significant.”
Like all staff at this small district, Czubinski is called on to fill many roles. He drives the bus route, beginning at 5:30 a.m. each school day. He teaches both junior-high and high-school social studies. He coaches junior-high and high-school sports throughout the year. In recent weeks, as students have geared up for state-mandated STAAR exams, he's tutored students during conference times and lunch hours.
“I don't think I'm different from anybody here,” Czubinski said. “In Dell City, we're stretched kind of thin. We all work so hard.”
Czubinski said he relies on and draws from “the great teachers that I work – great teachers like my wife.” Czubinski wife Tesha teaches kinder and first grades, and the couple moved to Dell City in the spring of 2015, after teaching for years in Lefors, Texas.
The Czubinskis' son Reilly is a sophomore at Dell City ISD. Czubinski said that while teaching at a small district involves unique challenges, the quality of the young people here is the compensation.
“We have really good kids here in Dell City,” Czubinski said, “and if I didn't feel strongly about the kids and the school, we wouldn't be here. In athletics, they kill themselves trying to make you happy, and they don't quit. I'm trying to take those aspects into the classroom.”
Regional, state and national teacher of the year awards and competitions take place each year, but Dell City ISD has not participated in the past. Kotys said participating in the program was a valuable way “to pump up school pride and spirit,” and to recognize outstanding teachers for the profound contributions they make.
Two candidates from Texas' Region 19 – which includes Hudspeth and El Paso counties – will be selected as candidates for state teachers of the year. From the state's 20 educational regions, the Texas Association of School Administrators will select six Texas teachers – three elementary teachers and three secondary teachers – to represent the state in the national teacher of the year competition.
Teacher of the year candidates are asked to write essays addressing five topics: Describe a lesson or unit that defines you as a teacher; Describe a project or initiative in which you have been involved that contributed to the improvement of overall school culture; How do you insure that education transcends the classroom?; What do you consider to be a major public education issue today?; and, If you're selected as 2018 (state or national) teacher of the year, what is your message? What would you communicate to your profession and to the public?
Regional education officials will interview Czubinski and other area teachers of the year, as part of the selection process. On July 22, Czubinski will attend the Teacher of the Year Awards banquet at the El Paso Convention Center. Kotys said the event is “like the Oscars for teachers, a very elegant affair.”
“It's a big deal, and all the teachers are honored,” Kotys said. “I think it's really important for us to participate – and I think we have a really good candidate.”
Congratulations Coach Ski, and thank you for everything you do!