Revathi Balakrishnan
Revathi Balakrishnan

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — An Indian-American elementary schoolteacher from Texas is being honored at the White House by President Obama for her outstanding contributions in the field of education.

Revathi Balakrishnan, of Houston’s Patsy Sommer Elementary School, was additionally named Texas’ 2016 Elementary Teacher of the Year.

“It is not work for me. It is actually a passion,” Balakrishnan, who has taught in the district’s talented and gifted programs for nine years, said. She currently teaches math subjects for grades three through five at Patsy Sommer, and after being bestowed with the state honor, will represent Texas in the annual National Teacher of the Year competition.

About 30 percent of the student body at Patsy Sommer are Asian or Indian, Balakrishnan said because of that, the honor is a little extra special for the community. “I’m an Indian-American, so I think the Indian community is feeling a lot of pride and joy,” she said.

“I feel proud to represent those and I can convince a lot of younger generation Indian kids to turn to teaching for a career. So I feel I can actually have some impact on that,” she added.

Originally from Chennai, Balakrishnan worked as a systems analyst at Liberty Mutual managing databases and programs for 12 years before making the decision to become a schoolteacher. She describes her teaching style as “no-nonsense,” and earned her degree in economics from the University of Madras.

The driving force in her teaching career has been the excitement coupled with the ability to learn with her students, and the opportunity to shape their futures as the leaders of tomorrow.

“Not one day is the same, which is what I like. I don’t like structure. I just go with the flow and I love what happens,” she said.