At San Antonio's Northside Independent School District awards, Lacy (Taylor) Greco '07 knew she was going to be called to the stage to receive her certificate.
What she didn’t know was that when they announced the NISD Elementary Educator of the Year—they were going to say her name. She says it was the best moment in her career.
“I was beyond shocked,” Greco, a STEM Lab teacher at Brauchle Elementary School, said. “These award nights are streamed live and I ugly cried all over NISD TV. It was just absolutely incredible. I will never forget the way I felt in that moment.”
Greco is well-known in her district, but she is also building a national and global presence. Last year, she was an Excellence in Education state semi-finalist and is a nominee again this year.
This year, she also checked off what she calls a “bucket list item,” when she made her first presentation at the Texas Computer Education Association, a global, nonprofit organization that encourages the use of technology to engage students and prepare them for the future.
However, despite all of her success as an educator, she didn't set out to be a teacher. At TLU, she actually studied business. Working full time and going to class full time, there were few hours left for anything else.
“As a business major, I was actually miserable,” Lacy says. “My roommate was an education major, and I was basically like ‘what am I doing with my life?’ I changed majors and it was the best decision I ever made. I finally felt like I was in the right place and on the right path.”
Greco started her career at Westwood Terrace Elementary School, where she taught 1st and 4th grade. When she moved to Kay Franklin Elementary, she taught 3rd and 4th. As a new teacher, she wasn’t afraid to try new things. One year, she changed her entire classroom to flexible seating and then basically flipped the classroom to a tech-based, innovative, student- led learning environment.
“I am insanely passionate about what I do,” she said. "When I see someone amazing, I'm like, ‘teach me your ways!’ I’ve never been afraid to ask for help or use my resources to ensure that I am always doing what’s best for kids.”
Her role as a STEM Lab teacher is part of a district-wide pilot program.
“It’s a very exciting time in my career," she said. "I’ve been given the opportunity to help mold a program and assist with the curriculum development. It’s such an honor to be a pioneer for a program that will serve all kids in our elementary schools.”
Along with the many inspirational educators she’s worked with over the years, she credits her parents with helping her become a great teacher.
“They instilled in me a strong work ethic, perseverance, drive, goal-setting, and a hunger to always strive to be better at everything I do," she said. "This has no doubt been a direct contributor to my success as an educator."
In reality, Greco says her best teachers have been her students, the devoted group of kids she calls the “Greco Squad.”
“They’ve taught me so much every year,” she said. “I am better because of every kid in the Greco Squad. They are all lifelong members.”
With all it takes to be an award-winning teacher, a community volunteer, a national presenter, a wife and mother of two young daughters, one might think she would have time to do anything else.
However, she says has learned so much from others that she now wants to pay it forward. For the past few years, she’s used her Twitter account (@lacygreco3) to post daily about what she’s up to in her classroom. She also posts a weekly video (#EchoGreco) about best practices to encourage other teachers to try new things and share ideas.
“It’s been an awesome way to connect with educators around my district, state, and even the globe,” she said.
She already has more than 1,000 follower and the way things are going that number will continue to rise.