Plainview educator Sarah Silva Wallace receives 2023 BEST Award

PLAINVIEW — Sarah Silva Wallace, principal of Plainview Independent School District’s North Elementary and a Wayland Baptist University graduate, has received the 2023 Baptist Educators Serving Texans (BEST) Award from the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Dr. Bobby Hall, Wayland president, presented the award to Wallace during the Oct. 26 meeting of the Board of Trustees, on which Sarah’s husband, Rodney, serves.

In addition to the presentation Thursday, Wallace is scheduled to be recognized in February 2024 during Wayland’s Homecoming celebration. The award celebrates Christian educators living out their faith daily among their students as well as the Baptist institutions that taught them. Nine award recipients were selected, one from each Texas Baptist-affiliated university.

“We are so pleased to announce these splendid educators as this year’s recipients of the BEST Award,” said Bruce McCoy, Director of the Office of Cooperative Program Ministry for the BGCT. “Each of these top-tier educators are representative of thousands of our graduates who serve as ‘salt and light’ in the public schools across Texas. They are standard bearers for quality education and personal integrity. They represent Jesus for us daily in and through their diligent and vital work.”

A Plainview schools employee since she graduated, Wallace earned her bachelor’s degree in education in 1999, following with her master’s degree in education in 2019 from Wayland. She began her 19-year teaching career at North, then called Thunderbird Elementary, before becoming the assistant principal there. She spent a year as language acquisition coach for Plainview schools, then a year as assistant principal at Plainview High. Then in 2022, she became principal at her former school as the new building opened.

Sarah met Rodney at Wayland, and he has also spent his career in education in Plainview schools, earning the first BEST Award in 2021. The couple has three sons — two who are also Wayland alumni working as teachers in Plainview schools, and a third that is attending the University of Texas at Austin.

Besides her full-time job, Sarah serves with her husband at Happy Union Baptist Church in Plainview and serves on the Wayland Alumni Association board.

Graduates from Texas Baptist-affiliated universities represent an estimated 6 to 8 percent of the more than 357,000 public school educators in Texas. The BEST Award was introduced in 2020 to honor public school educators who are Baptist church members and to celebrate the vital role they play in their schools to shine the light of Christ.