A high school teacher in Harlingen is going beyond the classroom to make an impact in his student’s lives.

Nominated by Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District, Alias Ortega teaches biology at Early College High School.

When he’s not in class, he’s spending time with one of the four after school programs he sponsors. 

Ortega is currently in charge of the district’s Parent Teacher Association. He also coaches the robotics and spelling bee team, along with serving as the sponsor for the senior class.

“He invest long hours making sure that students are having a well-rounded education,” said Pamela Flores, the principal at Early College High School. “It’s something he really, truly does with his heart.”

Much of his time spent outside the classroom is with his robotics team. For the first time last year, the team attended the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston. 

Talking to his students, they say they couldn’t ask for a better coach.

“There’s no doubt he’s the best,” said Daniel Saucedo. “Last year, we had a lot of robots. A lot of different designs. We would build them within a week. Most coaches would say, ‘You might want to chill out. Let’s not do that.’ But he would always encourage us and say, ‘No, I believe you can do it.’ He had the upmost faith in us and I believe that’s what pushed us even more.”

Education is nothing new to Ortega, it’s in his blood. His parents are also teachers with Harlingen C.I.S.D.

It’s their dedication that pushes him to be a role model to his students, just as his parents are to him.

“Hopefully they learn a little bit here and there. Not just academically, but socially as well,” said Ortega. “When they grow up and go into the community and they’re raising their families, they can value education as much as I did.”

If you have someone you would like to highlight for their acts of kindness in our ‘Hometown Heroes’ segment, email Nicole Hickl at nhickl@sbgtv.com or contact her through Facebook.