Marva Collins Award

Marva Collins Excellence in Teaching Award


Mr. Ivan Borras is the recipient of the 2016 Marva Collins Excellence in Teaching Award.  Ivan Borras, who was born and raised in the Bronx, had to overcome numerous adversities growing up.  Consequently, he has a strong understanding of the trials and tribulations that youth in urban areas experience today. As a product of the community, he feels it is not only his obligation to give back, but also to be a strong role model. Borras attended public school throughout his entire education. Borras thought about the opportunities college would hold but after he graduated from high school other priorities pushed higher education out of reach.  


Borras has been serving the Bronx community since 2004.  Despite little knowledge of the role, Borras first took a position as a paraprofessional.This experience brought him closer to the teaching profession.  


After spending time as a paraprofessional, Borras decided to become a certified special education teacher.  His motivation was to   improve the academic experience of culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities. He was able to relate to students and possessed an innate ability to draw students’ attention.  Where teachers lacked classroom management, Borras would take initiative to not only assist, but at times conduct lessons. Borras had found his passion in life. It was to help the youth of New York City. He soon became highly sought out by several schools for permanent employment.

After receiving a permanent position, he utilized the academic resources provided by the Department of Education. One of those resources was a partial tuition scholarship, which Borras used to complete his undergraduate education program at Mercy College. Ten years from the time he started his employment journey the New York City Public School system, Borras became a certified Special Education teacher and acquired a Masters degree in special education with a specialization to teach students with learning disabilities.


Borras comes to school with an excitement and zeal to make great things happen with his students.  He has gained the respect of both his students and colleagues through his continuous display of passion for teaching. 


Mr. Borras is a fighter.  He fights for his students relentlessly and will challenge any initiative he feels will not allow his students to learn the material or achieve effectively in his class. He will build an argument and show others how the curriculum may not fit the needs his students need in order to succeed. Importantly, rather than convey negatively about extant circumstances, he offers alterntatives, which might involve creating a curriculum with the proper scaffolds, differentiation and strategies that will allow his students to navigate through the work, achieving mastery and independence.


One of the most notable and fundamental aspects of Mr. Borras’s work is his understanding of youth development and the diversity each child brings to the classroom. Mr. Borras’s work in the classroom includes strategies that will bring the group together in a round table discussion, smaller group setting, or paired work. Students will rotate in stations in his class, get up from their seats and work on charts in various places in the classroom and still have opportunities for sharing and writing. Mr. Borras goes above and beyond the call of duty by volunteering to work with students on weekends.


Mr. Borras strives to emphasize the important role of education. He will continue to empower his students to be confident and see themselves as creators of their own futures. Through his thoughtful, effective, and inspiring approach to teaching, his students will develop innovative and principled ideas, and their leadership will enlighten the world.