Page 1


Teacher of the

Year 2017-2018

Dear KISD Champions: Over the years, I have come to recognize an even greater respect for the teaching profession than I had when I started my career as an educator. The lesson planning, the grading, the intervention planning, these things I recall very clearly. Countless hours are spent preparing for excellent instructional delivery, while knowing flexibility and adaptability are keys to becoming a true expert in the classroom. While some may describe the great teachers as being truly talented, I believe it takes more than talent to be one of the best. Ability and aptitude merely equate to potential when it comes to masterful teaching. Transforming this potential into artful instruction requires teachers today to be innovative in discovering new ways to engage students. It requires an endless supply of energy to motivate students who may be less than thrilled with the learning target that day, and above all, it takes an individual who inherently cares about students’ well-being and their success as learners and as individuals. It has been stated many times, that teaching is a “calling.” I could not agree more. But it’s also a conscious decision to truly take the path of being a servant leader, placing others’ needs before one’s own. We congratulate you and honor the 2017-2018 Teachers of the Year. Not only because you have been recognized by your peers, which is a tremendous honor, but because you have made and will continue to make a significant difference in the lives of our future generations. Thank you for your dedication, passion and willingness to be not only the very best in your field, but more importantly a true champion for the students of the Killeen Independent School District. Sincerely,

John M Craft John M. Craft, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools


Elementary Dear Teachers of the Year,

Posting of Colors . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert M. Shoemaker High School JROTC Color Guard National Anthem . . . . . . . . . . . . Roy Allen Killeen High School Vocal Spectrum Choir Welcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. Robin Champagne Assistant Superintendent of School Leadership

Teacher of the Year Introductions Salute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Laura Young 2017 KISD Elementary Teacher of the Year KISD Teachers of the Year . . . . Jo-Lynette Crayton Executive Director of Elementary Leadership Words of Encouragment . . . . . Barton Jacques 2017 Secondary Teacher of the Year

I recently sat in front of many of you as you opened your hearts and shared your passion for what you do day-in and day-out. It is an understatement to say that I avm humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work alongside you. Just as the 2018 Winter Olympics was the pinnacle for many athletes in their sport, as 2018 Teachers of the Year, your countless hours of dedication to your craft inspire all who witness your gold-medal performances every day. Fueled purely by the passion for our “sport,” you have achieved an Olympic level performance in this challenging event and deserve your gold medal moment tonight. You are masters in the greatest of callings, and your legacy will be more valuable and timeless than gold! I am inspired by you and know that you will continue to change the world one child at a time. Congratulations! 2017 KISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Sincerely,

Laura Young

Angelica Rodriguez

Alice W. Douse Elementary Philosophy of Education: My philosophy of education is to create an inviting

learning environment where I can help all my students develop a love for learning. I built a strong educational foundation with high expectations, so that students can be successful throughout their educational careers and as lifelong learners.

Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joyce Hodson Education Foundation Director Closing Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . John Craft, Ed. D. Superintendent of Schools

Chelsea Vasnick

Bellaire Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe each student should have every possibility

opened to them through their education. Young students may not know what they are passionate about or skilled at yet because they do not know all the opportunities the world may have in store for them. It is the teacher’s role to create experiences that shed light on an individual’s potential. The best teachers teach processes, and ask the questions that are important enough to help students think about what is valuable to them and within themselves.



Paul Erickson

Wendy Burroughs

responsibility as an educator to ensure students achieve everything they can. Every day we do not learn something is a day squandered.

is my charge to weave as many of those styles into each unit of study. My hands-on, minds-on lessons encourage my students to be active learners and provide opportunities for them to make personal connections throughout their academic journey.

Sarah Garcia

Melanie Pennington

students rely on teachers to be mentors, encouragers, counselors, and crusaders for learning. I believe schools host our students’ emotional, social, and academic development. I believe in second chances; I believe in meeting students’ needs; I believe in encouraging creativity; and I believe in designing rigorous instruction. Rigor should be implemented. I believe in students.

create, to think, to ask, to discover and to aspire. Providing my students with knowledge, tools, and motivation they need, my hope is that they leave 5th grade with their own aspirations and dreams. I strive to create a classroom where every student finds purpose in their learning. Through engaging and meaningful activities, my students can discover the magic of learning. I hope to instill the value of education and to create lifelong learners in professions.

Brookhaven Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe all children have the capacity to learn. It is my

Cedar Valley Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe learning is a life-long journey. On this journey,

Clifton Park Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe all children have unique learning styles and it

J.A. Fowler Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe EVERY student has the opportunity to learn, to

Nancy Fisher

Lena Marie Sanders

Schools should be safe, inviting buildings provisioned with the tools and materials required for learning. But, teachers add heart and art. We need to know methodology, the curriculum, and our students to craft lessons that pull the greatest out of each student.

that true learning happens when a foundation of trust exists between teachers and students. In order to effectively lead my classroom, I must first build strong relationships. I must set boundaries and create high expectations. As an educator, it is my duty to provide a safe and productive environment. My role in the classroom is to challenge student thinking by asking challenging questions. Through investigation and hands on activities, the struggle becomes the learning.

Clarke Elementary Philosophy of Education: Every child should be able to obtain a great education.

East Ward Elementary Philosophy of Education: My philosophy of education relies heavily on the idea

Jason Kirk

Sara Mossman

room. Knowing right from wrong and when to do or not to do something leads students into learning. My most important job is to teach my students how to learn and eventually take over our jobs. Who wouldn’t want the best and brightest to take care of us when we get “old”? It’s always been said, “when you’re having fun, it doesn’t feel like a job.” Why not have the kids feel the same way about learning.

students to understand that just like the world around us is constantly changing and growing, so should their minds. I encourage students to take chances and know that it’s okay to make mistakes because that is a sign of growth. If I can get students to challenge themselves in learning, their love for learning will follow.

Clear Creek Elementary Philosophy of Education: Accepting responsibility is pivotal for me in the class-

Harker Heights Elementary Philosophy of Education: I want my love of learning to be contagious. I want



Onnelly Mansker

Hay Branch Elementary Philosophy of Education: Every student has the potential to learn, especially when

they are provided with various opportunities. It is my responsibility to provide challenging experiences for all students. I seek to instill character traits and life skills that will remain with students long after they leave my classroom.

Penny Young

Maxdale Elementary Philosophy of Education: My students drive my teaching philosophy. As a

teacher, I am curriculum driven, data-driven, student driven, and family driven. Learning must be an engaging and interactive process. I am passionate about challenging students and teaching them to think on their own. I want my lessons to meet the needs of my students, but be challenging enough for them to struggle as they work through the content.

Maria Kelpe

Haynes Elementary Philosophy of Education: My philosophy is to teach so that students reach their

potential. I believe with the trainings, readings, and learning conversations with my colleagues, I can continue to apply the best practices research has to offer. With this continuous learning, I can help students identify their needs and help or guide them towards reaching their goals. There’s no limit to what students can achieve. There is always a new goal ahead; I’m honored to be the support any student needs.

Tiffany Jackson

Iduma Elementary Philosophy of Education: School serves as a conduit for students to develop a thirst for knowledge; in essence the lifelong love of learning that produces globally minded citizens. Teachers serve as facilitators in the classroom, allowing students to become accountable learners both inside and outside of the classroom. Learning activities should be varied to allow for independents, as well as collaborative thinking to flourish.

Kaela McKee

Meadows Elementary Philosophy of Education: Education is the foundation of and inspiration for all professions. Teaching provides an opportunity for one to model and advocate for a student to become a productive citizen while creating a safe and fun place for students to want to learn. Teachers go beyond the curriculum in the classroom. We hone in on what the student truly needs academically, emotionally, and fundamentally. We don’t just teach curriculum, we also equip each student with a tool belt full of life skills to be a productive citizen in this ever-changing world.

Jennifer Kennison Kathryn Townsend

Ira Cross Elementary Philosophy of Education: Love for children defines a teacher. It transforms

duties of a job into a mission for my life. The greatest development occurs in the first 5 years—that is when the most care and focus must be exerted. I must prepare carefully, present thoroughly, and care lovingly to meet the needs of each student. I must ignite the spark of learning to release the potential each child possesses, so they may experience the joy of understanding new content.

Montague Village Elementary Philosophy of Education: I am filled with hope and determination to educate this

generation of children to positively impact the world today and in the future. I believe it is my responsibility and privilege to provide an environment in which all children can learn. The classroom community allows students and me to learn together and from one another. I strive to provide each student an education best suited to his or her needs. Education is the key to the lives students hope to live as they journey from the classroom into the world beyond.

Elementary Christy Galloway

Elementary Norma Tait

Mountain View Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe it takes a village to raise a child, and educators

Peebles Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe every student deserves a compassionate

Jordan Henderson

Claudia Mendoza

through passion and emotion. When you are real and connected with the material, students will be too. The passion for learning will then transfer into all aspects of their lives. Teaching with a full heart and emotion ensures students always give their best!

purposeful lessons that tap into their lives, and increase ownership of learning. My vast experience in the classroom has enabled me to envision how today’s classroom should include active learning, higher-order thinking, collaborative activities, varied approaches according to varied learning styles, hands-on learning, and technology integration. I am committed to creating a learning experience that honors and respects each student by implementing best practices from the 21st century.

are fortunate to be a part of that village. In order for a child to reach their full potential, there must be a sense of community and acceptance within the classroom culture. That classroom culture is guided by the teacher who ensures every child is not only given the opportunity to learn, but will not accept anything but a child’s absolute best.

Nolanville Elementary Philosophy of Education: My philosophy of education is to teach all things

learning environment in which they can thrive and become lifelong learners.

Pershing Park Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe we need to educate our students with

Meagan Hearell

Lauryn Hinton

environment that every child will thrive in daily. All students deserve a teacher who pushes them to be their best, cheers them on when they are down, and lights a fire inside to love learning.

ates joy every day to the one who latches on to my leg each morning, my job is to honor who they are and help them develop into the best version of themselves. I have high expectations for every student and provide an environment conducive to their academic and emotional growth.

Oveta Culp Hobby Elementary Philosophy of Education: As an educator, it is my role to create a rigorous, warm

Reeces Creek Elementary Philosophy of Education: All children are different. From the student who radi-



Affma Martin

Holly Jones

relationship with each of my students that ignites lifelong learning and takes them far beyond the school day to help in their future choices. I believe that relationships with students help them take pride and ownership in their learning. Along with relationships, I believe in the power of reflection. I am committed to learning, growing, and listening to my students with my whole heart, so all students can have a better today than yesterday.

the foundation that will inspire my students to become lifelong learners. In order to do this, I must build a relationship with every student, by getting to know them personally, not just through test data. By communicating with students, parents, and former teachers, I am better equipped to understand and meet student needs. These relationships enable me to use my knowledge and commitment and to develop lessons that address student learning styles, while finding ways to enrich or mediate, so all students can build a successful foundation.

Richard Cavazos Elementary Philosophy of Education: Teaching is all about relationships. I cultivate a

Sugar Loaf Elementary Philosophy of Education: As an educator, I have the duty and honor of establishing

Brittany Vidak

Jordan Dawkins

in my students that will last a lifetime. Student growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year not only centers around the various aspects of my teaching, also around their desire to invest in their own learning. In addition, I believe developing relationships with my students and their families fosters a positive learning environment that helps them work to the best of their abilities and paves a path to success.

Christian values, my love for children, and an infinite hope in the future of our nation and our world. Education is about so much more than the curriculum. It is about building relationships, creating a well-managed classroom, and teaching and modeling good character. Education is about loving, caring, learning, reflecting, changing, and endless dedication. It’s about expectations, goal setting, accountability, perseverance, and real-life application. With these things in place, educators can richly bless the lives of many; not just with the curriculum, but with so much more.

Ashley Greenhill

Kenneth Bedwell

educator, it is my duty to model lifelong learning. I always strive to learn new and varied ways to teach my scholars. Every year, I get a new class of students with different needs and interests that I have to learn and respond to. I challenge myself to always learn and grow with my students. I encourage their emerging interests and teach them to pursue new knowledge. My mission is to spark an interest in lifelong learning, always seeking opportunity for growth.

a professional educator. We must be knowledgeable of the curriculum and proficient at our craft. We must model what we expect. To be taken seriously, we must conform to the same standards of behavior we expect from our students. Young people respect those who give respect to them, which builds trust and relationships, and leads students to do their best when faced with challenges.

Saegert Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe it is my responsibility to foster a joy of learning

Skipcha Elementary Philosophy of Education: My driving philosophy of education is growth. As an

Timber Ridge Elementary Philosophy of Education: My philosophy of education is deeply rooted in my

Trimmier Elementary Philosophy of Education: My philosophy of education is simple: a teacher must be

Elementary Vonzella Hammons

Venable Village Elementary Philosophy of Education: I believe all students have different qualities and

characteristics they bring to the learning environment. As an educator, I feel it is my daily responsibility to assist students in reaching their full learning potential while helping them develop emotionally and socially. I want students to know they are valued for their differences and that with a positive mindset, they can achieve the goals they set for themselves. I want my students to build respectful, lasting qualities that mold them into lifelong learners. It is important to me, as an educator, that my students take what they learn in the classroom and successfully apply it to real world experiences.

Martin Demel

West Ward Elementary Philosophy of Education: In a world fraught with difficulties, there is one thing

most likely never to be taken from our students: their ability to think. It is my goal to strengthen their minds with a quality education through any methodology that works. Mutual respect between teachers and students plays a large role in that endeavor, especially with students who are reluctant to work. I am a firm believer that every child wants to learn, can learn, and deserves the opportunity to learn. My school motto sums it up best‌Every Child: A Promise!

Jennifer Boehmker

Willow Springs Elementary Philosophy of Education: I want every student to enjoy learning. I design my

lessons to capture the attention of every student. I want my students to remember how they felt in my class and the things they learned. Every child has the right to learn. In my classroom, every child will learn how to be a scholar and a better person every day.



Dear Educators,

Ann Fitzgerald

I would like to congratulate you on being selected as your campus representative for teacher of the year. I am truly humbled to be in the company of so many talented educators who work every day to ensure that their students have the very best educational experience possible in every classroom across the district. To the elementary teachers of the year, I want to thank you for laying the educational foundations that remain with our students throughout their lives. To the middle school teachers of the year, I want to acknowledge your tireless efforts to prepare our students for what awaits them in high school that all too often go unnoticed. Finally, to my fellow high school teachers of the year, I want you to know how inspired I am by the hard work and tireless effort that you show to 2017 KISD each student, day in and day out. Secondary Teacher of the Year Thank you once again for your hard work and dedication to the students of KISD and congratulations on being nominated as your campus teacher of the year. Best wishes for continued success,

Barton Jacques

Charles Patterson Middle School Philosophy of Education: I believe teaching is a calling. It requires an individual

who is dedicated to the profession, and responsive to the needs of students. I was raised in a family of teachers that believed in motivating students to always do their very best and never settle for less. To help my students accomplish this goal, I plan lessons that are student-centered and allow them to direct their own learning, discovering unique ways to attack problems, and create relevance in the lessons.

Zaynah Danquah

Early College High School Philosophy of Education: I believe education should provide students with the

skills to excel outside of the classroom. My role as a teacher is, not only to teach them content, but to empower students to be critical thinkers, creative problem solvers, and lifelong learners. In the classroom, I strive to model these characteristics and inspire curiosity. I also strive to provide authentic, relevant lessons. Each student is unique. Students bring their own contexts, views, and experiences into the classroom. I love my students and approach their learning with an appreciation for their diversity, whether cultural or cognitive, looking beyond the surface for opportunities to help them overcome obstacles and unlock their potential.

Earl Dix

Ann Fitzgerald

experience. But, it is up to the student to take advantage of what is being offered. Educators make clear the benefits of buying into our programs, and the importance of education, if we give our students an average experience, we will produce average students. On the other hand, if we commit to providing an above average experience, we will produce above average students. Raising the bar starts with us!!

who is dedicated to the profession, and responsive to the needs of students. I was raised in a family of teachers that believed in motivating students to always do their very best and never settle for less. To help my students accomplish this goal, I plan lessons that are student-centered and allow them to direct their own learning, discovering unique ways to attack problems, and create relevance in the lessons.

Audie Murphy Middle School Philosophy of Education: All students deserve a well-rounded educational

Charles Patterson Middle School Philosophy of Education: I believe teaching is a calling. It requires an individual

LTC Joseph Merlo

Joe Goodson

teachers they can connect with. Through relationships, I learn what works with each student and what does not. Care about all students and take the time even if they are not in your class. Greet students in the hallway, in the lunch room or at a ball game. Be the teacher they recognize whether they know your name or not. Someday, one of them will confide in you. Your smile and greeting may save someone’s life later on. Be approachable. Be consistent. Be respectful. Be a positive role model who is that adult for them.

well-being and success of each student, academic and character education must be presented with passion for the subject and love for the student! Through engaging lessons, personal encouragement, humor, and finding what works for each student, I strive to give my students the best opportunity to learn and grow. I work hard to help all students because maximizing their potential is my goal!

C.E. Ellison High School Philosophy of Education: Relationships are key to learning. Students respond to

Gateway High School Philosophy of Education: Since teaching is an investment in the long-term



Jacinta Walker

Traci Adams

students to achieve, regardless of any challenge, obstacle, or reservation. All children are capable of meeting or exceeding expectations when they are provided an environment that is nurturing, inspiring, supportive, and academically stimulating. Students learn best when teachers have high expectations for them. When students know they are truly supported, they are more prepared to accomplish any task. It is the responsibility of educators to facilitate excellence.

students. First, by modeling a growth mindset and teaching that mistakes are an opportunity for growth. Second, by valuing each student and walking alongside the m to help each child understand how to best reach their full potential. Third, I am driven by the challenge to create a safe, nurturing, and effective classroom environment that reaches all types of learners through collaboration and teamwork between students, their families, and the educational community.

Gateway Middle School Philosophy of Education: I believe the purpose of education is to empower

Liberty Hill Middle School Philosophy of Education: I want to ignite a passion for life-long learning in my

Nilda Rios

Kelly Hunt

secure, caring, and stimulating environment where students can grow. As an educator, my desire is to help students meet their fullest potential by providing an environment that is safe, supportive of risk-taking, and provides opportunities to share ideas. I teach to the needs of the students so that all learners can feel capable and successful. I like to incorporate projects, individual work, group work, and hands-on learning activities.

But, my students and I have the same goal, their success. Everything a teacher does should ensure student success. That realization may vary by student, but the sense of pride gained is the same. My job-my passion- is to help students succeed.

Brooke Knight

Mia Nelson

equipped with the tools they need to be successful, independent, lifelong learners. Students will formulate and develop ideas and use investigative learning. I will provide students with the framework they need and share my experiences to enhance learning. Lessons will be engaging, beneficial, and relevant for all students. The learning environment will be safe and encouraging. Students will feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and uncertainties. Positive relationships will build trust and allow students to thrive.

the gardener, is to shine with love, water with encouragement, and fertilize with support. When it’s time, I let them go to grow into the individuals they are meant to become.

Harker Heights High School Philosophy of Education: My philosophy is that every child is unique, and needs a

Killeen High School Philosophy of Education: My highest priority is for students to leave my classroom

Live Oak Ridge Middle School Philosophy of Education: My philosophy is that teaching will not always be easy.

Manor Middle School Philosophy of Education: I believe my students are my living garden. My job, as

Kari Thurman

Christina Michaeli

also how they learn. I feel students should be given opportunities to learn through unconventional methods, with hands-on and personal experiences, and be active in the learning process. Students should know there are no boundaries to learning and it is okay to fail, as long as they learn from their mistakes. My responsibility is to produce well rounded individuals who can work collaboratively with others, rely on themselves, and successfully solve real-world problems.

the potential to learn and succeed in school. I believe it is a teacher’s job to not only teach the content effectively, but to also build relationships and teach students the importance of respect. A teacher must create a safe environment, so all students feel valued and know it is okay to make mistakes. It is from our mistakes that we learn valuable lessons and true learning occurs.

KISD Career Center Philosophy of Education: I believe education is not only what students learn, but

Nolan Middle School Philosophy of Education: My philosophy of education is that every student has



Terry Heckman

Ericka Bolden

When I started teaching, students were expected to sit in their desk and listen to the whae-whaw-whaw, just like Charlie Brown! Today, students are up, moving around, learning through trial and error, using different manipulatives in order to get a concrete hold on the concept, etc. My purpose is to keep them on the right track, so they leave my room with a love for math. I try to let students know the relevance of 6th grade math and how it will be used in this STEM related world, so they become successful, productive citizens.

families, and the community working as one entity to help produce outstanding students so they meet their individual learning needs. Therefore, the “different hats” and variety of roles I play in my classroom serves my students significantly and breeds endless opportunities and growth. I understand purposeful teaching requires innovative ideas, considers students’ interests, and includes a variety of different learning strategies. These effective teaching methods develop the minds of our future students. My role leads students to become fearless leaders who solve problems, justify their thinking, and become productive citizens of society.

Palo Alto Middle School Philosophy of Education: My philosophy of teaching has evolved over the years.

Smith Middle School Philosophy of Education: I believe it takes a united village of educators, schools,

Nicole Bowden

Ebony Varnado

losophy has evolved and changed, although one core belief has been constant, it is all about the kids. Students must feel supported and safe in their environment before learning can begin. The best lesson, or the best activity, will not work when students are concerned about how they are perceived by the adults and other students in the room. Although I would love my students to leave me with great logical reasoning and math skills, I believe it is equally important that they leave knowing that I cared and always supported and encouraged them.

Lessons must be taught in a way that captures attention throughout the course of the lesson. This calls for teachers to be authentically creative in the delivery of instruction. Knowledge helps us grow and experience new adventures that aids us in decision making. When knowledge is applied, students begin acquiring and building higher order cognitive skills. Students are better able to retain knowledge, access that knowledge, and use it in their life and their choices.

Pathways Academic Campus Philosophy of Education: Over the course of almost 20 years, my educational phi-

Robert Shoemaker High School Philosophy of Education: I believe people learn best by application of knowledge.

Andrew Dietz

Keri Luepke

Hierarchy of Needs” and with that I mean developing strong, independent leaders. I have the desire for students to feel safe, and in a loving environment. This allows students to realize their growth both as a person and as it relates to their education. Self-realization helps develop leaders who desire not only to succeed themselves, but for their fellow classmates to do the same.

Remember that all kids can learn. Some may learn slower than others or different than `the norm’, but that’s where you come in. Meet them where they are and push them to be better…push them to be great! Remember kids have opinions, emotions, and feelings. They have good days and bad days. Be empathetic. Be kind. Be understanding. Be patient. Be a role model. And above all- Be Awesome!

Rancier Middle School Philosophy of Education: My educational philosophy follows closely to “Maslow’s

Union Grove Middle School Philosophy of Education: My philosophy of education is more of a letter to myself.

KISD Board of Trustees ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank the following organizations for their support and encouragement: Corbett Lawler President Minerva Trujillo Vice President Susan Jones Secretary Shelley Wells Board Member JoAnn Purser Board Member Marvin Rainwater Board Member Carlyle Walton Board Member COL Henry C. Perry

Ft. Hood Representative

C.E. Ellison High School Chamber Singers Duane Robinson’s Graphic Design Class Elementary Curriculum & Professional Development Department Harker Heights High School Jazz Band Killeen High School Vocal Spectrum Killeen ISD Education Foundation KISD Career Center KISD Communications Services KISD Print Shop KISD Radio ~ My 95.1 KISD Technology Services KISD TV Robert M. Shoemaker High School JROTC Color Guard Sarah Crawford’s Floral Design Class Secondary Curriculum & Professional Development Department Willow Springs Elementary Leaders of Tomorrow Banner designed by Analisse Quinones Booklet designed by Amilyan Brown and Sabrina Padro

KISD Teacher of the Year Booklet- 2017-18  
KISD Teacher of the Year Booklet- 2017-18