District Teachers of the Year for 2015 Announced

District Teachers of the Year for 2015 Announced
District TOY

May 6, 2015 –Announced this morning at the Lamar Lively Teacher of the Year Breakfast, Elementary winner James Russell and Secondary winner Tim Bryant will go on to represent Amarillo ISD at the Region 16 Teacher of the Year held later this summer. The annual breakfast is sponsored by Education Credit Union.

These district Teachers of the Year are symbolic of the quality educators in the Amarillo community. With more than 2,200 teachers employed by AISD, representing them all is of great honor. Russell and Bryant have been awarded $500 from the Lamar Lively Fund at the Amarillo Area Foundation and $300 from the Amarillo Education Foundation. In addition, Southwest Airlines provided each winner with two round-trip tickets to anywhere the airline flies, and Amarillo Auto Clean provided each winner with one year of free car washes.

“Our district Teachers of the Year are shining examples of the caliber of teaching professionals in AISD who are dedicated to delivering quality instruction in a caring environment every day,” said Program Director for Community Partnerships Denise Blanchard.

Elementary Teacher of the Year James Russell teaches second-grade at Wills Elementary. His students come from diverse backgrounds, and carry with them a variety of experiences. The English language has not been mastered by all of them, so Russell works with them on inference skills during their reading time – preparing students to figure out these seemingly word puzzles using evidence and reasoning.

Principal Chris Altman writes about James Russell, “His focus never seems to waiver, and with a determined spirit and a true no-excuses attitude, he continually seeks ways to meet students’ needs.”

Secondary Teacher of the Year Tim Bryant teaches eighth-grade social studies at Crockett Middle School. In a special lesson covering government and laws, Bryant works with students to discover the wants and needs of a society – ultimately deciding the best type of government for the people. Students separate into Freeland and Leaderland, each fictitious country symbolic of government lessons learned by students, with ideas and laws compounding to form government systems most common in the world.

A student who was in his third- and fourth-grade classes, and is now in his eighth-grade class, writes, “Mr. Bryant realizes teaching is a shared responsibility between teacher and student. He won’t let a day go by without being 100 percent positive every student understands the material.”

Teacher of the Year Elementary Finalists:

  • Dana Bolin, Fourth-Grade ELAR Teacher at San Jacinto Elementary School
  • Heather Sutton, First-Grade Teacher at Woodlands Elementary School

Teacher of the Year Secondary Finalists:

  • Susan Brown, World History AP Teacher at Tascosa High School
  • Hannah Galbreath, Sixth-Grade Science Teacher at Bonham Middle School

Campus teachers of the year were accompanied by their school administration to the breakfast. Each teacher recognized received a glass block and poster symbolic of their accomplishment at the campus level. All campus teachers of the year received a free car wash to Amarillo Auto Clean, finalists received a month of free car washes.

The Region 16 Teachers of the Year will be named and all semi-finalists will be recognized during the general session of the i3 Conference on August 19, 2015 at the Amarillo Civic Center.

The Lamar Lively Teacher of the Year Breakfast was live-tweeted by @AmarilloISD using #DistrictTOY2015.

To read more about the finalists, please check out Newswire blog. http://www.aisdnewswire.org/news/district-toy-2015 

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