2019 Secondary Teachers of the Year

Round Rock ISD celebrates the 2019 Secondary Teachers of the Year. Every year, the District recognizes and honors extraordinary educators who are teaching, leading and inspiring students at campuses across Round Rock ISD. Teachers of the Year are selected by their campus peers and administrators in recognition of their contribution in the classroom and throughout the campus learning community.

Thank a teacher

Send congratulations to a Round Rock ISD Teacher of the Year or say “thanks” to any one of our extraordinary educators.

Jami Kobren

C.D. Fulkes Middle School Eighth Grade Science “I knew I was meant to be a teacher when I was student teaching and my mentor teacher asked me to present a lesson at a faculty meeting. Before I presented, he told the staff that after just three weeks I was getting students to participate that he hadn’t been able to motivate in a semester. I felt honored and humbled that someone noticed that I was impacting kids. This made me excited to start a career where I could make a difference in the lives of others.”

Faezana Ali

Canyon Vista Middle School Eighth Grade Science “The one thing I hope to instill in my students is perseverance. Every year, students come to my classroom with different levels of confidence in their ability to learn. I teach my students to view challenges and failures as opportunities to improve their learning. By implementing a growth mindset approach, I hope to provide my students with the skills needed to overcome obstacles in their learning career to be successful.”

Erik Kind

Cedar Valley Middle School Seventh Grade Math “My main role as an educator is teaching my content while showing care and concern for my students in and out of class.”

Carolina Carner

Chisholm Trail Middle School Sixth and Seventh Grade Science “I have always felt like it was my calling to help people in life. Middle school is a transitional period where students go through many changes, and I wanted to be there to help them get through it.”

Kristin Philhower

Deerpark Middle School Seventh Grade Mathematics “The most important role of a teacher is to create significant relationships with each and every student. I want to empower and inspire my students to know they are capable of anything.“

Robbie Gomez

Grisham Middle School English as a Second Language (ESL) “I hope to instill pride in my students. I want to make sure my ESL students and families are being honored for who they are and not feel pressured to change; to conform. I hope that my students feel proud of who they are and of how they contribute to the community. I want them to feel that if they find themselves caught between two worlds, they may be empowered to be the best they can be and represent both proudly!”

Briana Flores

Hernandez Middle School Eighth Grade Science “I hope to instill perseverance, kindness, and the want to be lifelong motivated learners. I also want my students to know and understand that it does not matter the college, university, or career path they choose, but what matters is their happiness and enjoyment for their job each day.”

Amy Hinds

Hopewell Middle School Seventh Grade Science “The most important role for me as a teacher is to be an advocate for each student in my classroom. I want to push them to their greatest potential so they can achieve great things.”

Natalie Reale

Pearson Ranch Middle School Sixth Grade World Cultures “For my students, I hope to instill courage to believe in themselves and to become self-empowered to take on whatever the world brings them and to do their part to make it a better place. I always tell my kiddos to ‘leave it better than you found it!’”

Gary Alexander

Ridgeview Middle School Sixth Grade Science “I was one of the fortunate ones who came into teaching, not as a career but as something I truly am blessed to be able to do every day. I always say ‘I’m going to school today.’ I never say ‘work’ because, to me, this is what I am here on this planet to do.”

Renee Haarmann

Walsh Middle School Functional Communication Classroom “My role as a teacher is to help guide students to be as independent as possible and give students access to the tools needed to meet their individual needs at the highest level. I also strive to help them attain the skills to be self-advocates that can get their needs met.”

Jay Gerard

GOALS Learning Center English “In my role as an educator, setting a good example builds the foundation for everything else I teach.”

Tina Steiner

Round Rock Opportunity Center Language Arts and Inclusion “The most important role of a teacher is to facilitate, motivate and encourage learning. But if I could verbalize the single most important thing at the heart of my profession, it would be my responsibility to make a positive impact on my students before they emerge into society; to teach them how to be the best that they can be. I live a life of service and share that with my students so that they can develop a sense of community, as well. I encourage them to imagine what role they should play in the community, and then we work together to make it happen.”

Danielle White

Cedar Ridge High School Pre-AP Biology and Medical Microbiology “One of the many things I hope to instill in my students is to know that each of them has a brilliant mind that can learn and accomplish anything they choose to focus on. I hope my students know that investing time to serve other people and exercising integrity with a good work ethic pays dividends far greater than any paycheck could ever amount to. I hope to instill in my students a genuine love for learning and serving others in our community.”

Jordan Stewart

Early College High School Practical Writing “Self-knowledge and self-sufficiency is something I am always trying to instill in my students. As a campus that is working to ready students for entering college early, we recognize that college readiness extends beyond content. If you can know yourself as a learner and how to advocate for your needs, there is nothing that can hold you back from success.”

Calvin Guillory

McNeil High School U.S. History and Coach “The most important role of a teacher is connecting with your students. Getting to know or show an interest in your students will build trust and lead to success in the classroom.”

Randi Chaverria

Round Rock High School Family and Consumer Science “Being a teacher has always been in my blood. All the way back to my great- grandparents, my family have been educators: teachers, coaches, principals, superintendents. I think part of me always knew that I would be a teacher one day.”

Pam Bethke

Stony Point High School Reading and ELL “I want my students to understand we can never stop learning and, thinking that way, we can work smarter to climb any obstacles that we come across.”

Sharon Simmons

Success High School Career and Technical Education “I hope to instill in my students the importance of being responsible and following through with commitments.”

Emily Eyob

Westwood High School History and Psychology “I think it’s important to model kindness and empathy, build relationships with students, create a safe atmosphere in the classroom, teach critical thinking skills and build productive global citizens.”