Each year, the District recognizes and honors excellence brought by educators each day in their classrooms. Each campus Teacher of the Year (TOY) was elected by their peers and administration in recognition for their contribution in the classroom and throughout the campus learning community.

Note: The District and State Teacher of the Year program awards are designed to designate teachers as such until the next school year. Therefore, they are awarded and named Teachers of the Year for the next year and not the current year.

Middle School Teachers of the Year

Michelle Oliver, Grade 7 English Language Arts
C.D. Fulkes Middle School

I come from a long, steady line of educators. My complete mission is to reach hearts and teach minds. I want my kids to know their value and potential, and I want to help them gain the skills and knowledge to contribute their value and potential to our world, leaving it a better place.

Angela Yung, Grade 6
Canyon Vista Middle School

As an educator, I have the power to inspire, motivate, and encourage my students. The amount of influence I have on the kids who walk into my classroom each day is immense. Therefore I choose to be kind, compassionate, and empathetic; I choose to be a life-long learner and acknowledge my mistakes; I choose to be passionate about what I teach; I choose to learn as much from my students as I can so that I can be a better teacher.

Keith Fergison, Grade 8 U.S. History
Cedar Valley Middle School

I want students to have a better sense of who they are and a path toward developing their unique worldview.

Julio Araiza, Jr, Grade 8
Chisholm Trail Middle School

As an educator I strive to shape a student’s mind and instill excitement for education. As a leader, my goal is to be approachable so that my students feel comfortable to ask for advice or just be someone to talk to. Being an educator and a leader in the classroom is a great responsibility that I do not take lightly. I hope to impact my students in a way that will push them to achieve beyond what they think they are capable of.

Patricia Wirth, Deaf Ed. Grade 6-8 Inclusion
Deerpark Middle School

Education is a lifelong learning process which requires love, patience and trust. Students need to know that educators truly care about them. Educators must lead students to move beyond themselves and instill a love of learning though joy and frustrations, letting them know that they are there to support them.

Jessica Nauman, Grade 6
Grisham Middle School

I chose to teach middle school because of my own experiences as a student. I hope to offer a safe and supportive environment for students to take risks, explore, and become confident in their creativity and education. My mission is to be student-centered to help instill a love of learning in my students.

Nicole Hawkins, Grade 6 Math
Hernandez Middle School

Being an educator and leader in the classroom means that I am the role model. My students look to me for, not only how to solve a math problem, but how to react to others, and different situations. Every day I have the opportunity to make a difference, and that is the goal every day I walk through the doors of my classroom.

Jerry Gee Cordova, Choir Director
Hopewell Middle School

The core of my teaching philosophy is to help students reach their aspirations and holding students to high expectations to allow them to have ownership of their education. I regularly seek out opportunities to create an inclusive learning environment for my students. I am passionate about creating a space where students embrace differences in backgrounds and identities which reflects the diversity of our community.

Jennie Tidwell, Grade 7 Language Arts
Pearson Ranch Middle School

I chose to become a teacher because I love learning. I draw inspiration from other teachers including my mother, father, and husband. My goal is to reach each student and create classrooms full of lifelong learners. I hope that students leave my classroom with the ability to think critically and confidently use their voices to make a difference in the future.

Jodi Choate, Girls Athletic Coordinator, Coach, Grade 8 Inclusion Teacher
Ridgeview Middle School

I had a tough home life, and honestly, there were many days when I did not think I would make it. My teachers and coaches were my Angels, and they saved my life daily. I became a teacher and coach because I wanted to be for kids what my teachers and coaches were for me. My mission as an educator is to make sure that every child knows that he/she matters, there is nothing he/she cannot make it through, and to help shape and mold each child into an awesome adult.

Kelley Smith, ESL Teacher
Walsh Middle School

Being an educator and a leader in the classroom is an honor. When my students acquire English as a second language, they are empowered to create changes and make choices for themselves, their families and their communities. Building relationships with my students and their families – relationships that evolve long after they’ve left my classroom – is the most rewarding part of my work.

High School Teachers of the Year

Sarah Christian, Credit Recovery
Cedar Ridge High School

Being an educator means that we can empower greatness in more ways than just academically because we have the most important job in the world! Every day, we are blessed with the opportunity to teach, but we also influence our youth and our future leaders in other ways. I want to make sure that I make a strong impact positively so I make it a priority to show my students how to be compassionate and caring in all of their interactions because that will impact them no matter which school they choose or what career path they follow. Our students will remember each of us in some way – I know I’d like them to remember that I never gave up on any of my students and that I was always kind to everyone.

Tara Travis, Kindergarten

I choose to become a teacher because I wanted to make a difference in students lives. Growing up I had a lot of great teachers that taught me the importance of education and life lessons. I knew that I wanted to be that teacher that would influence the lives of students just like my teachers did for me.

Johnny Foss, Math, Swim and Soccer Coach
McNeil High School

I became a teacher in hopes that I could make a difference. If I can help young people figure out how to become free-thinking, confident, problem solvers then I might just have done that. Each day I do my best to show students what their true potential is and help steer them onto that path as best I can.

Tiffanie Harrison, Marketing Teacher and Campus Equity Leader
Round Rock High School

I came to teaching by way of industry, and I’ve never done anything more meaningful. Teachers have an exponential impact and are the first civic leaders that students see. My mission as an educator is beautifully stated by none other than Ralph Ellison: “If you can show me how I can cling to that which is real to me while teaching me a way into the larger society, then and only then will I drop my defenses and hostility, and I will sing your praises and help you to make the desert bear fruit.”

Veronica Mackey, English II
Stony Point High School

The one thing I hope to instill in my students is to embrace and love themselves. We all have our own unique story to tell through our life stories. No two stories are exactly alike; however, each story is just as important as the others. Embrace your story and rise despite any opposition you will face.

Andrew Barba, English/ESL
Success High School

Educators are leaders in the classrooms and communities. As a teacher, we must be experts in our field so that we can produce meaningful lessons connecting to our students’ world. We have to model maturity. We must provide positive feedback when the students are struggling. We have to be intuitive and interpret students mood, actions, and words so that we can offer and care for each student. Real leadership is the ability to build stable, trusting relationships so that students will feel safe within our classrooms.

Jason Ziebell, Math
Westwood High School

Being an educator to me means being a role model, coach, confidant, motivator, and guide in learning and life. Often just being a consistent, positive voice in my student’s lives is what motivates me each day. I want them always to feel encouraged to take risks and dare to be great.

Alternative Education Teachers of the Year

David Vincent, Special Education
GOALS Learning Center

I am honored to be part of a profession which helps our world become a better place. Education and leadership go hand in hand. When you inspire through education, you inspire future leaders.

William Hicks, High School Math
Round Rock Opportunity Center

My mission is to meet the needs of all my students and develop problem solvers for the future. I want even the most challenging student to enter my classroom and leave having learned something new. I strive to establish a classroom that allows my students to be creative. I want all of my students to find joy in learning again and become lifelong learners. Those two attributes will help them accomplish anything they want in life.