Round Rock ISD teachers are rock stars, and although they may not be in their classrooms, they continue to do great things every day. Each year, the District, along with school districts across the state, recognize their Teachers of the Year and honor them for the excellence and passion they share with students. Their peers and administration elected each campus Teacher of the Year (TOY) in recognition for their contribution in the classroom and throughout the campus learning community. These teachers are up for a chance to be selected as the District’s Secondary TOY, announced in early May. District winners will have the opportunity to go on and compete for the state TOY title.
NOTE: The District and State Teacher of the Year program awards 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
Brandon Purchase, 7th Grade History
C.D. Fulkes Middle School
Being a classroom teacher and leader is centered on building relationships to foster and guide students through their educational and social-emotional growth as they become who they will be as adults. It’s one of the most important jobs in the world that I am sure never to take for granted.
Mary Loera, Visual Arts
Canyon Vista Middle School
I hope my students always see the importance of art in our world, and hope they stay passionate about creating art, and appreciating the arts of others. Being an artist is a lifelong experience of learning and creating. Regardless of what their future career may be, I hope to foster and instill a lifelong passion for art with every student, and to encourage them always to find opportunities for visual expression. Making art is healthy for our minds and our souls, and I wish for my students to always see the value in self-expression.
Amy Margulies, 8th Grade ELA
Cedar Valley Middle School
Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. Young people are so filled with hope and light; their minds are open and ready to receive guidance, ideas, and possibilities. Some people say that children don’t listen. I believe the opposite. Children soak up everything around them, and it becomes a part of who they will become. My mission is to “contribute a verse” to their lives, as Walt Whitman would say.
Robert Ohanian, 7th Grade Math
Chisholm Trail Middle School
Every day, I hope to instill in my students to find a way to give back to others and your community and help those that can’t always help themselves.
Leslie Daughtry, 7th Grade Math
Deerpark Middle School
I have always loved helping people and working with kids. When I was younger, I struggled with math and anxiety and was notorious for asking a lot of questions, which was viewed as a negative thing. It was in middle school that I decided I wanted to teach so I could help kids, like me, realize that it’s ok not to know everything right away, it’s ok to be slower and take your time, and it is certainly ok to ask questions. Like most of us, I pray that I can make a positive impact on as many kids as possible throughout the years, whether that be with math or, more importantly, how they view themselves and others.
Kristin Goodman, Visual Arts
Grisham Middle School
I decided to become a teacher because I believe in the power of public education. I chose this age group in particular, because middle school was a challenging time in my own life, and I want to support my artists as they navigate this often-tough age. My mission as an educator is to show how the arts can be a valuable tool for expressing emotions, exploring culture and history, and creating social change. I want my artists to learn to take risks and to see making mistakes as part of growing.
Patti Cole, FAC Teacher
Hernandez Middle School
I am from a long line of teachers. Although not expected of me, I have always aspired to be a teacher. I have always had a “knack” for it. My mission as an educator is to make each day the day that my students learn something new -about their world, each other, and especially about themselves.
Ron Goins, 6th Grade
Hopewell Middle School
I try to instill in my students a belief in their abilities, a can-do attitude. With all the negativity that is in the world today, I want my students to develop a positive outlook now that they will carry with them into the future.
Natalie Hall, 7th Grade Texas History
Pearson Ranch Middle School
Being an educator and leader in the classroom allows me to serve as a role model and mentor for students. It gives me the ability to be vulnerable and learn from my students just as they can be vulnerable and learn from me. I can provide a safe, enriching environment where we can all take risks together.
Melanie Moore Vann, 7th Grade Language Arts
Ridgeview Middle School
I hope to instill an open mind in my students. I do my best to offer classroom experiences that allow them to question what is given and develop their ideas through reflection and collaboration with others. I want my students to look for their truth, to value their opinion, but to also be curious about the perspective of another. In the end, I want my students to be secure enough to change their opinion when presented with evidence that a change is necessary.
Carole Pattison, 6th Grade World Cultures
Walsh Middle School
I take my role in the classroom as a privilege. My purpose is to lead students to become life-long learners, develop 21st-century skills to catapult them successfully into our next generation of compassionate leaders. The skills we practice build upon the values set at home. Together, we walk through experiences and discover the opportunities to see the world differently.
High School Teachers of the Year
Tim Holland, Science
Cedar Ridge High School
I want to instill in them not to be afraid to challenge themselves. I the quote by General George S. Patton Jr in my classroom. “Pressure makes diamonds.”
Amar Picazo, Spanish
Early College High School
I want to create in each student a passion for learning Spanish and for enjoying the rewarding feeling of communicating in another language.
Lisa Flores, Science/CTE
McNeil High School
Hope and perseverance are what I want to instill in my students. My students will meet many challenges and obstacles in their lives. If they have hope, they can face those challenges head-on with perseverance. While dealing with their challenges, I hope those experiences strengthen their character leading them to become caring and compassionate human beings.
Tracy Shaffer, 9th Grade Algebra I Inclusion
Round Rock High School
I chose to become an educator to be an advocate and voice for students with special needs and to be a positive role model for all students. My mission as an educator is to teach students how to become life-long problem solvers.
Sunshine Parsons, Theatre
Stony Point High School
I chose to become a teacher because I never wanted a student to feel invisible, the way I did as a child. I aim to make every student feel seen and heard in a way that they do not get in other places in their lives. And I want to create a supportive and safe learning environment.
Kat Malone, English
Success High School
Being an educator is who I am. I have no idea who I would be without my kids. I learn from them. I fight for them. In return, they help me be a better version of myself.
Natalie Wieland, Chemistry and Science
Westwood High School
When I was in high school, several of my friends started to hate science and think it wasn’t for them because they were struggling with it. I have always loved science, especially chemistry, and I wanted to show them that they could do it and possibly love it too. The joy I got from helping them succeed in something that challenged them ignited my passion for teaching. My mission as an educator is to make sure that ALL students not only learn science, but they learn how to learn, and maybe more importantly, they learn THEY can learn anything, even things they once thought impossible or not for them.
Alternative Education Teachers of the Year
Terri Montoya-Martin, Math
GOALS Learning Center
As a parent of a child with disabilities, I chose to become a teacher to not only advocate for my students but instill a sense of confidence and support for them and their parents. I knew that I could be a strong support system for my students and instill in them a sense of confidence and a love of learning. As a math teacher, it is often difficult to get students to buy into the “math is fun” attitude, especially with students who struggle with learning. I felt I could help them build lifelong learning strategies that would get them through whatever challenges they would face, whether it was post-secondary school, jobs, or just life in general!
Laura Bettin, English
Round Rock Opportunity Center
Events in my own life led me to the education field. I struggled as a teen and reached out for guidance from my teachers. As I got older, I knew I could make a difference, and felt a strong desire to work with “at-risk” youth. Teachers play a vital role in students’ lives. Our words and actions matter, and it is my mission to be a good role model by acting with integrity and compassion. I strive to make connections with every student in hopes they feel safe and accepted in my classroom.