BISD Names 2017 Teachers of the Year

BISD Names 2017 Teachers of the Year
Posted on 01/06/2017

BISD Names 2017 Teachers of the Year

Nine members of the Boerne ISD faculty on Friday were named the 2017 Teacher of the Year on their campuses in surprise classroom presentations led by Superintendent David Stelmazewski.

"These nine educators were selected by their teaching peers to receive this honor," said Stelmazewski, who went to each school to personally make the announcements. "It is clear that each of these teachers is beloved by their students, appreciated by their administrators, and highly regarded by their fellow teachers. Each is deserving of this honor. They represent the finest teaching Boerne schools have to offer and I am very proud to be associated with them."

Honorees include Melanie Harris at Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary, Carla Hartman at Cibolo Creek Elementary, Craig Lenard at Boerne High School, Stacie Murrah at Middle School North, Laura Peters at Kendall Elementary, Lisa Reeh at Fabra Elementary, Jessica Simecek at Curington Elementary, Rhonda Voulgaris at Middle School South and Cindy Waldrop at Champion High School.

Melanie Harris has been named Teacher of the Year at Fair Oaks Ranch Elementary School, where she has taught 3rd Grade since 2014. She has taught in public schools since 2005.

Harris attended Texas State University where she earned both her undergraduate degree and her Masters of Education in Elementary Education.

"My teaching philosophy is simple," says Harris, "To know my kids, hold them accountable, and make each day fun. If I teach nothing else all year - though I promise I will - I want to teach my kids to love learning.

Carla Hartman has been named Teacher of the Year at Cibolo Creek Elementary School, where she has been a member of the special education staff since 2008. Hartman's career in public education spans 17 years.

Hartman graduated from the University of Texas-San Antonio with a degree in Community Health Education before earning her Master of Education degree at University of Georgia.

She is an active volunteer with a local Boy Scout pack and she coaches for the FC Thunder in the Boerne Soccer Club.

Craig Lenard was named Teacher of the Year at Boerne High School. He began his teaching career in 2014, serving at the Agricultural Mechanics teacher at BHS.

At BHS, Lenard implemented a new welding and agricultural mechanics program. He serves as the Career and Technical Education Department Chair. He also serves as advisor to the school's FFA chapter.

Lenard earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Services and Development from Tarleton State University, where he was a member of Phi Eta Sigma honor society and participated in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.

Stacie Murrah has been named Teacher of the Year at Boerne Middle School North where she teaches seventh grade English and reading. Murrah has devoted 16 years to service in public education, the past 10 at Middle School North.

In that time, Murrah has served on numerous campus-based committees and she serves as the school's Reading department chair. She currently serves as sponsor of the school's Book Club.

Murrah earned her bachelor's degree in English from Abilene Christian University. Outside of the classroom, she is active with Oak Hills Church, Abundant Life Bible Class and Streams of Living Water ministry. She enjoys reading, swimming and fishing.

Laura Peters has been named Teacher of the Year at Kendall Elementary School, where she has taught special education since 2013. She has taught in public schools since 1996.

Throughout her career at Kendall, Peters has been actively involved, serving as department chair and new teacher mentor among other roles outside the classroom. She also has participated in after-school tutoring for at-risk students for a number of years.

Peters holds a bachelor's degree in Special Education from Our Lady of the Lake University. Away from the classroom, Peters enjoys working in her flower beds, scrapbooking, working on photo albums and playing with her pets. She is an active volunteer with St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Elf Louise program.

Lisa Reeh was named Teacher of the Year at Fabra Elementary School, where she is teaches 4th Grade. She has served at Fabra since 2014 and has eight years to teaching in the public education setting.

Reeh's experiences include collaborating with teachers across the district in her roles as a classroom teacher, district Job Embedded Trainer, curriculum writer, ELAR vertical representative and Literacy CADRE member. She is currently an active presenter for local, region and state conferences in which she shares her passion for effective classroom

Reeh holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. She previously was named Teacher of the Year at Park Village Elementary in the Judson ISD.

Jessica Simecek has been named Teacher of the Year at Curington Elementary School, where she teaches students in the Life Skills department. She has taught at Curington since 2014.

"My philosophy on teaching is that all kids are capable of learning when given the opportunity," Simecek says. "I love working with children with special needs and finding ways to engage them and make it possible for them to learn in a way that is accessible to them. I absolutely love what I do and there is no better gift than seeing the progress my kids make."

Simecek holds a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary studies in All Levels of Special Education from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She is working on a master's degree in Special Education through Texas Tech University.

Rhonda Voulgaris has been named Teacher of the Year at Boerne Middle School South, where she has taught math for 11 years. Her career in public education spans 13 years.

At BMSS, Voulgaris has been a coach, department chair, vertical team member, textbook selection committee member, curriculum writer and teacher mentor in addition to her classroom responsibilities. In 2014, she wrote an article for ATPE magazine about Professional Learning Communities.

Voulgaris earned her bachelor's degree in marketing and management from Texas State University. She is active in her church community, the Kendall County Stock Show, and being a mom to two daughters.

Cindy Waldrop has been named Teacher of the Year at Champion High School, where she has taught English for eight years. She has devoted 25 years to teaching in public schools in the area.

Waldrop has served Champion students in numerous roles during her time on the campus. She is co-founder of the Charge to Wellness program, a Wednesday Evening Study leader and ELA representative for the campus. She also has served as an essay scorer for the College Board SAT testing program.

Waldrop holds a bachelor's degree in English from Howard Payne University and a master's degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Texas-San Antonio.

After recipients interview with principals and administrators next week, the district will announce the Boerne ISD Teacher of the Year from the group of nine on January 12. That teacher will represent the district in the area-wide competition for the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching, awarded annually by Trinity University.

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