It’s a privilege to honor outstanding teachers

You remember that teacher that made you feel like you could do anything … that your dreams were attainable, that you weren’t awkward and unaccepted, but loved and appreciated?

That teacher for me was my second grade teacher, Mrs. Proffer. I will never forget how she made learning fun and treated me like I was smart. I remember being in what I thought was a starring role in the second grade play “Ghostbusters” to perform in front of everybody. I wanted to give my part to someone else, but Mrs. Proffer believed in me and said, “LaTonya, you were born to be a star.”

That was all the encouragement I needed to give it my best and to this day, I will always remember Mrs. Proffer.

Last week I had the privilege of going campus to campus (15 campuses, and walking in heels mind you) to award some of the most amazing people in our district with a Campus Teacher of the Year award selected by their peers.

I must admit it was fun for me to surprise them, but what it meant to them was so much more. It meant countless hours of preparation and hard work inside and outside the classroom finally realized and recognized. It meant that they were loved and appreciated like they make our students feel every day. It meant tears of joy and hugs all around and pure joy to the children in their classrooms who have known all along how amazing their teacher is.

It was truly one of my favorite days as Superintendent at Lufkin ISD. One teacher who was acknowledged has been teaching on her campus for 42 years! That’s a lot of years and a lot of students who have been in the presence of greatness and inspired by one of our finest. Another teacher has proven to be a fighter as she has overcome health issues while also focusing on the needs of her students.

We appreciate all of our teachers and staff at Lufkin ISD, and I was honored to take a day to remind 15 campus Teachers of the Year what an asset they are to our schools and community. Congratulations and job well done to: Andrea Eoff-Travis, Alternative Center for Education; Julie Thornton, Anderson Elementary; Amy Reynolds, Brandon Elementary; Carol Riley, Burley Primary; Tracey Charanza, Coston Elementary; Jean Ann Keen, Dunbar Primary; Odessa Cullum, Garrett Primary; Barbara Holden, Hackney Primary; Kristi Mackey, Herty Primary; Sharon Collins, Kurth Primary; Cindy Rich, Lufkin Middle School; Michael Hillis, Lufkin High School; Arline Gates, Slack Elementary; Susan Spencer, Trout Primary.

These teachers along with other staff members will be acknowledged for their extraordinary impact on students and years of service to our district at the End of Year Convocation on May 8.


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