DEPARTMENTS TAX OFFICE
Photo by Mima Trujillo
By Susan Passmore
Despite heavy rain and a power outage, 15 teachers, nominated by seniors as having made a difference in their lives, were honored at the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation’s Students Choice Awards Banquet. A selection committee chose the honorees from a field of 550 letters from seniors about their teachers or former teachers.
The event, sponsored by Aramark; Awards & Engraving; Beehive Florist; Comex Corporation; Houston Raceway Park Club; Hutchison, Shockey, Erley & Co. and Texas Roadhouse, took place at Houston Raceway Park Club. Entertainment was provided by the Ross. S. Sterling High School Varsity Orchestra, under the direction of Camille Gates.
Erika Foster, GCCISD Education Foundation director, kicked off the event, and Laurie Terry, president, welcomed guests. Jennifer Walsh, vice president of development, led the pledge and Jim Wadzinski, board member, gave the invocation. After dinner, Ronnie Hotchkiss, president-elect, recognized students and teachers. Teachers received a plaque, a $50 gift card and a copy of a video created by Carrie Pryor-Newman of the GCCISD Communications Department. Students also received a copy of the video and a $50 gift card. Randal O’Brien, GCCISD superintendent, gave closing remarks. To see the video, go to https://youtu.be/JESyZoEug7M.
Teachers recognized with their students were Byoung (Sean) Kang, teacher, and Lorenzo Salinas, both from Goose Creek Memorial High School (GCM); Shari May, teacher, and Maeva Flavien from GCM; Alexsia Shankle-Smith, teacher from Highlands Junior School, and Almarie Green from GCM; Jason Wells, Gunnery Sgt. (Ret.), teacher, and Emily Hansen, GCM; Patricia Authement, teacher from Gentry Junior School, and Josiah Hughes from IMPACT Early College High School; Megan Downs, teacher from Cedar Bayou Junior School, and Everett Crutchfield from IMPACT ECHS; Amy Albus, teacher from Travis Elementary, now at Cedar Bayou Jr. School, and Joshua Thompson from Ross S. Sterling High School and Mike Anzaldua, teacher/coach from RSS, and Justin Gonzales, Jr. from RSS.
Others honored were Ashlee Bellard Madison, teacher from Alamo Elementary, and Zion Shillingford from RSS; Bert Dunnington, teacher, and Brianna Herrera, both from RSS; Brenda Fess, teacher, and Casey McCray from RSS; Jennifer Henry, teacher, and Autumn Harris from RSS; Mindy Merling, teacher and now counselor, from Austin Elementary, and Canon Svegliato from RSS; Katie Reyna, teacher from Robert E. Lee High School/Homebound, and Tarece Lensing from RSS and John Tremmel, teacher/coach, and Jacob Naiser from RSS.
A special tribute to her fourth-grade teacher at Travis Elementary, Suzy McGrew Gregory, from Lizeth Mendoza, a senior at Robert E. Lee High School, was included in the program. Gregory passed away shortly after giving birth to her son in 2011 while Mendoza was in her class.
“I do remember your smile and I recognize now just how much you sacrificed for me. You believed in me and you believe that I was capable of living my best life. You knew all along that I would become a leader and have a successful life. You knew all along that I would accomplish great things in life . . .Although I know that teaching twenty-one fourth-graders was not an easy task, still you had so much patience for us . . . I am proud to announce to you that all twenty-one of your Class of 2019 students will graduate this year,” Mendoza wrote in her letter.
Over the past 10 years, 150 teachers have been honored through the Students Choice Awards as one of the GCCISD Education Foundation’s goals of recognizing staff for exemplary teaching.
For more information or to donate to the GCCISD Education Foundation, contact erika.foster at gccisd.net or call 281-707-3610 or 832-597-9106. Individuals can also follow the foundation on Facebook or Twitter or through its webpage at www.gccisd.net/page/EducationFoundation.
Consolidated Independent School District
4544 Interstate 10 East | Baytown, Texas 77521 | 281.420.4800
P.O. Box 30 | Baytown, Texas 77522 | 281.420.4800
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