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Peter Cushman from Ross S. Sterling High School, previously at Baytown Junior School, was nominated for the Students Choice Awards by his former student Kera Adamson.
Michelle Bitterly (right) of Awards & Engraving shows Erika Foster, director of the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation, the awards donated for the Students Choice Awards.
By: Susan Passmore
Despite the abrupt end to their senior year due to the COVID-19 crisis, 15 Goose Creek CISD seniors honored their teachers by nominating them for the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation’s 2019-2020 Students Choice Awards. Each year, seniors are asked to write a letter nominating a teacher who has had a positive impact on their life.
Sponsors for the annual event, in its 11th year, were Awards & Engraving, which provided the plaques for teachers, and Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co., which provided the gift cards presented to students and teachers. Although the dinner was not held due to safety protocols, a program with highlights of the nomination letters written by the students and a video, created by the Goose Creek CISD Communications Department, were presented to the students and teachers.
Honorees were Samuel Laird from Goose Creek Memorial High School and his student Trenton Brown, also from GCM; Mariela Chen-Barboza and her student Claudia Rosas, both from GCM; Rosie Adolphin and her student Angelique Vazquez, both from GCM; Peter Cushman from Ross S. Sterling High School (RSS), previously at Baytown Junior School, and his student Kera Adamson from RSS; Misty Dolgner from Goose Creek Memorial High School, previously at Baytown Junior, and her student Johanna McKay from Robert E. Lee High School; Michele George from Cedar Bayou Junior School, previously at Gentry Junior School, and her student Caleb Echols from GCM and Roman Huizar from GCM and his student Tania Rodriguez from GCM.
Also honored were Kimberly Kelley from Horace Mann Junior School and her student Stephanie Perez from IMPACT Early College High School; Amy Maddie and her student Alexandria Lee, both from RSS; Shonna Prentice and her student Gabriella Lopez, both from GCM; Jonathan Richards and his student Christina Rodriguez, both from REL; Kathrine Robinson-Hull from Travis Elementary and her student Victoria Gomez from RSS; Jackie Scales and her student Taylor Richardson, both from GCM; Sheila Southall from San Jacinto Elementary and her student Shelby Torres from RSS; and Clemencia Vigil and her student Sam Balandran from REL.
“It is always heartwarming to hear the stories these students write in their letters and to see how much difference teachers make in the lives of their students,” said Erika Foster, director of the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation.
Trenton Brown from GCM wrote about the way Samuel Laird, his law enforcement teacher at GCM, helped mold him into the young man he is today.
“I chose Mr. Laird because of how he shaped my character, attitude and education,” said Trenton. “My outlook on life has been greatly enhanced through his teaching. To me, Mr. Laird is more than a teacher; he’s a mentor and a lifelong friend who will always have my back and give advice to help navigate through challenges I have and will face.
Christina Rodriguez nominated her teacher engineering teacher Jonathan Richards at REL for the award. With an incredible number of homework assignments in her Advanced Placement classes, she felt overwhelmed.
“When I finally fell into the process of retrieving work and finishing it timely, my grandmother was diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer, and while I know many have felt the pain of having a loved one struggle through cancer, Mr. Richards’ own journey from cancer was the hope I needed to get through the toughest days,” Christina said.
The Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation has recognized 165 teachers as Students Choice Award Winners over the past 11 years in keeping with its goal of recognizing staff for exemplary teaching.
“I so look forward to the Students Choice Awards every year. It is a reminder of the wonderful teachers I had as a student here in the Goose Creek schools who helped set me on my path to success,” said Ronnie Hotchkiss, president of the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation.
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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