Fort Bend ISD announced the names of the 2017 district elementary and secondary teachers of the year at its annual Teacher of the Year Awards dinner and program, held April 20 at Safari Texas Ranch.
Stephanie Clayton of Sugar Mill Elementary is the Elementary Teacher of the Year and Jessika Hearne of McAuliffe Middle School is the Secondary Teacher of the Year.
A kindergarten teacher at Sugar Mill Elementary (SME), Clayton has four years of teaching experience, all at SME. She believes that every student can find success by learning from their mistakes. Clayton ensures that her students feel safe enough to fall and courageous enough to stand back up again. Her passion is developing character in her young students and building relationships with each student who enters her classroom.
Hearne, a sixth-grade math teacher at McAuliffe Middle School, has taught for five years, with two of those being at McAuliffe. Hearne said that being an educator is the most rewarding and honorable career. She believes that we all need to reward and praise progress, as it will lead to success. Her biggest accomplishment is watching students who doubted themselves at the beginning of the year, leave with confidence at the end – knowing they will be successful, life-long learners.
“These two teachers, along with the other teacher of the year honorees, are building relationships and influencing lives in a big way,” said Dr. Charles Dupre, superintendent of schools. “We are proud and appreciative of their efforts, and I am honored to recognize them for their leadership in the classroom.”
As FBISD’s teachers of the year, Clayton and Hearne each received an engraved crystal award and monetary gift, as well as a Chrome Book and Amazon gift card from the Fort Bend Education Foundation. They will also receive a special Teacher of the Year ring and complimentary photograph by Steven Leonard, courtesy of the Balfour Company.
The two honorees will now advance to the regional Teacher of the Year competition, with a chance of advancing to the Texas Teacher of the Year Program.
Along with each campus Teacher of the Year, FBISD also honored its 10 Teacher of the Year finalists and six District Rookies of the Year. Among the finalists were: Elementary level – Lauren Crittenden (Colony Bend Elementary), Chad Davis (Jordan Elementary), Chastity Gonzalez (Mission Glen Elementary), Dana Keen (Seguin Elementary) and Kate Faulkner (Settlers Way Elementary); and secondary level – Dr. Kiesha Guillory (Missouri City Middle School), Kelsey Halfen (Dulles High School) and Deshonda Davis (Willowridge High School).
The 2017 District Rookies of the Year included: Elizabeth Salcich (Colony Meadows Elementary), Hannah Michel (Madden Elementary), Courtney Esmond (Mission Glen Elementary), Noemi Rodriguez (Baines Middle School), Brittany Wise (First Colony Middle School), and Trevor Caswell (Willowridge High School).