Kathleen Flores, an ESL (English as a Second Language) prekindergarten teacher at Hinojosa EC/PK Center, won the Elementary/Intermediate Teacher of the Year while the Secondary Teacher of the Year honor went to Eva Lanczos, an ESL teacher at MacArthur High School.
The other four finalists included Christopher M. Ceaser of Eckert Intermediate School, Kimberly Harris of Sammons Elementary School, Patrick James of Grantham Academy, and Ashley N. Yancy of Nimitz High School. (View a complete list of all Campus Teachers of the Year)
In addition to being honored by the school district at a special breakfast held at the Hyatt North Houston Hotel on March 8, a number of North Houston/Greenspoint area businesses recognized the district winners and finalists.
Flores, Lanczos and the four finalists received a number of prizes and gifts. The top two winners each received a roundtrip first-class ticket to travel to any destination within the 48 United States including Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, and Central America; a complimentary weekend night stay for two with breakfast at the DoubleTree Hotel Houston Intercontinental, $200 checks from InvestTex Credit Union, a $200 gift card from Greenspoint Mall as well as six tickets to the Houston Rockets along with a Houston Rockets pride pack. The four finalists each received $50 gift cards from Greenspoint Mall, gift card for a lunch buffet for two at the DoubleTree Houston Intercontinental and two basketball tickets to see the Houston Rockets.
The difficult task of selecting the winners fell to the Teacher of the Year Committee, which was chaired by Margarita Byrum, AISD director of human resources, and comprised of Karen Barnes, the 2011-12 Secondary Teacher of the Year representing the Nimitz Vertical; Dana Slack from the Eisenhower/Carver Vertical, Sandra Góngora from the Aldine Vertical, Jill Charrier, the 2011-2012 Elementary/Intermediate Teacher of the Year representing the MacArthur Vertical, Claudia Benítez representing the community; and Keena Sims-Bradley, AISD director of human resources and co-chair of the Teacher of the Year Committee.
Dr. Wanda Bamberg, superintendent of schools, and board members Merlin Griggs, Steve Mead, Alton Smith, Rose Avalos, and Rick Ogden were also present to congratulate the teachers. In her closing remarks, Bamberg expressed her gratitude to all the teachers.
“I really do appreciate the hard work and dedication you show our students every day,” stated Bamberg. “Thank you for the wonderful work you do and for striving for excellence in teaching. And thank your for teaching Aldine ISD students and for being great role models.”