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Students depend on great teachers to help them reach their full potential. Teachers and even other staff members, who invest more time and energy, do it because they want students to have a great experience as they learn. The District is full of people like this, and we are honored the Little Elm ISD Education Foundation has found a way to recognize these exceptional Lobo famiLE members through the inaugural Lobo Honors Award.
Earlier this year, the LEISDEF asked students across the District to submit a letter nominating their favorite teacher, librarian, or instructional coach. The students writing the letter had to explain why their nominee is special and how the teacher Engages, Equips, and Empowers them to reach their full potential.
"Most awards are given by peers and superiors, but the Lobo Honors Award is unlike any other award," said Amy Hillock, LEISDEF Board president. "The Lobo Honors Award is given by the student. It's the student who spends every day learning and growing, gaining knowledge from a mentor, friend, and teacher. We want to recognize those teachers who care enough for each and every student who really make a difference in a young person's life."
In early March, the foundation executive board members spent an entire day reading more than 100 letters. They narrowed it down to 11 letters by using a grading rubric. Denise Hanti, who serves at the VP of programs, said it was an emotional day and had to have a box of tissues handy. "It was so touching to read these letters from students who wrote about teachers who have positively impacted their lives," she said.
Monday, April 9, during the school day, foundation board members Hanti, along with Cathy Capps-Warren, Lori Salisbury, Joshua Youngblood, and Connie Helus visited the student authors at their campuses. Together, they surprised teachers, a librarian, and instructional staff for an emotional celebration.
Daniel Gallagher, superintendent, Ross Roberts, Deputy Superintendent, Dan Blackwood, Little Elm ISD Board member, and Tony Tipton, Executive Director for Marketing and Community Relations also visited the campuses with the Board.
"It's teachers like you that we can't thank enough for making a positive impact in the lives of students," said Gallagher as he addressed each teacher. "It is heart-warming to see the emotion behind the connection our students have with our amazing teachers. This is what Little Elm ISD is about. We are about famiLE and I am proud to be here."
Each student and their family members will share a table with the teacher they nominated for the inaugural Lobo Honors Award Fundraising Dinner. The event is Thursday, May 3 from 6-9pm at Little Elm High School. All the money raised will go toward innovative teacher grants.
You will note we have added an award. One letter touched the Committee so much, it decided to create a special designation called the Lobo Pride Award.
Brent – Kim Gaffney (2nd Grade) nominated by Mariah Goodman-Ramirez
Chavez - Leslie Woolsey (Librarian) nominated by Abby Cunningham
Hackberry – Brandon Wells (4th Grade) nominated by Iyona Adonri
Lakeview – Shauna Upton (3rd Grade) nominated by Hannah Kasper
Oak Point – Tiffany Layman (5th Grade) nominated by Isabella Sackett
Prestwick K-8 – Nick Rodriguez (5th Grade) nominated by Earl Brown
Powell – Corrie Reigle (6th Math) nominated by Zion Bagby
Lakeside – Blake Jameson (AVID & Athletics) nominated by Angelica Garcia
Zellars Alternative – Kristy Holberg (Science) nominated by Alicia Martinez
LEHS – Hollie Henry (CTE Business/Finance) nominated by Brandon Burke
LEISD Lobo Pride Award - Jessica Uretsky (Special Education) nominated by Courtney Simbeck
Please buy a ticket or a table online. Participate in the silent auction and enjoy the wonderful menu prepared by Chef Wade Burch and the Little Elm Culinary Students.
Visit our Facebook page to see all the pictures taken as we announced each winner.