The Pine Tree Independent School District (PTISD) recognized its top educators on May 5 at the annual Beacon Award banquet.
The best teachers not only achieve success in classrooms, but make positive lifelong impacts on their students. This event makes sure their special instructors are honored. During the ceremony one student from each campus, and two from the high school used essays to chronicle the influence a specific teacher has had on their lives.
Following the banquet’s meal and the Middle School Music and Movement program, PTISD Assistant Superintendent K’Dawn O’Rear recognized the year’s top teachers. Next, PT Education Foundation Director Jason West and his wife Ginger (both PTISD alumni) presented the awards and read passages from the student essays. Each honored teacher received a monetary bonus and a plaque.
Pine Tree High Coach Rick Dowdle received a special prize called the Regen Styles Teaching Excellence Award, named in honor of former PT High student Regen Styles. Student John Briscoe wrote Dowdle’s essay, honoring the coach for the special, positive influence he made in at least one child’s life. After Styles’ 2004 death his family requested that monetary donations instead of flowers be made to the foundation in his name.
West finished his speech by praising retiring teacher Cathy Shipp, who had served as the PT Foundation’s founding director since it was established.
“I am most proud to have served the past eight years as the executive director of the Pine Tree Education Foundation, and to have played a significant role in organizing the foundation for the school district,” Shipp said. “With the continued support of the Pine Tree School District and community, PTEF will continue to thrive and benefit the teachers, students, alumni and educational programs of this district.”
The foundation has so far garnered almost a quarter million dollars in pursuit of creative and innovative educational programs, encouraging PTISD students and faculty to positively influence educational activities, and providing the community with channels through which to support excellence in local education.
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2011 Beacon Honorees:
Janna Wilson–middle school
Valerie Ogle–junior high
Rick Dowdle–high school
James Phillips–high school
2010-2011 Teachers of the Year:
Pine Tree Primary Campus–Lisa Smith
Pine Tree Elementary Campus–Angelica Navarro
Pine Tree Intermediate Campus–Jo Ann Root
Pine Tree Middle School Campus–Mandy Rogers
Pine Tree Junior High Campus–Sherron Van Camp
Pine Tree High School–Rose Bolomey