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Volume XXVI May, 2011

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District


Volume XXVI May, 2011

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District


CFISD Board of Trustees

Dr. John Ogletree, Jr. President Bob R. Covey Vice President Lida Woodul Secretary William R. Morris Don Ryan Ethel Wolfe Larry Youngblood

David Anthony, Ed.D.



Spotlight, Volume XXVI

Table of Contents

The Spotlight Teacher Award 5

7 7 8 8 9 10 10 11 11 12 12 13 13 14 14 15 15 16 16 17 18 18 19 19 20 20 21 21 22 22 23 24 24 25 25


Instructional Strategist

Beneranda Alvarez Amanda Mahon Suzanne Taylor Katrina Willard Ann Desart

Hope Is Not a Strategy! Teaching Up Podcast Party 21st Century Teaching Patience & Perseverance

Bridget Lighthall Charla Reese William D. Felder Kimberly Smith Rodriguez Carolyn Harrell Monta Bonham Susan Tipton Maria Elena Sifuentez Laura Smithwick Joni Seifert Karri Saxton Sarah Deckard Allison Wadsworth Ragan Jameson Melinda McCarthy Christie Jones Angela Trinidad Kimberly Gentry Maria A. Olson Debra Lynn Robertson Amy M. Forcha Cindy Pekkanen Becky Rivard Shanna Renee Martinez Lara Vines Edge Katie Freed Kelli Schlosser John Von Leticia Curiel John Morrison

Creator of Student-centered Environment

Someone's Mrs. H A Sense of Belonging I Am Who I Am Because of Others My 8th Period Class Pictures on the Wall Mama Bonham Every Child Can Learn Stand By Me Building a Brighter Future Success is the Best Motivator Capture Their Hearts Pig Commitment Pay It Forward The Greatest Christmas Gift Ever! Take the Risk! It's Just Art

Positive Role Model

The Day I Knew I Would Become a Singer Experience is the Best Lesson Believe Role Model It's My Turn to Motivate `Positively' Adore My Job! My Bobcat Family Living the Dream My Inspiration My Greatest Inspiration Heart Strings Planting a Seed The Power of Inspiration Thank You, Ms. McMenamy How Do You Define Your Classroom Space?

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District

Kathy Thornton Risien My Teacher, My Hero Shelly Coffey A Difference, to Be a Difference, Must Make a Difference Brenda Lee Ward "Not Yet" Colleen Mangold Handshake, Hug, or High Five? Kate Smalling Yes, You Can Teresa M. Martinez My Little Brother's Dark Brown Eyes Justin Lamarche We Are the Artists of Ourselves Kim Nguyen Inspired by My Students Bianca Esparza It's Genetic Graciela Avila Thank You, Mentor Teachers Valeria Contreras Cruz Be the Best That You Can Be! Vicki Siever From Blackbird Reader to Reading Teacher Missy Barfuss Getting Paid to Play Jason Blevins Let Me See You Smile Kyle Connelly What Nobody Else Saw Tim Foxworthy My Success Story Francisco Toba My Hero

26 26 27 27 28 28 29 29 30 30 30 31 31 32 33 33 34 34 35 35 36 36 37 37 38 38 39 39 40 40 41 41 42 42 43 43 44 44 45

Lifelong Learner

Marcia Greenleaf Cheryl McLaughlin Julie Barrett Kenneth D. Garcia Jeremy Lee Pruitt, Jr. Nicole Vardeman Kristie Schad Eileen Newland Susan Fabian Cristina Tomec Traci Huss AnnDrea Searby Susan Zajicek Susi Reese Catherine A. Maestri Lolita A. Tabron Tom Harrington Lisa Nevins Helena Cox Cleotis Wiley Jolene Bruklis Jeanette Filardo

The Very Best "It's Not Just a Job...It's My Passion" Learnng is a Wonderful Journey Knowledge is Power "Learning: An Endless Exercise" What Would You Attempt to Do? or Teaching Goes Both Ways Use Your Fork! Are You Feeding Your Mind? More than Math Hang in There Heart of Gratitude Being Inspired Children Don't Ask to Be Born with a Disability An Awesome Opportunity "It Takes a Village to Raise a Teacher" Teaching with Purpose! Treat Them Like You Believe in Them Keep Learning! I Found Where I Belong "My Cheese Keeps Moving" The Planter Retire? Me?


Spotlight, Volume XXVI

Lesley Anne Lucia Lauree Buxton Johnson Whitney Crnokrak Brian Stephens Latosha S. Simpson Debbie Horgan Patty Beatty Amanda Edwards Adriana Gosselin Index by Campus

Team Player

Teaching: A Team Effort Teamwork Multiplies the Success The Out of Work Comedian My True Calling Selfless Service Team Power > Pedal Power Pay It Forward A Group Effort We Are In This Together!

45 46 47 47 48 48 49 49 50


Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District


The Spotlight Teacher Award

What does it mean to be an exemplary teacher? The district's Portrait of a CFISD Teacher describes these characteristics. Instructional Strategist Creator of Student-centered Environment Positive Role Model Lifelong Learner Team Player The annual Spotlight program in Cypress-Fairbanks--now in its 26th year--is the district's way of recognizing our classroom teachers who demonstrate these qualities day-in and dayout to make a difference in the lives of our students. Though each campus has a full cast and crew of star-quality performers, Spotlight allows each principal to select one teacher to be in the spotlight, center stage, so that we may honor that individual's performance. This publication is set up as an informal sharing of real-life stories. Sometimes, when our lives are bombarded by volumes of paper, information, reports, and other impersonal data, a personal story can have a powerful impact in reminding us that we are not dealing with statistics, but with human beings--children--and that each one is special. The narratives that follow were submitted by the 2011 Spotlight teachers, who were asked to choose one of the five dimensions of the Portrait and relate a personal "success story" from their experiences as a teacher or because of a teacher. The stories relate how the teachers developed these qualities in themselves or how these qualities observed in someone else provided personal or professional inspiration. Some honorees recount childhood memories from their own days as students, while some describe pivotal moments in their careers involving especially memorable students, colleagues, or events. We hope you will be entertained and inspired by these insights from our teachers honored in this year's Spotlight.

Although stories in this booklet may depict actual children, fictitious names have been used to protect privacy.


Spotlight, Volume XXVI

2011 Spotlight

is a publication of Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District 10300 Jones Road Houston, TX 77065-4208


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Microsoft Word - Spotlight Booklet XXVI, May, 2011.doc