Exemplary Teachers

Special to the Weatherford Democrat

Seventeen area educators were among 35 teachers from across the region honored by Weatherford College at the 2021 Jack Harvey Academy of Exemplary Teachers celebration recently at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.

Seventeen area educators were among 35 teachers from across the region honored by Weatherford College at the 2021 Jack Harvey Academy of Exemplary Teachers celebration recently at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.

Celebrating its 25th year, the Harvey Academy honors exemplary teachers in the memory of Professor Emeritus Jack Harvey, who taught at WC for 23 years and was considered among his peers as a “master teacher.”

The honorees, along with an excerpt from their nomination letters, are:

Catherine Williams, 10th-12th grade AP history and economics at Aledo High School in Aledo ISD

“Mrs. Williams designs relevant, rigorous work that challenges her students to think at high levels. She is continuously looking for ways to improve and grow, demonstrating a love of learning and growth mindset for her students.”

Randi Coffey, special educa- tion — English language arts and reading at Azle High School in Azle ISD

“Ms. Coffey has strong content knowledge and provides leader- ship for the special education department. She goes above and beyond expectations to reach every student and to be of assistance to her teachers.” Tina Harper, eighth grade English and U.S. history at Brock Junior High in Brock ISD

“She has helped develop a curriculum to tie English and history together to create a unique experience for all eighth-grade students.”

Holli Pontremoli, kindergarten through eighth grade PE and outdoor education at Garner ISD

“Her creativity and pas- sion create memorable PE and outdoor experiences that bring learning to life. Whether it’s teaching the little to ride bikes or the junior high students to cook gourmet meals over a campfire, her classes are always up to something awesome.”

Lily Cormack, middle and high school science and yearbook at Gordon ISD

“An outstanding example of a teacher who puts tre- mendous pride in forming meaningful and transfor- mative relationships with her students, families and her school community. The result is her students love learning science.”

Lisa Henderson, second grade math and science at Graford ISD

“Ms. Henderson truly has a heart for teaching. She cares for students and comes to school each day to make a difference. She attacks obstacles with a positive outlook and per- severes.”

Karen Buchanan, fourth grade science and social studies at Millsap Elemen- tary School in Millsap ISD

“She plans lessons that are cross-curricular and is always supporting other subjects. She serves on many committees because she truly cares about the success of our students in every aspect of their education.”

Margie McGhee, kindergarten at Lamar Elementary in Mineral Wells ISD

“Margie is a humble and behind-the-scenes teacher who takes the utmost pride in her professions. She does not seek recognition or accolades and is happiest in the classroom with her students.”

Glenda Valencia, fourth grade at Palo Pinto Elementary in Palo Pinto ISD

“She has an unmatched dedication to helping her students succeed. She will exhaust all avenues to ensure that every child is successful. Mrs. Valencia exemplifies who classroom teachers on today’s campus should strive to be.”

Erva Erwin, fourth grade science at Peaster Elementary in Peaster ISD

“Mrs. Erwin shares her joy of teaching by providing students with hands-on science lessons and labs with differenti- ated instruction. She sets

high expectations where students spend more time on tasks allowing for increased academic success.”

Lauren Draper, seventh-12th grade science at Perrin Junior High in Perrin-Whitt CISD

“Ms. Draper is highly motivated in all aspects of her job and holds every student to a high level of accountability. She has a diverse level of responsibility including junior high science and reading as well as junior high and high school theatre classes. She also coaches the cheer squad.”

Hope Sorrells, ninth- 12th grade agriculture education at Poolville High School in Poolville ISD

Mrs. Sorrells is a dedicated teacher to her kids, and that extends beyond her classroom walls. She is a supporter of their extra- curricular activities and puts in long hours preparing for their contests and livestock shows.”

Shanna Andreatta, fourth grade language arts at Santo Elementary in Santo ISD

“She is an expert at helping struggling kids improve their reading and writing skills and is that person in a school who can manage kids with special challenges with ease. Shanna is the kind of teacher that every parent hopes their child will be fortunate enough to have in their school years.”

Chelsea Strickland, sixth grade math at Springtown Intermediate School in Springtown ISD

“Chelsea has consistently proved to be a strong advocate for her students and has a sincere desire to see them succeed. She is patient and has a true gift when working with struggling learners. Any student who enters Chelsea’s classroom will have a tremendous opportunity to learn, thrive and find success.”

Kimberly DeNeefe, first grade at Trinity Christian Academy

“Regardless of the edu- cational needs of her students, she always finds the time to work with them and assist them in their learning. Incorporating fund games and activities in the curriculum, she is able to make learning fun, instilling a love of learning and school that stays with the students long after they have left her class.”

Charlotte Erwin, sixth grade math at Hall Middle School in Weatherford ISD

“Charlotte’s “proudest moment” happens on a pretty regular basis. It’s that moment that one of her students realizes they are capable. That moment they become confident in themselves. That moment when they are not afraid to take a risk and they are OK with being wrong because they know we learn from our mistakes.”

Dr. Diann Ainsworth, English instructor at Weatherford College

“Whether in the form of integrating innovative teaching practice or through providing inten- sive student feedback, Dr. Ainsworth’s commitment to teaching is to be admired. She supports the WC community as the co-sponsor of the Creative Writing Club, is an active member of the WC Learning Community and chaired the Curriculum and Academic Standards Committee.”

Other members of the 2020-21 Jack Harvey Academy of Exemplary Teachers are:

Alvord ISD — Carrie Morgan, fourth grade writing at Alvord Elementary

Birdville ISD — Erin Hippert, first grade at Hardeman Elementary

Bowie ISD — Holly Lawhorn, pre-K special education at Bowie Elementary

Boyd ISD — Blake Smith, math: calculus, college algebra, and college and career readiness at Boyd High School

Bridgeport ISD — Candice Bentley, third grade at Bridgeport Intermediate School

Bryson ISD — Laura Gregory, science: sixth grade, eighth grade and high school

Burleson ISD — Riki Bunch-Pettigrew, interventionist at STEAM Middle School

Castleberry ISD — Marshall Harrell, pre- kindergarten through fifth grade music at A.V. Cato Elementary

Chico ISD — Kathryn Dey, 10th-12th grade math at Chico High School

Elite Christian Academy — Ariel Platt, sixth-eighth grade

Gordon ISD — Lily Cormack, middle and high school science and year-book

Granbury ISD — Jairo Martinez, fourth grade at the Mambrino Elementary School STEAM Academy

Huckabay ISD — Vinnie Heller, eighth-12th grade agricultural sciences

Jacksboro ISD — Jennifer Conner, sixth grade English and reading specialist at Jacksboro Middle School

Joshua ISD — Camren Allred, eighth grade science at Lof lin Middle School

Lipan ISD — Vickie Posey, fourth-fifth grade math at Lipan Elementary

Muenster ISD — Jill Reiter, first grade at Muenster Elementary

Paradise ISD — Ashley Markum, kindergarten at Paradise Elementary

Stephenville ISD — Jenna Vrla, seventh grade English and language arts at Henderson Junior High

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