Every weekday, the massive school building just off Beltway 8 at West Lake Houston Parkway near Lockwood Road transforms itself.

“At noon, 2,300 Summer Creek students leave the building and 2,700 Kingwood students enter,” said Kingwood High School Principal Ted Landry.

“At noon, Summer Creek High School becomes Kingwood High School,” said Summer Creek High School Principal Brent McDonald.

“Of course, it’s a logistical challenge every day,” Landry admitted.

“But our kids, from both schools, are resilient. They’re handling it well,” said McDonald. “The parents, well, it’s not all rosy.”

Each October, the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce honors area teachers from Humble and Spring ISDs, area private schools and Lone Star College-Kingwood.

This year’s Teachers of the Year luncheon was a unique experience featuring Landry and McDonald, who discussed the challenges they faced when Kingwood High School flooded and teachers from Kingwood and Summer Creek discovered they’d be sharing the same building.

“Imagine you leave on Friday, all ready for classes to begin on Monday,” Landry told the teachers and Chamber members, “and everything is destroyed.”
“Kingwood needed our help,” McDonald answered.

“And our priority at Kingwood was the need to stay together,” Landry said. “Thanks to so many people, but especially to the Summer Creek kids and their parents, we were ready – in two weeks – for school to start.”

“Naturally, we selected the school farthest from us,” Landry said to laughter from the audience, “but our teachers stepped up to the challenge. As all of you in this room today know, we teach because we know we can make a difference.”

“I’m so proud of our students and parents as well,” said McDonald. “It’s not about the time spent teaching but really about the quality of the teaching. Frankly, we’re doing such a great job, maybe administration will see next year that we should adjourn at 11:30 a.m. every day.”

Besides the chamber award, teachers of the year were recognized by U.S. Congressman Ted Poe, Texas State Representative Dan Huberty, Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle and Houston City Council Member Dave Martin.

Teachers who were honored were:
Holy Trinity Episcopal School: Aremy Silva.

Humble Christian School: Theresa Wynn, Sherry Dobson and Ashley Edwards.

The Rhodes School: Humble Campus-Monet Calhoun, North Shore Campus-Csharis Knight, Southeast Campus-Damaris Givens, and Northwest Campus-Mia Martin.

Lone Star College-Kingwood: Stephanie Andrews, Marcia Callarman and Brenda Stubbs.

Humble ISD- Elementary Schools: Atascocita Springs Elementary-Tara Rogers, Bear Branch Elementary-Francesca Newman, Deerwood Elementary-Robin Robinson, Eagle Springs Elementary-Erika Mitcham, Elm Grove Elementary-Kristen Adrian, Fall Creek Elementary-Katie Hathorn, Foster Elementary-Holley Chancey, Greentree Elementary-Dani Galiano, Hidden Hollow Elementary-Laura Horne, Humble Elementary-Desiree Moore, Jack M. Fields, Sr. Elementary-Lissa McGovern, Lakeland Elementary-Gail Garcia-Martinez, Lakeshore Elementary-Sherry Grimes, Maplebrook Elementary-Erin Conry, North Belt Elementary-Aira Uribe, Oak Forest Elementary-Mary Hughes, Oaks Elementary-Amanda Yarberry, Park Lakes Elementary-Pininna Herndon, Pine Forest Elementary-Cheryl Avina, Ridge Creek Elementary-Melissa Miller, River Pines Elementary-Margie Potter, Shadow Forest Elementary-Lori Rose, Summerwood Elementary-Phil O’Neal, Timbers Elementary-Christian Pugh, Whispering Pines Elementary-Juliana Schone, Willow Creek Elementary-Laura Ausburn, and Woodland Hills Elementary-Kristina (Faith) Monks.
Humble ISD- Middle Schools: Atascocia Middle School-Priscilla Kovacik, Creekwood Middle-Ellen Chaney, Humble Middle-Tomekka Williams, Kingwood Middle-Michelle Neyrey, Riverwood Middle-Shayla Green Ross, Sterling Middle-Kashekia Smith, Timberwood Middle-Heather Syska, and Woodcreek Middle-Cornelia Patterson.

Humble ISD- High Schools: Atascocita High-Carlee Kennedy, Career & Technology Ed. Center-Kira Hassler-Newsome, Community Learning Center-Esperonsa McGee, Humble High-Saul Tapia, Kingwood High-David Kniess, Kingwood Park High-Amy Balke, Quest Early College High-Brett Crawford, Summer Creek High-Hayley Hueske.

Spring ISD- Elementary Schools: Anderson Elementary-Julia Bukowski, Booker Elementary-Karla Villela, Burchett Elementary-Brittney Williams, Cooper Elementary-Detrick Jones, Hirsch Elementary-LaTresa Patterson, Jenkins Elementary-Shelly Fine, Marshall Elementary-Yavondalon King, McNabb Elementary-Terrance O’Neil, Northgate Crossing Elementary-Sara Ann Kreines, Salyers Elementary-Iliana Espinoza, Smith Elementary-LeKesha Malveaux, and Winship Elementary-Haley Darby.

Spring ISD Middle Schools: Bailey Middle-Aurick Smither, Dueitt Middle-Linda Olisa, and Twin Creeks Middle-LaTasha Dixon.

Spring ISD High Schools: Dekaney High-Robert Mallory, Spring High-Jami El-Aazami, Wunsche Career Academy-Mariana Juarez.

After the awards, Linda Olisa of Dueitt Middle School in Spring ISD was the lucky winner of an iPad presented by Awards Sponsor Community Resource Credit Union.

The chamber will hold its annual Salute to Small Business at a luncheon on Nov. 16, 11:30 a.m. at the Golf Club of Houston. For more information or to register, call 281-446-2128 or visit www.lakehouston.org.

Tom Broad
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Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.