Teaching is more than a profession, Dr. Fagen says.
A 2-year-old is handed an iPhone. Within seconds, he finds the correct movie app, begins the cartoon, realizes the cartoon is in the middle, so works his little fingers to start the cartoon from the beginning.
“A 2-year-old!” Humble ISD Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen exclaimed to the capacity crowd Oct. 18 at the Lake Houston Area Chamber’s annual Salute to Teachers at the Humble Civic Center.
Fagen was praising the 60 teachers from Humble ISD, schools east of I-45 in Spring ISD, area private schools and Teachers of Excellence from Lone Star College-Kingwood and, at the same time, creatively featuring videos during her PowerPoint presentation.
“From the beginning of time, teachers have prepped students for their future jobs,” Fagen said, “and as you can imagine, the jobs we’re preparing them for are different from the jobs we prepared them for when I started teaching.”
And the students that teachers must prepare for those new jobs have changed as well, Fagen pointed out as she played the video of the 2-year-old easily operating an iPhone.
“The context of our work has changed,” she said. “Teachers now must unlock the capabilities of youngsters like that 2-year-old you saw in the video who already demonstrates complex thinking.”
Some students are hurting, Fagen explained, as she described a young girl in her mother’s seventth-grade class who had chopped off the fronts of her shoes.
“This is Iowa. It’s cold. My mom asked the little girl why she cut her shoes Fagen,” recalled. The little girl told her that she had to because the shoes didn’t fit anymore.
“You know that teaching is more than a profession,” said Fagen. “We care deeply for our students and their needs go beyond school.”
She then played a touching scene from the movie, “Freedom Writers,” in which a young man, reading his writing assignment to his classmates, describes his family being evicted from their home.
“Why go to school if I’m homeless,” the young man reads emotionally, “but I go into my teacher’s classroom and I am home.”
“Teachers will do anything, even move heaven and earth in order to give kids what they need,” Fagen said. “I see it time and again. Teachers motivate students to exceed because we believe in them.”
She described education as both exciting and challenging.
“You are pioneers,” Fagen told the teachers, “going down a path never explored. Working together is an important aspect of our success.”
Fagen thanked the teachers, and then they received their awards plus commendations from Congressman Ted Poe, State Rep. Dan Huberty and Houston City Council Member Dave Martin.
To close out the occasion, students from River Pines Elementary School popped up on the screen and told the teachers, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
The Lake Houston Area Chamber will recognize small businesses at their annual Salute to Small Business Luncheon Nov. 15 at 11:30 a.m., at the Clubs of Kingwood. The luncheon also will include a Victory Party as the Chamber’s Total Resource Campaign comes to an end. Total sales will be announced and top producers will be revealed. Register at lakehouston.org.
Humble ISD – Teachers of the Year
Atascocita Springs Elementary - Jennifer King, 3rd Grade
Bear Branch Elementary - Meghan Goodman, 1st Grade
Deerwood Elementary - Donna Acosta, 3rd Grade
Eagle Springs Elementary - Samesia Hamlett, Special Education
Elm Grove Elementary - Sarah Watson, Kindergarten
Fall Creek Elementary - Aaron Austin, 5th Grade
Foster Elementary - Kelly Tomasino, 5th Grade
Greentree Elementary - Julia Arcuri, 4th Grade
Hidden Hollow Elementary - Glenda Taylor Carlos, 4th Grade
Humble Elementary - Giselle Torres, Kindergarten
Jack Fields Elementary - Maria Teros, 4th Grade
Lakeland Elementary - Sarah Szczepaniec, 5th Grade
Lakeshore Elementary - Courtney Turner, 1st Grade
Maplebrook Elementary - Wendy Walker, 1st Grade
North Belt Elementary - Lorena Curiel, 1st Grade Bilingual
Oak Forest Elementary - DeLynn Buchanan, Special Education
Oaks Elementary - Helen Suan, 2nd Grade
Park Lakes Elementary - Darrell Rogers, Special Education
Pine Forest Elementary - Jennifer Howard, 5th Grade
Ridge Creek Elementary - Patrick Andrus, 5th Grade
River Pines Elementary - Beatriz Anaya, 2nd Grade Dual Language
Shadow Forest Elementary - Julie Chriswell, Special Education
Summerwood Elementary - Courtney Breeding, Kindergarten
Timbers Elementary - Laura Smith, 2nd Grade
Whispering Pines Elementary - Merideth Seiler, Kindergarten
Willow Creek Elementary - Joylyn Trigg, Kindergarten
Woodland Hills Elementary - Samantha Morgenroth, 4th Grade
Atascocita Middle - Tedisha Jack, Science
Creekwood Middle - Michelle McCrary, Social Studies
Humble Middle - Tischia Gordan Special Education
Kingwood Middle - Skye Kenny, Math
Riverwood Middle - Sarah Zerface, Special Education
Ross Sterling Middle - Falisa Watson, RELA
Timberwood Middle - Brooke Twing, Reading Strategies
Woodcreek Middle - Darryl Legaspi, Science
Atascocita High - Virgilio Davis, Spanish, Art
Humble High - Brandy Rood, Theatre Arts
Kingwood High - Rex Wolf, Math
Kingwood Park High - Glenn A. Taylor III, Physics
Quest Early College High - Angela Morales, Spanish
Summer Creek High - Julie Sahmel, Student Leadership
Cambridge School - Jeremy Traughber, MOSAIC
Career & Technology Ed. Center - David Srubar, Technology and Business
Disciplinary Alternative Ed. Program - Vernon Massey, 6th – 12th Grade
Spring ISD – Teachers of the Year
Wendy Lindsey - Salyers Elementary School
Holly Pusok - Burchett Elementary School
Roberto Martin Soracco - Cooper Elementary School
Charles E. Dorsey Jr. - Hirsch Elementary School
Kenny Moses - Jenkins Elementary School
Francis Burgarin - McNabb Elementary School
Lori Douglass - Northgate Elementary School
Brittani Hatten - Booker Elementary School
Lindsey McCullough - Dueitt Middle School
Chase Gregory Jones - Twin Creeks Middle School
Sara McLain - Spring High School
Humble Christian School – Teachers of the Year
Wanda Puckett – Elementary
Renessa Washington – High School
Holy Trinity Episcopal School – Teachers of the Year
Lone Star College – Kingwood – Teachers of the Year
Steve Davis – Professor of History
Lisa Darling – Professor of English