Donna Burrell was named Aldine ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year and Shannon Decena was named the district’s Secondary Teacher of the Year during Aldine ISD’s Educator of the Year Breakfast, held Friday, March 8 at the Hilton North Houston Hotel.
The four Teacher of the Year finalists were Krystle Harvey of Dunn Elementary School, Kari Dierks of Smith Elementary School, Kevin Guenther of Davis Ninth Grade School and Jarrod Fredericks of Victory Early College High School.
In addition, the district’s Principal’s of the Year were also announced at the breakfast. Raymond Stubblefield of Smith Elementary School was named the Elementary Principal of the Year and LaTonia Amerson of Eisenhower Ninth Grade School was named the district’s Secondary Principal of the Year. Elementary finalists were LaDon Ward of Conley Elementary School, and Sandra Doria of Thompson Elementary School. Secondary finalists were Jeana Morrison-Adams of Hoffman Middle School and Dr. Phyliss Cormier of Victory Early College High School.
“As a school leader, it is my responsibility to model and support structures that enhance open and honest communications,” Stubblefield said about how he sees his role as a principal. “The structures of effective communications must also be based on mutual respect and trust. I model and share my learning and goals to foster a culture of openness.”
Amerson said she believes it is imperative to develop trust with her staff and stakeholders.
“Establishing trust is key in opening the lines of communication with stakeholders,” she said. “My leadership style promotes trust, ensures a healthy culture, creates and builds partnerships, fosters collaboration, and demands respect for all people. When conversations are open and honest, our work as educators can move forward.”
Burrell believes it’s imperative that students buy into their education.
“Students are more likely to succeed if they believe that they are valuable as individuals,” she said. “I believe that students must gain ownership of their education to accomplish this goal. My desire is to ensure each of my students experience love for learning, an excitement in discovering and a secure feeling of belonging in a classroom.”
Decena said she relishes challenging her students to develop a love for math.
“My role as a teacher is to introduce students to a higher level of mathematics, which often leads to a new way of thinking about the world,” she said. “I love to teach my kids about the mechanics behind everyday items. I show them how the topic they are learning now will be applied and built upon in the next class or grade.”