Reciting a story about how a teacher can share more than book knowledge, Weatherford ISD Board of Trustees member Dave Cowley once again emotionally gave a reason why he adamantly loves teachers.
At the annual WISD Teacher of Year luncheon April 29, Cowley explained that when he was in school, one of his teachers had lost her husband and about a week after she returned to the classroom, she stood in front of the class and shared a lesson that he carries with him to this day.
“She told us to learn, love, share and appreciate life,” he said. “She asked us to find something beautiful to notice every day...and I have done that ever since.”
That behind, it was time for Cowley to announce to the eager crowd who the district’s teachers of the year were, taken from the pool of each campus’ winners. This year’s honors went to Jenny Stilwell from Wright Elementary and Staci Tharp from Weatherford High School.
Stilwell received a $1,500 check from Texas Bank Financial and Tharp received a $2,500 check (or $5,000 off a vehicle) from Jerry’s. Both will represent WISD and move into the running for the region’s teacher of the year.
In addition to Stilwell and Tharp being honored, each campus’ teachers were recognized. The winners were Laura Baird, Tison Middle School; Natalie Hansen, WHS Ninth Grade Center; Teresa Vasquez, Hall Middle School; Richele Gift, Austin Elementary; Nita Free, Crockett Elementary; Linda McAfee, Seguin Elementary; Katie Pitman, Curtis Elementary; Annette Baker, Martin Elementary; and Staci Lawson, Ikard Elementary.
Also shown was a video made of students talking about what teachers mean to them. Many talked about teachers influencing them beyond the classroom and how the actual classwork they are doing seems more than just busy work.
The annual lunch is sponsored by First Financial Bank and held at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center. Attendees were treated to a catered lunch by Baker’s Ribs and cupcakes from Ultimate Cupcake. Additionally, FFB gave a kangaroo lapel pin to everyone at the event.