LDS STUDENTS HONOR NORTH TEXAS TEACHERS
Nearly three hundred North Texas teachers were honored by their students from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for excellence in teaching on the evenings of May 3-5, 2016. The teens from the Carroll, Grapevine-Colleyville, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, and Keller ISDs invited teachers who made a difference in their lives to join them for a dinner and a special program of song, video, and verse created by the youth just for them.
“[This event] is a highlight of the year for so many of our teachers and the only occasion that I am aware of where the teachers are honored by students,” said GCISD Trustee Karen Deakin.
At the event, which is in its seventh year, the teachers were given “the red carpet treatment.” The inviting students met their teachers upon arrival at the curb and escorted them down a red carpet, lined with cheering, clapping admirers, while the paparazzi snapped candid pictures. Once inside a professional photograph was taken of the teacher and the student which became part of the presentation they received.
“As the school year draws to an end in a few weeks, we wanted to take a few moments to recognize certain teachers we feel have cared, inspired, and encouraged us during our school experience. We are grateful you would come at our invitation tonight to give us the gift of your time to allow us to say thanks in our own simple way,” said the youthful emcees.
Each youth who had nominated an educator took a turn at the microphone to give a brief, heartfelt tribute to their teacher.
“I appreciate, look up to, and admire Mrs. [Gayle] Brown because she always has the most unique and fun lessons planned for us to do,” said twelve-year-old Tyler Young, an E A Young Academy student. “Mrs. Brown’s greatest quality is how nice and forgiving she can be while still giving us a great education.”
Daria Ludlow, age 17, a Tarrant County College student, addressed her teacher directly when she said, “Dr. [Donovan] Hufnagle, you are such an influential individual in my life. The supportive attitude you had toward me last semester both astonished and humbled me. I appreciate your humor and friendly demeanor in the classroom, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity to join Cornerstone. You have impacted me more than you know. Thank you.”
David Clemmons, who teaches US History at Keller High School, perhaps spoke for all the teachers in attendance when he said, “It is truly an honor to be invited. I want you to know how much this means to the teachers.
“You cannot be a teacher if you don’t have faith—faith in the future and faith in the kids who come to your classroom every day. You also have to have faith that what you do matters for the long haul. The immediate rewards for teachers are few and far between. We have to have faith that what we do has an impact on our students. We have to have faith that those little incremental, day to day kinds of things we do for kids will someday manifest itself in their lives, work, and the effects those lives have on other people.
“We have to have faith that, something that we say or do will have a positive impact, even if we never hear a thank you or even if we never hear back from our students once they move on. We have to have faith that what we do truly matters in the lives of our students even when, in many cases, we never hear the results.
“So, thank you for putting your faith in us. Lastly, thank you so very much for acknowledging the work that we are doing now and the impact we are,currently, having on your children. We do so appreciate your time and efforts.”
A video, created by Michelle Howard, 16, of Keller, featuring a song by the students was presented to the teachers and can be viewed at
The Teacher Appreciation Night event has grown in scale and scope over the last seven years and was attended by many community leaders, including mayors, city council leaders, ISD superintendents, school administrators, school board members, and Latter-day Saint ecclesiastical leaders.
The teachers who were honored are as follow:
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Area Teachers
Julie Allen, Elisabeth Armstrong. Jessica Bell, Clint Bland, Kathryn Burkhart, Kerri Carter, Steven Chippeaux, Lori Cleveland, Amanda Dearing, Erin Dedwylder, Stacey Densley,
Jacqueline Devino, Amy Dietrich, Eileen Fairbanks, Courtney Farmer, Gyna Gober, Caroline Goodwin, Christina Hayes, Deborah Hedges, Connie Hickson, Josh Howard, Stephanie Klocke, Kim Lackey, Chris Laney, Janet Loucks, Sonya Loughran, Virginia McCauley, Lindsay McClendon, Rick Miller, Jeremy Mills, Jeffrey Nisbet, Casey Noor, Jamie Nutt, Dorothea Polydoros, Trish Rapp, Kelly Richey, Thomas Rinn, Barbara Robertson, Paul Schmidt, Trelawny Shepard, Erin Smith, Leslie Spaeny, Nicholas Thomas, Dianna Trang, Stephanie Vandendyck, Jeffrey Whitehead, Robin Young, and Ahmad Zaidan
Carroll ISD and Area Teachers
Dusty Allen, Cindi Arnold, Melissa Bailey, Wendy Beechler, Jenny Bowen, Lauren Canafax, Mitch Christoffer, Matthew Colvin, Tracey Dearing, Carol DeVinny, Kathryn Dobrow, Jessica Donosky, Chase Epley, Heidi Florcruz, Connie Gilbreth, Sam Graff, Jaimee Hilliard, Chad Jurecka, Cammie Justus, Linda Lacava, Carol Lee Fowler, Shatina Lewis, Charlie Liles, Fran Loewen, Mrs. Lombardo, Keeley Lowery, Melody Lundy, Eddie Morman, Brenda Nathmen, Karen Otto, John P. Irish, Evan Ramos, Marla Ringel, Rebecca Rosendahl, Kimberly Ross, Anne Rozell, Lisa Sawyer, Mary Stockton, Jan Stolze, Jared Sutton, Samantha Taylor, Thomas Tubbs, Larry Vucan, Amber Walker, Deborah Warner, _______ Weber, Jenifer Wehmeyer, Ginny Wenger, Ryan Wilson, and Michael Wyrick
HEB ISD and Area Teachers
Reza Azizi, Angela Barraclough, Doyle Bellville, Brian Cambra, Michael Dean, Marcy Fitch, Tamara Haddad, Tara Hernandez, Laura Hosier, Melissa Kennedy, Clinton Kygar, Mary Maneikis, Stephanie McCollum, Hanna Measley, Kevin Mello, Niele Richardson, Kimberly Rutherford, Rachel Seldon, Shannon Smith, Jordan Tally, Andrea Tietjen, Casey Tribble, Tara Truex, Lisa Walton, and Marci Ward
Keller ISD and Area Teachers
Ashli Abernathy, Samantha Acosta, Linda Allen, Jenna Anderson, Dawn Arrington, Mitchell Austin, Eileen Bain, Candis Barber, Ann Barnes, Amber Berube, Jolynn Blake, Bethany Booth, Stace Bowen, John Branch, Gayle Brown, Kelley Bucklew, Amanda Bunch, Byron Bundy, Kerri Carter, Frank Chapple, David Clemmons, Bill Cox, Phillip Daurio, Laura Davis, Kevin Duncan, Mary Dunn, Mindie Elrod, Carla Epperson, Christina Evans, Ellen Fabry. Monica Flores, Judy Flynn, Laura Gainous, Lianna Gantz, Deborah Garoui, Chris Glenn, Patrick Gow, Ann Gventer, Ryan Haines, Kristin Harris, Ryan Heath, Donovan Hufnagle, Amy James, Susan Kennedy, Keith Killebrew, Chi-Chi King, Chelsea Kreis, Logan Lacy, Wendy Larriba, Michael Le, Brittany Leisy, Blake Lentz, Dana Lewandowski, Sandra McCorkle, Carey McNutt, Mark Meredith, Arthur Mickles, Kaitlyn Miller, Stephenie Miller, Wendy Minjares, Lisa Moorhead, Emily Morrow, Michelle Muckelroy, Liliana Nedzelska, Suzi New, Ashley Noble, Karen Parsons, Shannon Raaz, Shane Riddle, Garrett Roberson, Jael Rojas, Connie Roquemore, Benjamin Rundell, Megan Schank, James Schee, Shawn Schmuck, Sara Schochler. Paul Shabay, Denise Shedler, Mary Snow, Nancy Stafford, Kimberly Tavarez, Rhonda Tharp, Hal Theodore, Charlie Tomlinson, Brian Traughber, Karin Urbanczyk, Kristofor Vogel, Russell Wharton, Connie Whitener, Laurie Williams, Kim Williams, Kim Yarbro, EA Young, and Corrie Zabela
Photography by Dony Dawson Portraits and Lindsay Walden