Bullard ISD seeking input for annual Teacher of the Year, Support Staff of the Year programs


The administration of Bullard Independent School is continuing a program aimed at celebrating the contributions made by Bullard ISD teachers through the annual Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year programs.

“Bullard ISD has great staff members that go above and beyond to ensure that our students receive a quality education,” said Laura Jones, Bullard ISD Communications/Human Resources Specialist. “From our janitors and bus drivers to office staff and teachers, we are blessed to have employees that put kids first every day. The dedication and passion of our staff is critical to the success of our school district. Through the Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year program, we are able to create an opportunity to formally recognize those teachers and staff members, on every campus level, which set themselves apart as exemplary individuals.”

According to Jones, the purpose of Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year program is to not only to recognize teachers at the campus and district level, but to tie the program into the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Teacher of the Year program, with the potential for the selected teacher to advance to regional, state, and national Teacher of the Year contests.

“Each campus will have a Selection Committee comprised of an administrator and multiple peers who will review all applicants and select the Campus Teacher of the Year for each school,” said Jones. “Teachers will be evaluated based upon recommendations and overall excellence -- in the classroom, as role models, and as valuable members of the Bullard community.”

After the Teachers of the Year are selected from the six Bullard ISD campuses, the teachers will then be evaluated by a district-wide selection committee, which will select one Elementary District Teacher of the Year, including teachers from pre-Kindergarten to sixth grade, as well as one Secondary District Teacher of the Year, ranging from seventh to 12th grades.

According to Jones, some of the factors that will be considered as part of the Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year selection process include the ability to inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn; the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues; and play an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school.

Students, parents, and community members nominating Bullard ISD teachers for the Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year program are encouraged to address a number of factors in their recommendation, including teaching skill and dedication; respect for and rapport with students with parents and/or coworkers; and contributions to school and/or community groups and activities.

Jones said the Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year program helps to better the quality of education provided to Bullard ISD students.

“Our future lies with our students, and our teachers play a significant role in shaping students’ lives and futures,” said Jones. “By recognizing exceptional teachers, we are simply saying thank you for the hard work, time, dedication and support they put into the students of Bullard ISD. Their commitment to excellence in teaching, encouraging students, and community involvement set them apart as role models for the next generation.”

According to Jones, the Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year program will be sponsored by Cooperative Teachers Credit Union. CTCU will provide awards for each campus teacher selected, as well as a prize for the District Teachers of the Year selected through the program.

All of the teachers selected as Bullard ISD Teachers of the Year will be honored at an event scheduled for the end of the school year.

In its first year during the 2015-2016 school year, Bullard ISD teachers selected as Teachers of the Year included Bullard Primary School Interventionist Gwen Dupree, Bullard Elementary School Second Grade Teacher Robin Smith, Bullard Intermediate School Fifth Grade Science Teacher Lisa Langston, Bullard Middle School Eighth Grade Language Arts Teacher Alison Walker, and Bullard High School Anatomy and Physiology Teacher Diana Turner.

For the inaugural awards, Bullard ISD Superintendent Todd Schneider recognized Dupree and Turner as the Bullard ISD Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, respectively.

Finalists named Bullard ISD Teachers of the Year during the program’s second year included Bullard Early Childhood Campus kindergarten teacher Alicia Rhodes, BPS second grade teacher April Smith; BES third grade teacher Jane Hall, BIS sixth grade social studies teacher Lori Kotzur, BMS reading teacher Marcia Lierman, and BHS Algebra I and math lab teacher Susan Paddack.

For the 2017-2018 school year at Bullard ISD, Schneider presented the Elementary Teacher of the Year award to Hall, as well as the Secondary Teacher of the Year award to Lierman.

In addition to the Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year Program, the district will also continue to honor those employees who excel in their job performance in a background role amongst the campuses, as well as district-wide.

“Our Support Staff of the Year program is a way for us to recognize those employees who sometimes work behind the scene or maybe aren’t well known,” said Jones. “This award can be presented to a receptionist, office staff, cafeteria staff, janitorial staff, cafeteria staff, bus drivers, and administration office staff members, among others. Our support staff is integral; our school district would not be able to function without them. The majority of our staff at Bullard ISD not teachers, so our success lies with our support staff every day.”

According to Jones, a total of seven Support Staff of the Year finalists will be selected for the award, representing one from each of Bullard ISD’s campuses, as well as an overall Bullard ISD selection.

The nomination process for the Bullard ISD Support Staff of the Year program is different than its Teacher of the Year counterpart, in that the former is nominated and selected internally by Bullard ISD staff members and teachers.

Bullard ISD support staff members recognized and honored as Bullard ISD Support Staff of the Year award finalists during the 2016-2017 school year included Bullard Early Childhood cafeteria manager Amanda Culpepper, BPS life skills paraprofessional Brittany Wright, BES custodian Cathleen Terry, BIS librarian Renee Gardner, BMS paraprofessional Jann Sanders, BHS custodian Sindy Senter, and Bullard ISD maintenance director Mack Davis, with the Support Staff of the Year award being presented by Schneider to Culpepper.

Jones said that a group of local donors have contributed for the Support Staff of the Year award, showing the community’s support throughout the district.

Nominations for the BISD Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year programs end Monday, March 19.

After making the selections for the two programs, Bullard ISD will recognize the district’s Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year winners, as well as the district’s Support Staff of the Year winner, at a banquet event in May.

For more information about the Bullard ISD Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year programs, visit www.bullardisd.net.