Westlake HS EANESpiration Winners, 2021
Those who display leadership and commitment to the district by making a positive, noticeable and significant impact.
Katie Bryant, Student Support Counselor & Diane Dealy, Principal’s Secretary
Katie and Diane made our Outdoor Classroom happen. They worked so hard to design and stage the outdoor classroom last year, without even knowing how valuable an outdoor classroom would be during a global pandemic. They - and our amazing PTO - provided a space for kids to keep learning outdoors in a safer atmosphere than in the classroom. Every day I see it being used by students and teachers throughout the day and kids during lunch. It has become an invaluable resource for our school community, and it is a beautiful place to sit throughout the day. They took on this project and worked for over two years to make it happen and make it beautiful!
Cathy Cluck, AP History Teacher
Cathy Cluck has been a recognized teacher at Westlake High School for the entirety of her career focusing on innovative instruction and building positive relationships with staff and students. This year, amid a pandemic and an anxious start to the year, Cathy used our remote situation to take her students on a field trip across the Eastern Seaboard, remote teaching from some of the most important locations in American History. Her actions earned her a national spotlight and brought attention to not only her excellence but the amazing ideas and opportunities Eanes ISD encourages for our staff and students alike.
Lindsay Joe, Dance Teacher, Hyline and Star Stepper Director
Lindsay continues to fight for her programs and gives them as many opportunities as possible during this challenging year. She is encouraging and spreads joy every day! Lindsay advocates for her program so much! Anytime we face a covid related problem, she is right there with safe solutions to make sure the dance teams still have a wonderful year! She is hard-working, loving and brings excellence out of people. She pushes dancers to help them to meet their full potential with encouragement and kindness. Her students adore her and know how hard she works for them. Westlake is lucky to have her!
Alison Leifeste, Special Education Teacher and Cheerleading Coach
Alison is one of the hardest-working employees I know at Westlake High School. She is one of the first people on campus and the last to leave every day. Alison goes above and beyond to dedicate her time to various classrooms, programs, and departments at Westlake and never complains about her enormous workload. She is the lead teacher of the special education department and spends uncountable hours making sure our department runs smoothly - especially with the constant and unpredictable changes we have had in our staffing due to COVID; working both during and outside of her work hours without complaining. When a teacher needs assistance with any of their special education paperwork or how to serve a student on their caseload, Alison will immediately drop her own work to help her fellow teachers out. On top of that, Alison is a vital member of the English department here at WHS and one of the cheerleading coaches. She spends most of her nights and weekends at WHS sporting events sponsoring and coaching the cheerleaders. If you talk to any parents, students, or staff that have had the pleasure of working with Alison they have nothing but positive things to say about her. She is by far one of our best English and special education teachers on campus and a beloved cheerleading coach. Our department and Westlake High School would not be the same place without Alison!
Caleb Phillips, English Teacher and Student Council Sponsor
Caleb goes above and beyond to help our school be a better place for students, teachers, and administrators. He is a positive and innovative teacher in the classroom with his English students, always pushing students to think critically and creatively about issues of importance. In addition, he is the Student Council Sponsor for the school where he helps build character amongst students that lead our campus. Caleb also helps lead his peers on campus in his role with the Teacher Innovation Academy. As a Co-Captain of this group, Caleb helps plan and facilitate sessions, in an effort to build the community and innovation amongst 30 other teachers on campus. Caleb has had a positive impact on students in his class, teachers in our school, and families in our community over the past five years.
Casey Suchko, World History and French Teacher
Casey Suchko has proven herself time and again an innovative leader in the World History Department. Mariam Yaghi says, “Casey is a leader and one of the hardest working teachers I know. She has helped the PLC immensely with her drive and interest in World History. Absolutely love working with her.” Alan Abbe adds, “Casey has been instrumental in bringing the World History PLC into the 21st century with new ideas and new ways for us to deliver instruction. The depth of knowledge she has about her subject matter as well as her positive, can-do attitude has definitely made a major impact on her students.” “She is very patient with those of us that aren’t as tech-savvy,” says Brian Vasek. “She is always taking the time to explain and show examples of how to better use technology.” Cory Maxwell says, “With me being the new teacher to the team she has helped me with meeting people, assignments, google classroom, docs, etc., new teaching ideas and strategies. She is a great department chair and has become a great mentor and friend!” Robert Lucero mentions that “Casey has not only taken care of our PLC and led us, she has also taken on the role of sponsor for both the Muslim and Jewish student groups. She shows the students the same dedication she shows our team.” Finally, Tom Bartlett sums it up with, “Always two steps ahead, with a friendly smile and a fresh idea!”
One who displays compassion, selflessness, or courage by taking initiative.
Laura Avery, Parent Volunteer
Laura Avery has acted as the Parent Liaison for WHS Best Buddies for the past two years. In her role, Laura has helped to organize various events to support the Best Buddies mission of meaningful friendships and inclusive opportunities for students at Westlake High School. She has helped to organize fundraisers as well as activities that impact the Austin community. In December, Laura was instrumental in helping connect Best Buddies and the YMCA to host an event in which students created Holiday Care Kits to hand out to the homeless. Laura's support of Best Buddies has helped the program grow and stay connected during a time when connection has been difficult for many. Thank you, Laura!
Lisa Lawrence, Parent Volunteer, Swim & Dive Parent President
Lisa has served as our president of our parent volunteers for several years. She is extremely selfless in helping the coaching staff and team be at their best for our meets. She has aided in team gear, making sure we have volunteers for events, snacks and water for the kids for every meet, banquet logistics, etc. While she works full time, her heart for the kids shines through and she is ready to help always. She has been incredibly kind, and wonderful to work with.
Those who perform an outstanding achievement that brings prestige to Eanes ISD, or do something that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
Lorenzo Barbosa, Stadium Manager
With limited Grounds/M&O staff, Lorenzo takes care of the athletic facilities as almost a one-man show. He will take care of all requests to help and assist with daily tasks, but also extra requests that require after-hours work. He makes and keeps our facilities in good condition and something we can all be proud of. I nominated him for the hero award because he has a job we take for granted, but because of his great pride in his work and the school, he goes above and beyond to keep Westlake facilities a point of pride.
Cindy Blaydon, Parent Volunteer
Cindy donated many hundreds of masks for students, staff, and anyone entering our buildings to use. She is always thinking of ways to support our students and has been especially helpful to our Health Science programs. She is a dedicated Chap parent who has always let us know she is ready to help any way she can. Wow! She has really outdone herself this year! Thanks so much Cindy.
Garrick Gonzales, Special Education Collaborative Teacher & Coach
Garrick helps by taking attendance every single class we work together all year and does a great job. He has always shown to be professional, collaborative, and student-focused. He comes to class with a great attitude and quite often brings breakfast for co-workers. Garrick always offers to make copies, etc. ...anything to help out. He is an advocate for his students and holds students accountable while helping them grow in their skills. He is a dedicated teacher, a motivated coach, and an example for both staff and students. Garrick is an encouragement and pleasure to be around.
Jami Lewis, Special Education Teacher
Jami has done a fantastic job supporting the behavior support team and our students during this crazy year. Jami has proven to be a valued colleague when it comes to providing sound advice and being present to listen/support. Not only does Jami value the thoughts and feelings of staff, but she also provides engaging insight and next steps in order to create a more positive environment for staff and students.
Those who implement a creative or innovative program, teaching method, cost-savings, etc.
Jay Kamm, Parent Volunteer
Jay has been an actively involved Eanes parent, sharing his knowledge and skills for the technology field. Jay has been an active member of district technology groups such as the TAC and DLTF for the past several years. He has collaborated with staff and administration to lend the parent voice to conversations from a position focused on student and teacher success. He has volunteered his time to innovate procedures and practices. In addition, Jay has assisted campus staff in identifying staff websites that need attention by developing a simple script to find sites that need settings adjustments. This assistance has saved support staff countless hours of checking each site. this is a great example of how individual knowledge and skills can serve the community for good. Jay exemplifies the relationship between employees and parents that improves the lives of all involved.