Eanes ISD

Hill Country MS EANESpiration Winners, 2017

2017 HCMS Eanspiration Winners

Educational Impact Award

Those who display leadership and commitment to the district by making a positive, noticeable and significant impact.

Ms. Cheryl Floyd, Head Band Director

As the Head Band Director, Cheryl Floyd has demonstrated a consistent vision to not only increase student achievement when it comes to music performance, but also to participate in more activities that build and strengthen community through the study and performance of music. She inspires her students to perform at the highest levels. Her passion and dedication as a music educator and commitment to the flourishing of the Full Orchestra program has culminated in the recognition of her students as part of the Full Honor Orchestra at the 2017 Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio. This event positively impacted student and family lives and will be deeply cherished and remembered for a lifetime.

Ms. Alicia Lasby, Behavior Support Teaching Assistant

Ms. Lasby has been a teaching assistant for the Behavior Support team at HCMS for the past two years. She is always going above and beyond to make sure our students are feeling accepted, supported and always encourages them to be the best they can be. She has also been instrumental in taking charge of homework hall each day after school. She keeps up with what is going on in every grade and in every subject so that she is able to help as many students after school as possible. During her lunch, you can catch her updating an extensive spreadsheet of homework assignments, quizzes and tests so that she will be prepared after school.

Alicia works tirelessly with our students and constantly seeks ways to improve, including watching teachers model and then consistently applying what she learns from us in order to support the varying educational needs of our students. She seeks to understand student individual learning styles and adapt assignments to their needs. Alicia goes above and beyond to make sure students get what they need to be successful and we are truly grateful for her.

Ms. Jennifer Sims, Special Education Teacher

Ms. Sims exudes commitment and devotion to her students at Hill Country. Jennifer is always implementing the most effective strategies and the most creative materials for her students with special needs especially for those students with the most severe needs. Jennifer has found new, innovative and hands-on ways to teach difficult content to students with varying abilities. She has the knack of connecting the meaning of each lesson to each student's life. She does all of this with thoughtfulness, grace, and a continuing desire to improve herself. It is an honor and pleasure to work with such a dedicated educator.

Ms. Lee Ann Verret, Science Teacher

Lee Anne has taken the campus/district initiative to improve writing instruction and standards at the middle school level to heart and has implemented a Wednesday Writing activity in her science class, encouraging her students to write a little more week. Additionally, she goes the extra step of encouraging the students to work through the writing process by revising and editing one of the Wednesday writings and publishing that for a grade. It is wonderful to have this kind of ELA support from a science teacher, who could have said, "I don't have time for that in my curriculum." Lee Anne, however, understands that writing is thinking and writing can only enhance her curriculum. She is wonderful!

Ms. Sarah Yurko, Drama Teacher

Sarah Yurko is a teacher who brings a smile to everyone she encounters. she does this as she balances three different class preps, is directing the spring show, and for the past month has been out of her classroom due to septic issues. Sarah is the first to volunteer when someone needs help in covering a class, or a game for the pep rally or making a fun presentation with the Hill Country players at Eanes Elementary in their annual storybook fashion show. The joy that Sarah Yurko brings to her classes is infectious. Students are eager to take her classes, as they are fun and are learning theatre as a life lesson. Her students learn to work together with peers that are not always their friends, to relate/rehearse / rethink / re-purpose /represent. We are lucky to have such an intelligent, thoughtful, talented, flexible and fun person on our campus and in our hearts!

Heroes Award

Those who perform an outstanding achievement that brings prestige to Eanes ISD, or do something that goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Ms. Rachel Horvitz, Orchestra Director

Rachel Horvitz led our HCMS full orchestra students to be ranked the number one Texas music educator's orchestra in the state, an honor usually reserved for high school orchestras. How fortunate our middle schoolers are to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience! She achieved this, even though there is not a single class period dedicated to a full orchestra, with rehearsals conducted outside of the school day. With the help of Rachel, Cheryl Floyd and Charles Fischer, our HCMS music programs are wonderful, talented and highly-recognized!

Ms. Catherine Jordan, Volunteer

Catherine Jordan has dedicated tremendous amounts of time and effort to assisting the fine arts programs of Eanes on a variety of campuses. She is committed to helping create and maintain parent and organizational support that is in line with the teacher's vision for their program and classroom. Her work has directly resulted in the creation of more resources available to the teacher including increased professional development support and materials for the classroom. With her incredible attention to detail and an unparalleled commitment to the success of Eanes ISD Fine Arts, our programs have been directly and positively impacted by her outstanding work. Thank you Catherine!

Johnathan Tobar, Technology Support Specialist

Johnathan is a tremendous asset to our campus! He is the master at technology and can fix any issue! No problem is too big for Johnathan and he never says no. Instead, he says, "let's see how we can get this done." And he does it with a smile on his face. Johnathan goes beyond the call of duty. He singlehandedly cleaned up the rat's nest of cords that have accumulated around all of our computers, especially in the computer lab. He brought Velcro fastens from home and figured out a way to organize the cords and hide them from view. He has tracked down countless lost iPads, roaming the school before and after school, spending hours looking for iPads and recovering them and returning them to thankful students. His calm, sweet presence puts everyone at ease, even in the most stressful technology situations. The kids and teachers, alike, love him! Thank you, Johnathan!

Ms. Katie Cragoe, Special Education Teacher Assistant

To say that Katie Cragoe is kind, compassionate, and creative would be an understatement. Katie is sincere, dedicated, and kindhearted with all the students and staff that she encounters at Hill Country. Katie's position requires patience, commitment, and flexibility; all of which she demonstrates with great ease and a smile on her face. She always goes above and beyond what is asked of her and she works tirelessly to support our students. She has created a special bond with each of our students. Not all the students that Katie works with can verbalize how they feel about Ms. Cragoe, but it is evident by the smiles on their faces and the hugs that they sneak in, that they appreciate her and enjoy working with her as much as she enjoys working with them. She amazes us with her commitment to our students and her continual effort to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Innovation Award

Those who implement a creative or innovative program, teaching method, cost-savings, etc.

Ms. Emily Molina, Special Education Teacher

As a collaborative teacher, Emily has to come up with many creative ways to help her students. This year, she began to record herself reading our unit tests. Students then accessed the recording on their iPads. They were able to individualize their test taking as they paused, could rewind, or fast forward. This worked for small group administration, individualized testing, and oral test takers. In addition, 504 dyslexic students were also able to access the link she provided. Her innovative idea was a huge help to so many and we thank her for her creativity!

Good Samaritan Award

One who displays compassion, selflessness, or courage by taking initiative

Mr. Mac McClennahan, Volunteer

When the 6th grade ELA teachers needed an audio version of our class novel, The Thief and the Beanstalk, they couldn't find one anywhere! Mac, the husband of one of HCMS's teachers and a radio personality here in town, used his expertise, resources, and amazing reading voice to record all 272 pages for the 6th grade teachers and students. With his dedication and time, the students were able to not only read the book, but had an additional resource to access. The 6th grade ELA team is so appreciative of Mac and his willingness to go above and beyond. Thank you, Mac!