Eanes ISD

Westlake HS EANESpiration Winners, 2017

image of WHS Eanespiration Winners

Educational Impact

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

Mr. Alan Abbe
Mr. Abbe challenges our top students, encourages our struggling students, and nurtures all of them as young adults and scholars. He has grown our Latin Club from 20 students to over 200 - we are consistently one of the largest ACTIVE clubs in the nation. Alan gives so much and fosters an educational environment that welcomes academic excellence and welcomes struggle that builds resiliency and determination; that encourages creative and artistic expression along with technological, scientific, and mechanical inclinations; and that models and develops the positive characteristics found in our District WHEEL. All while thoroughly and insightfully teaching the advanced content found in the upper levels of Latin. He is always willing to listen to his colleagues and help share his knowledge and expertise. We truly are lucky to work with such an educator.

Ms. Katie Bryant and Ms. Melissa Dupre

These two educators have been the enthusiastic leaders of the Challenge Success initiative, whose main goal is to help students make better choices for their physical and mental health. This program has had a huge impact on the mindsets of our students! We are reversing the trend in our Westlake culture that had students overloading and overcommitting themselves. Student conversations show an increasing awareness of the connections between their decisions and their personal well-being.

Melissa and Katie have invested a tremendous amount of personal time investigating the benefits of the Challenge Success program and applying for Westlake High School to become a part of that program. Their commitment continued with the program's official kick-off and implementation. Melissa and Katie have been tireless data-gatherers, fact-sharers and motivational speakers. From their progress thus far, it is clear that this program will have a lasting impact on the students of Westlake High School!

Mr. Dave Martin and Mr. Ron Olfers
Both of these gentlemen have served as outstanding volunteers for the Incubator program, always willing to assist where they are needed. Ron meets with student teams in and out of class, fills in for travelling mentors, and has provided teams with guidance and encouragement throughout the year in addition to teaching the customer segmentation module.

Dave has gone far beyond his initial commitment to the program. He taught both the financial modeling module and the finances module, for a total of two full weeks teaching 6 classes per day. Additionally, he has served as a mentor for a team, providing specific guidance throughout the year.

We are extremely grateful to have such talented volunteers to help our Incubator program thrive and our students gain incredible experiences because of these volunteers' expertise.

Ms. Kathleen Parks
Kathleen is a job coach for the Adult Transition Services students. This school year she was responsible for representing Eanes ISD in coaching three of our students at Baylor Scott and White Hospital in Lakeway for the launch of the Project SEARCH program. Kathleen drove to the hospital in Lakeway every school day to coach our students in the many different job rotations they held throughout the school year. She also stayed after hours at least once per month to attend steering committee meetings to discuss student progress and future planning. She has gone above and beyond the expectations and we are so grateful for her!

Good Samaritan Award

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

Ms. Caty Broderick
In addition to all that she does in her capacity as a counselor at Westlake High School, Caty coordinated the Swellness group's Biggest Loser Contest. Not only did she coordinate and send weekly emails of encouragement and status updates, she also gave of her own time to help everyone. She ran exercise afternoons in the stadium on Thursdays and Hill of Life hikes on Tuesdays after school for the duration of the contest. Caty helped us all get a little healthier, have a good time with our colleagues, and showed how much she cares. If a Good Samaritan displays an act of compassion, selflessness or courage, or organizes an event, then Caty is thrice deserving of this recognition because she has done all three.

Ms. Linda Little-Wendlandt
Linda is a tireless supporter of the theatre department at Westlake. She is the current Booster VP and Food Coordinator which essentially means that she helps to organize a ton of food for a ton of people - often on short notice during very busy times of the year. Beyond that, she is always one of the first parents to volunteer for fundraising activities, hosting cast parties, errands, and other helpful tasks - even when it doesn't directly pertain to her child. She makes our department a happier place just by being who she is!

Ms. Stacey Ussery
Stacey is a huge supporter of the creative and performing arts at Westlake. Beyond her huge responsibilities with the choir department, she has made time to become the cast party and banquet organizer for the growing theatre department. Not only has she taken on those particular tasks, but she has personally organized the K-3 section of our Theatre Summer Day Camp, working with high school students to lead elementary students in writing, rehearsing, and performing their own original play over the course of the camp. She is always willing to step in to volunteer what time she has to make our department stronger and for that, we are truly grateful.

Innovation Award

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

Ms. Susan Grombacher
Ms. Grombacher implemented our organizational system for the Language Lab, and she accepted the job of keeping the reservation calendar to coordinate its use. Not only did she establish protocol and norms for the World Languages Department, she also worked with administrators and testing coordinators who also need to use the space. She has also been working in the lab itself to make it easier to use - posting signs & charts, visibly numbering stations, organizing the teacher work station, hanging a curtain to comply with lock-down procedures, etc. The work, planning, and problem-solving that have gone into Susan's implementation of the Language Lab is inspiring and appreciated.

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. Natalie Cannon
Ms. Cannon is a superb colleague and outstanding chair of the World Languages Department at Westlake High School. She is a positive and hardworking leader, always on top of issues concerning students' and teachers' needs, curricula, departmental matters concerning budget, schedules, professional development opportunities, and innovative teaching methodologies. She is a true professional in every sense of the word. She is also understanding, kind, compassionate and sincere. She is wholeheartedly committed to Eanes ISD in all her professional endeavors. She displays a "can-do" attitude which in turn inspires us to be our best selves professionally. Simply put, she is our hero.

Ms. Jackie Clifton
Ms. Clifton is amazing in the efforts she puts forth to support teachers in the classroom. For our own PLC, she has offered multiple days of support to explain to students the best methods to collect research and how to find credible research with our library resources. Beyond our PLC, Jackie helps build a positive morale on campus with activities like Cookie Friday, Fat Tuesday, pie competitions, and other spirited celebrations. She builds a positive culture at Westlake for students and teachers.

Ms. Christie Ford
Ms. Ford is the cream of the crop at Westlake High School. She brightens our days and oozes calm and support in an incredibly easy manner. No matter what the crisis of the day, she still greets everyone with a smile and a cheerful "Hello!" While having a large number of uncovered absences might daunt the best of people, Christi looks at it as a puzzle to solve and cheerfully works to get all of our classes covered. She has sorted through literally a mountain of keys and tagged and organized them into a system that is easy to use and makes sense. Her professional demeanor and cheerful attitude as well as her can-do spirit make her a hero to all of us!