Eanes ISD

2016 Educator of the Year

Every year educator at each school nominate a fellow educator as the educator of the year. From those educators a committee is formed to select the District educator of the year.

WHS's Melissa Dupre Named District Educator of the Year

Melissa DupreWestlake High School’s Melissa Dupre was named the 2016 Eanes ISD Educator of the Year at the Employee Recognition and Retiree Dinner tonight. Dupre, who teaches Senior AP English, also works on the school’s Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Committee, and the GPA Committee, as well as serves as Student Council sponsor. She is in her 10th year at Westlake, and has 23 total years of teaching experience.

Dupre is described as the epitome of the consummate professional and an inspiring teacher. She actively thinks about how students should experience literature, not just what they should know about it. She is constantly reading, researching, thinking about the world and her own craft, and brings the results to her classes, whether it is through messages that she shares with her students or ideas about teaching that she implements.

“Melissa helps make Westlake a better place for everyone,” said Dr. John Carter, Principal of Westlake High School. “She is passionate about educating our students, not just about the curriculum, but about life. She cares about the health of the individuals at Westlake, and works tirelessly to reduce stress in the learning environment.”

“My students are in control of their own learning, and they consistently exceed my expectations,” Dupre said her in her application for District EOY. “My job has shifted from distributing content and confirming right and wrong answers to encouraging and challenging my students to think as deeply and completely as possible.”

This year, Dupre spearheaded the SEL focus on campus and the Challenge Success program, which focuses on creating a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for students, that is not overly focused on grades, test scores, and performance, leaving little time for kids to develop the necessary skills to become resilient, ethical, and motivated learners. She is passionate about making Westlake a better place and promoting the core values that the District’s Graduate Profile and Educator Profile exhibit.

All nine campus winners for the Educators of the Year were honored at tonight’s ceremony, as well as 25-year service recognitions and retirees. The Westlake Rotary Club sponsors the award and Rotary members serve on the selection committee. Each Campus Teacher of the Year receives a cash gift from the Rotary and Dupre receives an additional gift from the Eanes Education Foundation.

Campus Educators of the Year

Barton Creek Elementary – Courtney Rimkus, Kindergarten Teacher

Courtney Rimkus has seven years of teaching under her belt, with four in Eanes ISD. Currently she is a Kindergarten teacher at Barton Creek Elementary. Previously, she worked as a CDC and PPCD teacher, and then she transitioned to Kindergarten where she has been for the past four years. She has served as a team leader at BCE for the past three years, and is a constant volunteer for any committee at BCE.

Rimkus is described as a model of excellent instruction, and a compassionate and highly dedicated teacher. She always has a huge smile on her face and is often heard giggling and laughing with her students as she leads them in engaging, creative, and fun ways to learn; her enthusiasm is contagious. Rimkus absolutely loves her students and they, in turn love her, when you see her interact with her students or talk about her students, you know that she loves each one of them as if they were her own child.

Bridge Point Elementary School – Sheri Bryant, ESL/RTI Teacher

Sheri Bryant is a special educator, a reading and ESL specialist, and a former classroom teacher at Bridge Point Elementary. She has 12 years teaching experience, with a little more than three years in Eanes ISD. For the past two years she has transitioned her assignment mid-year and has not missed a beat, taking over a first grade class last year, and stepping in as interim assistant principal this year. She has also served as Elementary Summer School Principal for the past three summers.

Bryant is described as a genuine person who is knowledgeable in her area of expertise and a has a talent for extraordinary flexibility. She has great attention to detail and her calm demeanor is an asset to the job, and she displays great dedication. Bryant is a wonderful example of a person who goes out of her way to help her students, other teachers, and BPE as a campus.

Cedar Creek Elementary School – Shannon Foley, Librarian

Shannon Foley has 17 years of teaching under her belt, with 15 in Eanes ISD. Currently she is the school librarian at Cedar Creek Elementary. She leads the social committee, and has previously served as a representative on the Campus Leadership Team (CLT), District Leadership Team (DLT), student council, technology committee and presented at Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) and the Texas Library Association Conference.

Foley is described as an enthusiastic, creative and passionate student-centered librarian. She is known for sharing innovative lessons by integrating technology with all grade-levels in a true collaborative approach with classroom teachers. Her thirst for knowledge, for example in her pursuit of new technology applications, help drive the high quality, grade appropriate projects for all students. She is an exceptional media specialist who supports all students, parents and staff at Cedar Creek.

Eanes Elementary – Allie Perry, 1st Grade Teacher

Allie Perry has enriched the lives of children and peers at Eanes Elementary for the past six years, and she currently is serving 1st graders in her classroom community. Perry's depth of knowledge and expertise in teaching 1st grade curriculum is outstanding, but most importantly, the level of her commitment to every student in her classroom is extraordinary.

She affirms the value of every student's contribution on a daily basis. She seeks out students who may be marginalized and makes every effort to make them feel important and cared for. Perry is descried as an incredible teammate, teacher, role model and friend, and her patience, kindness and accepting heart allow her to connect with students, parents and peers. She is a great example of the art and soul required to be a great educator.

Forest Trail Elementary – Jana Guerra, 2nd Grade Teacher

Jana Guerra has taught at Forest Trail Elementary for 10 years, beginning in 1st grade and transitioning to 2nd grade this year. She is a well-respected professional who is known for creating a positively structured classroom which encourages creativity and the use of technology. Guerra is known for being innovative, organized, and brings fun into the classroom. Innovation in education is one of her biggest strengths. She keeps student motivation at the forefront of her mind, and keeps up with the newest and greatest when it comes to current curriculum. Guerra dedicates a lot of time and effort into creating engaging classroom resources. She makes teaching look easy and prides herself on organization.

Throughout her career, she has continued to grow professionally by earning her Master's degree from Concordia. She is nationally known as a blogger for sharing her successful methods and gathering best practices in education from other professionals. Her leadership in implementing practical and innovative ideas has benefited the entire school.

Valley View Elementary - Alyse Cordelli, Special Education Teacher

Alyse Cordelli teaches Special Education-Life Skills at Valley View Elementary. She has eight years teaching experience, with seven at VVE. She is described as patient, kind, compassionate, magnetic, resilient, welcoming, joyful and loves without limits. Cordelli is known for being passionate about her work with students and demonstrates strong understanding of students’ learning differences while maintaining high standards for their success.

Cordelli collaborates exceptionally well with numerous related services providers in the district, community service providers and general education teachers. She aligns lesson plans and assists teachers in developing specially designed instruction. She is highly organized, and her attention to detail is excellent. She is a teacher to the teachers, and has mentored student-teachers from Texas State and St. Edward’s University. Her warm, positive nature is both motivating and contagious to those who are given the opportunity to work with her.

Hill Country Middle School – Brenda Mosher, Language Arts Teacher

Brenda Mosher has 26 years of teaching under her belt, with 16 in Eanes ISD. Currently she teaches 8th grade English-Language Arts at Hill Country Middle School. She has served as department chair, Campus Leadership Team member, and as a team leader. Mosher is passionate about teaching and inspires her students. She is known for promoting joy wherever she goes, and makes everyone around her a better person--especially her students. She conducts her teaching in a way that seems effortless but has obvious intention. Mosher is authentic in her learning and teaching and invokes a natural love of learning in her students and peers. She considers all aspects of situations when finding the best way to teach concepts and solve problems. She can be counted on to step in before you realize you need her help. Students love her class and look forward to learning and growing with her.

West Ridge Middle School – Jason Spodick, Robotics & Tech Systems teacher

Jason Spodick teaches Robotics and Tech Systems at West Ridge Middle School. He had the opportunity to build a robotics program from the ground up two years ago and has been blazing since. Through his passion and belief in all students, he has established the course as one of the most popular on campus. Spodick challenges all students daily to take risks and enjoy learning a new skill set that is new to many. He has been active in middle school athletics while serving as the head coach for the three-time state champion Westlake Rugby Club. He is one of the most respected teachers on campus for his energy and commitment to the school community of learners!