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Eanes ISD

Non-Campus EANESpiration Winners, 2024

Non-Campus EANESpiration Winners, 2024

Eanespiration Awards
District Eanespiration Winners 2024

Educational Impact 

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

Ashley Bloodworth, Janelle Staff & Victoria Stewart, Behavior Specialists
These three ladies go above and beyond on a daily basis to serve the students and staff in Eanes. They are the definition of a collaborative team by working together, problem solving together, encouraging each other and continually trying to support the various needs of our students across all 10 campuses. They make an educational impact on both our students and our staff. We are so fortunate to have such a talented and knowledgeable team working tirelessly behind the scenes to strengthen and improve our special education services. 

Thelma Bucklin, Braillist
Thelma is the braillist for Eanes ISD students. She spends countless hours ensuring our students with Visual Impairments have proper access to materials from their classes. From making a tactile diagram of a cell to brailling a 100+ page document, Thelma is committed to making sure the students have what they need to learn and excel with their peers. She is knowledgeable, creative, and extremely flexible. Thelma is a true hero in Eanes ISD.     

Paula Portwood, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
Paula is one of the district's amazing teachers of Students with Visual Impairments. She is beyond committed to each of her students, ensuring their unique needs are met. Whether it’s making a “little room” (a defined sensory space to help them learn about their surroundings), a brailled book for literacy, or some difficult brailled math, Paula is fiercely passionate about making sure her students learn and access material like their peers. She jumps campus to campus and even works on the weekends to make sure everything is set for their success. Thank you, Paula!

Nicki Smith, Life Skills Instructional Coach
In Nicki’s first year as an EP, she has dove in head first to help everyone. She makes sure all of the life skills teachers in the district stay connected so they can collaborate. She communicates with teachers, parents, and students with grace, patience & care. She takes on tough jobs and makes teachers’ lives easier so they can focus on creating genuine, meaningful instruction. Not only that, but she also gives all life skills teachers a robust tool box. It can be hard to differentiate and find materials in special education, but not with her to help. Tell her any subject, grade, instructional level, and Nicki can find the perfect resource. She has been an excellent addition to the special education administrator team this year, and has made a lot of Life Skills teachers' jobs a whole lot easier.

Amanda Weisman, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
Amanda is one of the amazing Eanes ISD Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments(TSVI). She dedicates her time to teaching students with visual impairments a plethora of things; ranging from science - where she uses items like tactile cells, algebra with Brailled problems, or tactile symbols to help a student communicate their needs. The range is vast and Amanda can swiftly jump from lesson to lesson through the various levels and needs of the students. She is extremely dedicated to their success and learning. She always makes sure her students have a great time as she jumps campus to campus to meet their unique needs. Thank you, Amanda!

Good Samaritan 

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

Austin-Westlake Rotary Club
Since 1982, the Austin-Westlake Rotary Club faithfully honors education and educators in Eanes ISD. Every year, our local Rotarians raise thousands of dollars to fund monetary gifts for our campus Educators of the Year. Through monthly and annual awards, Rotary recognizes our teachers for their selfless dedication and service to students – the same ideals Rotarians embody in their volunteerism. Because of this substantial partnership, Eanes ISD is a better school district, and the Austin-Westlake area is respected as a charitable community. Thanks to Mary-Ellen King for her leadership as current club president.

Lesley Lorenz, EEF Volunteer
Lesley Lorenz was the Chair "extraordinaire" for this year's EEF Gala.   She put in countless hours of work to make this year's event a true success with the event raising $1M. Her dedication to the event from the very start was impactful including her vision and theme of "Every Step of the Way."  Her thoughtful theme and execution was intentional to remind our community that our educators AND Eanes Education Foundation is with all children "every step of the way" through their time in our district. Eanes Education Foundation and our staff is truly better because of Lesley's time, heart and commitment that she put into planning and executing this successful event. Anything and everything that she does for our district and community truly comes from her heart. 

Westlake Chamber of Commerce
The Westlake Chamber of Commerce supports the school district every year by providing visibility at community events and recognizing outstanding educators, students and citizens. Collaboration between the chamber and the school district exemplifies the correlation between a strong business environment, a respected school district and associated property values. Thanks to Cathy Hoover’s leadership as executive director, this region benefits from the chamber’s investment in educational excellence and its generous support of our schools and staff.


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

Shalini Attavar, Technology Support Specialist
Shalini is always so kind and willing to help. She always saves the day with anything tech related and never makes us feel like we're a bother. She is always available. Always willing to help. She responds quickly. I don’t have to worry when I put a work order in if it’ll get resolved quickly, I know it will. Her presence on campus is always felt and everyone loves her. She’s approachable and always willing to help.

Vanessa Gonzalez, Executive Assistant
Vanessa has selflessly gone above and beyond to assist with behind-the-scenes details of the district's Destination Imagination program by taking extra time beyond her regular duties to communicate about financial reports for parent participation fees, tournament fees, travel expenses related to the program, and more.  She is a good Samaritan for selflessly giving of her time to assist in the smooth financial functioning of our program in Eanes ISD!

Cindy Lee, Administrative Assistant
Cindy Lee has been instrumental in the formation of the Eanes ISD Police Department. She makes sure every last detail is taken care of for each officer. When we need something we go to her and she makes it happen. CIndy goes above and beyond to make everything she does exceptional. She expects the most from herself and delivers. Cindy had the task of supporting our brand new Police Department and processes without the advantage of prior history. She handled everything from equipment and ammunition orders to the badges, pins and uniforms. She also planned a very special pinning ceremony for our incredible new force. This Agency could not have happened without her and she does everything with a smile. 

Brandon Mack, Technology Support Specialist  
Brandon Mack is an excellent asset to Eanes ISD! He is constantly going above and beyond. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable and will make time for any and all tech needs. Brandon travels between BCE and WRMS and often answers his personal cell phone to assist in times of need! He handles anything asked of him and will return to BCE multiple times in a day to help out. We appreciate his optimism, friendly attitude and willingness to help. He will do whatever it takes to create a solution and never complains! 

Meredith Neal, Eanes Education Foundation
Meredith Neal is the MVP of the Eanes Education Foundation. She’s the kind of person who’s always in the mix, making things happen behind the scenes. Whether it’s planning events, rallying support, or just being there for anyone who needs it, she’s on it. She does it all with this amazing mix of grace and a smile that just lights up the room. You’d never guess the amount of importance she’s juggling because she’s so humble about it all. We’re lucky to have her, and she totally deserves all the love and recognition coming her way. 

Candice Rebbe, Technology Support Coordinator 
In her role as Technology Support Coordinator at Eanes ISD, Candice has exemplified exceptional leadership and dedication. Her proactive approach and superior organizational skills have significantly enhanced our capacity to support both staff and students effectively. Known as a "hard charger," Candice leads by example, infusing her energy and commitment into every project. This inspires those around her to strive for excellence and has led to noticeable improvements in our educational support services. 

Michael Sampson, Behavior Specialist
Michael supports multiple teams at WHS focusing on complex behaviors.  We had an overwhelming start to the year and he truly was our saving grace. He treats all staff and students with respect and love. He supports teachers who work with some of our most complex students and does so without judgment. His calm and caring disposition welcomes students and staff to feel more confident in what they do. There are no students that he can't work with. He is an incredible asset to all of our students but specifically those students who need that extra care, patience, and support. 

Frank Issendorf, Groundskeeper          
I would like to posthumously recognize Frank Issendorf, who passed away earlier this year. He was on the job before sunrise every single day, and worked tirelessly to help take care of our campuses and staff. He was an expert snake wrangler, got rid of other scary creepy crawlers and made BCE a beautiful place. His warm smile and kind words welcomed us to work each morning. He is deeply missed. 


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

Rachel Higgins, Admissions Coordinator
Throughout the onboarding process for our new enrollment platform, Rachel has been an incredible source of support and guidance. Despite the challenges and hurdles we've faced during this transition, Rachel's dedication and advocacy have been instrumental in smoothing out the journey. She thinks of every possible way to make the platform work FOR us in the most efficient and effective way. Her ability to understand and translate program needs has been invaluable, ensuring that our team remains on track and supported every step of the way. We are incredibly grateful for Rachel's ongoing humor, commitment and support!     

Kimberley Israel, Enterprise Applications Coordinator
Kimberley is an extraordinary Innovator. Even though School Health is a tiny universe in the immense galaxy of Skyward, Kimberley is very familiar with it. She is also familiar with what school nurses need to know about their students. During enrollment verification, for example, she developed a custom program to compile and compare student health condition data for the current and upcoming school year. It wasn’t something anyone had thought of and we didn’t even know we needed it, but it is fantastic. Her attention to detail with step-by-step instructions and screenshot illustrations is amazing.