Tyler ISD celebrated some of its best teachers on Tuesday during the district's annual Teacher of the Year banquet.
The banquet's theme was “Tyler ISD's Galaxy of Stars: Our Teachers Light the Way.” More than 450 people attended the banquet at Harvey Convention Center, and TISD took the opportunity to recognize the Teacher of the Year from each of its 30 campuses.
The district then announced the Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Wanda Wilson, W.A. Peete Elementary School third-grade teacher, was named Elementary Teacher of the Year.
Robert E. Lee High School teacher David Howard was named Secondary Teacher of the Year.
TISD Superintendent Dr. Randy Reid said the night provided a great opportunity to acknowledge the hard work of teachers, who don't get enough recognition for their work.
Campuses selected their teachers of the year. Two selection committees made up of six people each selected the elementary and secondary teachers of the year after considering a portfolio submitted by the 30 teachers and interviewing all of them.
Camille Brown, with the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce and a secondary selection committee member, said many of the teachers said they felt like there are a lot of wonderful people on their campuses and they represent all of their peers.
The district played a video that highlighted each of the campus teachers of the year with words from their principal about why they were nominated. Each teacher then walked across the stage to receive gifts and take a picture with Reid.
After all teachers were recognized, the two teachers of the year were announced and spoke.
Mrs. Wilson thanked God whom she described as the strength of her life.
“I am honored to hold this high honor of district Teacher of the Year for Tyler ISD,” Mrs. Wilson said. “I am a product of Tyler ISD.”
She said children come in with energy and ready to be taught, and teachers must provide them with the tools necessary to be productive members
of society. She said her goal is to not just be a good teacher, but a great one.
“Thank you,” she said for the award. “It is an honor. I will continue to do what I do every single day as I step into Peete Elementary School and that is to teach today's future.”
Howard said it's been a humbling experience from the beginning of this Teacher of the Year process.
“It's a great honor to be standing up here,” said Howard, an Advanced Placement biology teacher at Lee.
Howard thanked his wife, campus administrators and fellow science teachers.
“Those are great teachers, and I'm just lucky enough to hang around them and hopefully absorb some of it,” he said of his peers.
He thanked all the teachers present for what they do, saying he is happy for his kids to attend this school district because of the quality of educators in it.
At the end of the event, Reid read off many characteristics that principals used to describe their campus teachers of the year and he told the teachers, “Above all, you're a teacher and you're loved. Thank you.”