The West Foundation and the Wichita Falls Independent School District are helping teachers become even better by recognizing the cream of the crop.
The West Foundation Teaching Excellence Award dinner was on Monday and the event has made an impact in the WFISD over the years. Hirschi High School math teacher David Cavitt is now one of 20 teachers who received the award. He said, he had been striving to win one of the awards for years.
"When I walked in the classroom I saw the balloons and the award itself and I was wondering what they were doing to my classroom. I thought they were giving an award to somebody else," said Cavitt.
Every year principals and a curriculum team select teachers like Cavitt for the awards. They're educators who are making an impact in students inside and outside the classroom.
"It's about life and teaching them how to survive when they get out of school and to continue their education and to better themselves so they can give back to the community," said Cavitt.
District officials say the awards not only make an impact on the teachers, but they also make a difference in the district.
"A lot of these educators are that are here tonight end up being teacher of the year, they end up going to leadership positions within the district whether that's on a curriculum team or moving into the central office and spreading their knowledge through out the district," said Bob Payton, a member of the WFISD Board of Trustees.
In addition to the recognition, the foundation gives selected teachers $5,000. Some teachers pour that right back into their classroom.
"Some will use it for something personal and that's great. We encourage that but some of them turn around and buy supplies or something for the classroom. You can't buy dedication like that. It's unbelievable," said Payton.
Teachers winners include:
Sandra Gary -Alamo, 4th grade math
Courtney Smith-Burgess, 3rd grade reading
Angela Christian-Crockett, RTI specialist
Lisa Seaton-Crockett, 5th & 6th grade math
Farah Hampton-Fain, 1st grade
Laneta Lively-Fowler, 6th grade math
Donna Navarro-Houston, 5th grade math
Melissa Horn-Lamar, 4th grade reading/language arts
Amy Gilleland-Scotland Park, 3rd grade self contained
Rickey Santellana-Southern Hills, 5th grade social studies
Lori Litts-West Foundation, 4th grade reading & social studies
Jayne Gregg-Barwise, 7th grade preap English language arts
Laura Mayfield-Kirby, 7th-8th grade English
Susan Cotton-McNiel, 7th grade math
Micky Miller-McNiel, 7th grade preap Texas history
David Cavitt-Hirschi, 9th grade Algebra I
Todd Chamberlain-Rider, preap world history
Lisa Williams-Rider, Spanish II & preap Spanish I
Karen Holsinger-WFHS, math models & geometry
Deborah McNeese-WFHS, integrated physics & chemistry