Fourth-grade students at DeAnda Elementary School thought it was just another day of learning prepositions and sentence structure, until Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan surprised their teacher, Hillary Smith, as the Sterling McCall VIP Services Teacher of the Month for October.
Having served as a fourth- and fifth-grade English/Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, Smith was selected for her tenacious spirit that brings literacy to life for students at DeAnda.
“We are grateful to have had Hilary serve DeAnda students for the last seven years,” said Principal Lauren Mailhiot. “Her high expectations coupled with passion pushes our students beyond their limits in both reading and writing.”
During the summer, Smith also commits her time to the district’s Elementary Curriculum and Development team, leading elementary reading and writing professional development sessions.
“Hillary is a master teacher who exudes a love for reading and a passion for providing all children with an excellent education,” Dr. Lathan said. “I’m happy to kick off the district’s Teacher of the Month program for a second year with a teacher who places a lot of emphasis on literacy.”
Not only focused on the students success, Smith also serves as a campus leader Instructional Excellence Coach providing ongoing coaching, support and professional development for teachers throughout the district.
“I’m grateful to be recognized for my accomplishments in the classroom,” Smith said. “I make it a priority to take my students’ reading and writing to the next level each day they walk into my classroom.”
Smith’s morning commute will change for the next month while she enjoys a fully loaded 2018 BMW 320i, courtesy of Advantage BMW Midtown.
As part of the Teacher of the Month program, Lathan and a rep from Sterling McCall VIP Services will surprise a teacher each month. The teacher will be presented with an award, a gift basket of promotional items, a $150 gift card, and a luxury loaner vehicle.
Each of the seven HISD area superintendents will be responsible for selecting a teacher from their region to be honored until May 2018. Principals who would like to nominate a teacher on their campus should contact their school support officer or area superintendent directly.