The Houston Independent School District crowned the district’s top elementary and secondary teachers of the year during the annual, western-themed Educators of the Year banquet on Friday, which honors teaching excellence across the district.
Nazaret Chavez-Guerrero, a second-grade ESL math teacher at R.P. Harris Elementary School, and Jose Clemente, a math teacher at Westbury High School, were named the 2018-2019 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, respectively.
“I want you to know we appreciate the countless sacrifices and time you have spent in making sure every student knows their potential and greatness,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “You are the most important indicator of a student’s academic outcomes.”
More than 1,700 educators from across the district attended the sold-out event, where Chavez-Guerrero and Clemente each received a $2,000 cash award and prize packages that included hotel stays, Houston Astros game tickets, Kroger gift cards and a host of other prizes. They will also advance to the state’s regional Teacher of the Year competition.
The event’s platinum sponsors, Sterling McCall VIP Services and Sterling McCall Lexus, awarded both winners with a 2019 Lexus UX to drive for the entire summer.
“Tonight, we gather to recognize and thank some outstanding individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to our schools and the district,” HISD Board President Diana Dávila said. “There are clear signs that your efforts are paying off. Our students continue to improve their academic performance, even as we raise our expectations and standards.”
Also honored at the event were the 2018-2019 Beginning Teachers of the Year: Brittany Connally of Lockhart Elementary School, Guadalupe Aguilera of Hamilton Middle School, and Edis Moreno of Lamar High School.
Mary Chance of Hogg Middle School was named Librarian of the Year. The Ann Sledge Instructional Specialist Awards went to Rogelio Martinez, as the districtwide instructional coach of the year, and to Ambreen Ali, as the campus instructional coach of the year.
With nearly 200,000 votes submitted, which is a record, HISD staff, students, and alumni selected LaTasha Hurd of Frost Elementary as the Fan Favorite elementary school Teacher of the Year. Voters selected Kathie Jackson-Guillory of Fleming Middle School as the Fan Favorite secondary Teacher of the Year.
In February, the district announced both elementary and secondary principals of the year: Amy Poerschke of Durham Elementary and Khalilah Campbell-Rhone of Worthing High School. Both were recognized at the Educators of the Year banquet.