Associate Teachers of the Month recognized at Lawson MS, Kelso ES

The outdoor hallways of Kelso Elementary School may be covered, but that did not stop Associate Teacher Joyce Asberry from hesitating when the principal called her to the main building. As the cloudy skies of the morning gave way to a downpour, Asberry tentatively stepped out on her walk towards the front.

But as she stepped into the school cafeteria, her worries about the dreary weather washed away immediately. Waiting for her there was her family—daughter, granddaughter, and 91-year-old mother—as well as students, teachers, the principal and the HISD HR.

She was surprised as the February Associate Teacher of the Month for HISD.

It is an award that Principal Shanda Walker believes is much deserved, and said the longtime Associate Teacher is a vital part of the Kelso community.

“She sings the songs that lift our hearts and announces the greatness of each new day. We are so blessed to have her presence on our campus,” Walker said. “She has a heart for our Kelso Eagles and they love her right back!”

“I’m speechless, and you all know that never happens,” Asberry said. “I love getting to teach these kids. Every single day that I get to come to Kelso, it’s an honor.”

Earlier that morning, Team HISD surprised the A180 Dedicated Associate Teacher of the Month at Lawson Middle School. As Alice Pitre was surprised in one of that school’s seventh-grade classrooms, she looked shocked at all the commotion.

But as Principal Keoshya Dunn pointed out, Pitre is ready for anything, calling her the “real MVP” of Lawson.

“There is nothing she isn’t willing to due to ensure the campus is successful,” Dunn said. “She is at work daily and has kicked her support into overdrive during this pandemic.”

Pitre called Lawson the “best campus in HISD,” and said it was a natural fit for her to become a Dedicated Associate Teacher on the campus. After leaving her career in business, Pitre became a tutor in the Apollo 20 program.

With that, she knew she wanted to keep giving back.

“I do this because when I was growing up I had teachers that invested in me,” Pitre said. “After working in the business world, I wanted to give back to students. I love the students.”

The two recognition programs are sponsored by Raising Cane’s. Each selected teacher receives a gift basket filled with merchant gift cards and promotional items. To nominate an Associate or Achieve 180 Dedicated Associated Teacher of the Month, click here.