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Teacher of the Year

2011 May 26

Congratulations to HISD’s Teachers of the Year! Michael Clark, an AP government and economics teacher at Bellaire High School was named HISD Secondary Teacher of the Year, and Heather Gaines, a literacy coach at Lovett Elementary, was selected as the district’s Elementary Teacher of the Year. Like all our great teachers, these two have a fundamental belief that every child can learn.

Mrs. Gaines has created book clubs, literature circles, and workstations to help students improve their reading skills. She believes every child can achieve at least a year’s worth of reading growth in one year. Mr. Clark has also incorporated student-centered activities into the rigorous, higher-level courses that he teaches. In one activity, students challenged their peers by developing a presentation using characters from the TV show “Glee” to ask questions about fiscal policy. Both of these teachers are focused on engaging their students and creating innovative ways to help them learn. We were proud to recognize Mr. Clark and Mrs. Gaines, along with 21 other finalists for Teacher of the Year at a reception last night.

Some people will tell you that the best teachers are in charter schools, or out in the suburbs, but we know that’s not the case. The best teachers in Texas, the best teachers in the country work right here in HISD. Whenever I go into the classroom, I am always impressed by the work that our teachers do. They have a difficult job. Many of our teachers have had to take on additional responsibilities as a result of the state budget crisis. They are difference-makers, and they are changing lives. We appreciate all they do and we are very grateful to have them teaching in HISD.

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