China Spring Faculty and Staff Members of the Month
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month
Congratulations to Mrs. Veronica Wolske, Pre-K Teacher, on being selected as Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Veronica is hands-down a fantastic choice for May’s Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Wolske is a ray of sunshine and radiates positivity everywhere she goes! She is always smiling and cheerful and brightens the day of those around her, both students and adults. In her classroom, Mrs. Wolske works wonders! Each day she has engaging activities planned that promote students to take ownership in their learning. The classroom is always decorated for the theme of the week, and she has engaging, relevant stations on various levels that keep her students excited while learning at the same time! She has patience in spades, and it is remarkable how much growth her students have shown throughout the year. When they come into Pre-K, it is the first time many have left home on a regular basis, and now at the end of the year, they have all of the procedures and routines down and are working hard to learn how to read! Her students are so excited to show what they know, and they absolutely adore their teacher! Mrs. Wolske is an excellent communicator with the parents and is constantly reaching out and sharing updates and pictures of things the students are working on and how they are doing! When students have been quarantined, she goes out of her way to make sure she walks all of her parents through the steps to ensure they understand all the assignments and have everything they need. One of her parents stated that Mrs. Wolske has been “exactly what her student needed and is the most loving and patient person on the planet!” They are thankful for her communication and joyful personality!
Mrs. Wolske is a huge asset and an important part of our China Spring Elementary Family! Thank you, Mrs. Wolske, for going above and beyond for our students and staff every day! Congratulations!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month
Congratulations to Dawn Wilson, Family and Consumer Science Teacher, on being selected as Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Dawn Wilson is terrific at saying no. She says no to mediocrity, imperfection, and anything but a well-executed plan to ensure that our students receive the best education and high school experiences possible. So when presented with the challenges of this year, Mrs. Wilson said no to using a pandemic as a justification for inaction. As a result, our students had an experience that so many in the country were unable to have during this challenging year: a prom where they were normal, giddy and excited students in their spring semesters of high school. Not only can Mrs. Wilson facilitate a magical experience for hundreds of students, she can also organize almost one hundred adults to multiple unique responsibilities so that the entire high school campus can be a part of orchestrating this important event for our students. Outside of her magical prom making abilities, Mrs. Wilson also ensured that she gave students every opportunity for a genuine culinary experience in her class during this restrictive time. It’s nearly impossible to do the typical tastings and activities associated with her courses during COVID, but Mrs. Wilson said no to excuses. She consistently implemented innovative ways to ensure that her students had all of the authentic experiences that they deserved within her courses. Because she is great at saying no to anything but the best, she is an absolute yes for our teacher of the month for China Spring High School. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month
Charlene Riley is a fantastic choice for May’s Staff Member of the Month. Mrs. Riley is the library paraprofessional at China Spring Elementary School. Mrs. Riley defines what it means to be a team player. She works extremely hard and always jumps in to help out wherever is needed! In addition to her library duties, she serves as a bus monitor along with breakfast and lunch duties. In all of her roles, she goes above and beyond to make sure everything is done well and that all of our students are taken care of. She is an extremely hard worker! She is extremely organized, and even when we throw her coverage-curveballs, she is able to quickly adjust and make the best out of each situation! We are very grateful to have Mrs. Riley at China Spring Elementary, and she is a valued member of our China Spring Elementary Family! Congratulations!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Crystal Perales, Kindergarten Teacher at the Elementary, on being selected as Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Kindergarten is for a majority of our students their very first year in school and our January Faculty Member of the Month makes sure that these students have a wonderful first experience in school! Mrs. Perales goes above and beyond to make sure her classroom is organized and prepared with amazing lessons that keep her students learning and excited about what they are doing in school! Mrs. Perales’ students and their parents absolutely love her and state that their students have learned so much and they are very grateful to the love she shows the kids every single day! Not only does she provide amazing lessons for her students; she has also gone above and beyond to mentor new teachers. She has spent many hours helping share her knowledge with her colleagues! She has very high expectations for her students and her students work very hard to reach and exceed them! She always has a big smile on her face (yes, you can even tell with a mask on) and we are very thankful to have her as an important part of our China Spring Elementary School family! So Congratulations Mrs. Perales!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mr. James Butts, high school math teacher, on being selected as Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Nearly every day this year, teachers have been presented with new and unique challenges that the field of education has never seen before. James Butts has responded to each one with patience, innovation, and professionalism. In a year that is conducive to excuses, James has chosen the path of conscientious creativity: he is constantly asking himself, “How do I hold students accountable and provide equitable instruction for both online and in person learners?” He consistently extends grace, but not without supportive accountability for the students. His example has shown his colleagues and administrators that even the most challenging content can be adapted to meet the needs of students in what is the most unexpected of circumstances. To this point, he has demonstrated that he is one of the first to come up with a solution to a sticky instructional delivery problem. When a student needs virtual office hours, he is available. When he needs to adjust assessments or instruction in Schoology or in person instruction to deepen student understanding, he never hesitates. In short, he is helping demonstrate to the world that teachers can accomplish virtually anything. Because of his patience, flexibility, and ability to shift at a moment's notice, he is the clear and obvious choice for the January Secondary Faculty Member of the Month for China Spring ISD. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month – Congratulations to Ariel Maddox, one of the intermediate school office staff members, for being the staff member of the month for January! She has been a true Jack-of-All Trades for the Intermediate campus. Her number one super power is keeping us accountable and in the black with our budget. She does a great job managing our many different accounts and being creative when it comes to money management. She works hard to find us the best deals, get teachers what they need and want, and save a little for our celebrations.
Mrs. Tice, her partner in the front office says, “It is colleagues at work who make the day feel less stressful and fill in a bit of fun at work, I know I can count on Ariel to help me through those crazy days. She is excellent at her job, and goes above and beyond to make sure that everyone has the supplies that they need for their classrooms and then some.” Mrs. May, one of the assistant principals said, “Ariel keeps us in the black...she does a great job helping us use our money appropriately and effectively to serve our staff and students. She is willing to jump in and help with various secretarial duties as needed. She also does a fantastic job preparing our weekly CSI Happenings to help keep parents informed of what is going on at the intermediate. Ariel is a definite asset to CSI and we are so lucky to have her.” Congratulations!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Shannon Roy, 6th grade teacher at the Intermediate School, on being selected as Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. You will never catch Shannon Roy without a smile on her face whether it be working with students or planning with peers. She brings leadership and commitment to her 6th grade ELAR team. Her willingness to be flexible and take care of business have been invaluable these last 2 years that have thrown us some crazy loops in our educational journey. When observing her at work she is alongside her students and always engaged in their lives. She takes time to get to know them and they love her for that. The students say she is fun and funny, and they are always happy to enter her room. She “gets” how a Middle Schooler thinks and really focuses on their academic growth as well as their social needs at this age. There is always something good happening in Shannon Roy’s classroom for in person and online learners alike! We appreciate her hard work and dedication to the students at China Spring Intermediate. Thank you Shannon for your commitment to CSI students and Congratulations!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Sara Odajima, secondary instructional coach, on being selected as Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. This is Sara’s first year in this position and she hit the ground running without missing a beat. As with everyone else in education her role changed swiftly with the start of this school year. Sara met that challenge with grace and grit. She is always positive, patient and respectful. Her primary goal is to ensure teachers are successful which in turn allows them to be their best for students. Teachers in grades 7-12 have the task of working simultaneously with in person and remote learners, and Sara has been there to guide them every step of the way. She works tirelessly to provide teachers with the level of support they need to ensure student success in the classroom regardless of the format. Sara’s prior classroom experiences enable her to have a greater understanding of the various needs of all teachers and students. She has taught on both the high school and middle school campuses at CSISD. She has been a TELPAS Rater and has supported all populations of learners. As a secondary teacher she sponsored and worked with numerous organizations including UIL. Prior to coming to China Spring, she worked as an elementary teacher and a band director. These experiences allow her to relate and really understand the needs of classroom teachers. She has first-hand experience in many facets of education and understands the intricate details that are necessary for student success. She is always willing to help teachers regardless of the time, including nights and weekends. We are thankful to have Sara in this position. She is an asset and deserves accolades for the work she does.
Staff Member of the Month – Congratulations to Susan Palmer, one of the middle school office staff members, for being the staff member of the month for February! Mrs. Palmer has been instrumental in helping our campus achieve the highest level of attendance rating during a national pandemic. Mrs. Palmer’s meticulous record-keeping and attention to detail have allowed for our campus to recognize trends in students’ attendance data that have, in return, allowed us to take proactive measures to ensure student success as it relates to attendance. This task has not come easy with the constant changing of expectations set forth by the state. However, she has adjusted and maintained constant professionalism as well as positivity when communicating these changes with our staff. She wears multiple hats in our front office both literally and figuratively. She is always more than willing to assist parents with information about their students. She is the front line of our new enrollees and sets such a positive first impression for our campus and our new community members. She is able to handle stressful situations such as unannounced early releases, massive student checkouts due to an approaching winter storm, or just the day-to-day operations of a middle school with grace and positivity. She also reminds educators of their WHY and purpose in life. She has a heart filled with compassion and always puts herself second to others. Mrs. Palmer is an asset to our campus, district, and community. Congratulations!
Kitchen of the Quarter -The Intermediate kitchen team has been selected to receive Kitchen of the Quarter because of the performance during the extended absence of their manager, Fay Hudgins. At first, it would seem that Fay was not a player in this achievement, but the truth is quite the contrary. When Fay realized she would be away from the kitchen for over a month she started planning: who would perform her duties, what training would be required, how should roles shift and where could back up personnel be obtained. Fay solved these issues and also created information sheets and charts to assist her team while she would be away. When the time arrived, the plans, as we all have experienced, began to unravel. Fay’s absence coincided with a rise in COVID related absences. The arranged subs canceled and the personnel from other kitchens were unable to support the intermediate school. This did not faze our star team. They had watched for years as Fay problem solved, made last minute adjustments, prioritized and most importantly, moved forward. They followed her good example and made things work. Fay, from her recovery bed, monitored her team and continued to provide support and encouragement as needed. In the end, the intermediate kitchen team emerged stronger, better trained and confident in their ability to overcome challenges.
Thank you for your dedication to your work, our department and the students of China Spring Intermediate.
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Ms. Dusty Gilley, EPCD Teacher, on being selected as Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Dusty Gilley exemplifies dedication, flexibility, and love toward her students and colleagues daily! She does all of that mixed with an incredible sense of humor, big smile, and endearing laugh. Those are just a few of the attributes that make Dusty Gilley an obvious choice for March Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Dusty Gilley is the EPCD 1 teacher on the elementary campus. She is beloved by all. Ms. Gilley forms strong relationships with her students and their parents! She is constantly reaching out to her parents and makes it a priority to stay in contact with them so they know they are valued members of their child’s educational team. Her parents can’t say enough good things about her and have stated that they know their child is in good hands with Ms. Gilley and they don’t know what they would do without her! Every day brings a new set of challenges and she meets those with a calm demeanor and positive attitude! She also works very closely with her team and is a constant encourager, always willing to meet and discuss ideas! Ms. Gilley can bring a smile to anyone’s face, and her love for her students’ shines brightly every day. For all of these reasons, China Spring Elementary School considers it an honor to have Ms. Gilley as part of our CSES Family and is thrilled to honor her as the March Faculty Member of the Month! Congratulations!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Coach Jesse Lopez, Health Teacher and Head Baseball Coach at the HS, on being selected as Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Coach Lopez doesn’t flinch in the face of the unexpected. From navigating the uncharted territory of coaching varsity sports in the year of COVID, to teaching the high school health course with sensitive content that has the potential to ignite uncomfortable conversations, Coach Lopez is always ready, calm, and professional. His even-keeled attitude and consistent professionalism strengthens his relationship with his students, athletes, colleagues, and supervisors. He proactively keeps all of his stakeholders informed, while simultaneously ensuring that he is able to provide one on one support to students and athletes who need it. He goes above and beyond to be a visible presence on campus, due in part to his willingness to help a growing high school by floating from classroom to classroom each period to teach his classes. CSHS draws its strength from the myriad of teacher talents on our campus, and Jesse Lopez is a significant contributor to that strength with his persistent determination of excellence both in the classroom and on the field. Congratulations Coach on being the secondary faculty member of the month!
Staff Member of the Month – Congratulations to Jeff Welch, one of the technology technicians, for being selected as the staff member of the month for March! Jeff is a constant presence on our campus. There doesn't seem to be a job too large or too small that Mr. Welch will not tackle. When we call he arrives, usually quickly, with a ready smile and a willing nature to help us fix whatever problem we feel like we are having with technology! These problems which can be absolutely ridiculous and super easy to fix are never laughed at. I have never seen him rattled with anything he might encounter on our campus! He simply helps us and moves on to his next fire to put out. I know everyone at CS Intermediate appreciates how Jeff responds to our needs and the students' needs. Raymond Medina, his supervisor, says “Jeff is an integral part of the technology team and came to us with a wealth of knowledge. Since his previous tech jobs were in education he was able to hit the ground running for CSISD. Jeff is the kind of guy who genuinely enjoys helping people. Because of that he's helped to strengthen relationships between the Technology Department and District Campuses. Jeff has a good heart, he's helpful and his intentions are in the right place. It is for that reason and many others that we are proud to have him as part of the team.” Mr. Welch is an asset to our campus, district, and community. Congratulations!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mr. Shane Allen, 6th Grade Science Teacher, on being selected as Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Mr. Allen very recently left the business world to pursue a career in our noble profession but it’s like he’s been teaching his whole life. He has fallen into his role as 6th grade Science teacher and done a remarkable job with the 6th grade curriculum, especially during a pandemic. He works to mix technology with hands on Science while keeping lessons engaging enough to hold the attention of 6th grade students. He blows things up, catches things on fire, and so much more all in the name of Science. He is willing to engage on our campus in any way. He has run Science Fair for 2 years, made hand sanitizing stations to place around the school, and plays in all the recess rotations with his students. Mr. Ross said he loves going into Mr. Allen’s classroom because there is always lively discussion and positive energy! We are so lucky Mr. Allen chose China Spring Intermediate to be where he taught for the first time yet it seems like he’s been here for years! Thank you Mr. Allen for all you do for our campus and our students! CSI is blessed to have you as a 6th Grade Teacher. Congratulations!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Sarah Shipp, Inclusion Teacher at the MS, on being selected as Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Shipp is an amazing asset to our campus with her willingness to do what is best for students. She is always willing to go the extra mile for every kid on our campus so that they can experience some type of success. Her caring heart allows her to form strong relationships with students that allows them to have a special bond with a friendly face on campus. She has been an asset to the Special Education department while also supporting the needs of all students on campus. Ms. Shipp not only serves the students on campus, but also takes special time and care into supporting our remote learners as well. She makes students feel that they are the most important person each time she speaks with them. In addition to her student support efforts, Mrs. Shipp is also willing to go out of her way to help around the campus. She is a tremendous support to her co-teach and inclusion classroom teachers. Also, she is always willing to step in and change her schedule to fit the needs of the campus. Her flexibility while maintaining a positive attitude is refreshing and admired by all of her peers. Her actions at China Spring Middle School make our campus better, and we are very lucky to have her as part of our CSMS family. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month – Congratulations to Ashley Ellis, HS Nurse, for being selected as the staff member of the month for April! One can’t be quite sure, but a school nurse in the middle of a virus pandemic is likely to be near the top of most challenging jobs. Yet, without fail and without hesitation, Ashley Ellis has shown up every day with a smile, kindness, and patience as she has helped China Spring High School navigate the constantly changing guidance and expectations that the 2020- 2021 school year has delivered. The challenge of school nursing in a regular year is a hefty job; during the year of COVID, it is nearly insurmountable. From conflicting guidance, to strong opinions and expressed indignance regarding the implementation of health and safety measures, and hours interviewing individuals about symptoms, Nurse Ellis has been able to accomplish it all. She has made it look effortless and her professionalism and efficiency has allowed the rest of the campus to function as normally as possible during these unusual times. While the building is full of experts in pedagogy, we are amateurs in public health. Without her, it is likely that the challenges of this year would have consumed us, and kept us from our true task of guiding and supporting students. Mrs. Ellis is an asset to our campus and we are lucky to have her. Congratulations!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Veronica Wolske, Pre-K Teacher, on being selected as Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Veronica is hands-down a fantastic choice for May’s Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Wolske is a ray of sunshine and radiates positivity everywhere she goes! She is always smiling and cheerful and brightens the day of those around her, both students and adults. In her classroom, Mrs. Wolske works wonders! Each day she has engaging activities planned that promote students to take ownership in their learning. The classroom is always decorated for the theme of the week, and she has engaging, relevant stations on various levels that keep her students excited while learning at the same time! She has patience in spades, and it is remarkable how much growth her students have shown throughout the year. When they come into Pre-K, it is the first time many have left home on a regular basis, and now at the end of the year, they have all of the procedures and routines down and are working hard to learn how to read! Her students are so excited to show what they know, and they absolutely adore their teacher! Mrs. Wolske is an excellent communicator with the parents and is constantly reaching out and sharing updates and pictures of things the students are working on and how they are doing! When students have been quarantined, she goes out of her way to make sure she walks all of her parents through the steps to ensure they understand all the assignments and have everything they need. One of her parents stated that Mrs. Wolske has been “exactly what her student needed and is the most loving and patient person on the planet!” They are thankful for her communication and joyful personality!
Mrs. Wolske is a huge asset and an important part of our China Spring Elementary Family! Thank you, Mrs. Wolske, for going above and beyond for our students and staff every day! Congratulations!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Dawn Wilson, Family and Consumer Science Teacher, on being selected as Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Dawn Wilson is terrific at saying no. She says no to mediocrity, imperfection, and anything but a well-executed plan to ensure that our students receive the best education and high school experiences possible. So when presented with the challenges of this year, Mrs. Wilson said no to using a pandemic as a justification for inaction. As a result, our students had an experience that so many in the country were unable to have during this challenging year: a prom where they were normal, giddy and excited students in their spring semesters of high school. Not only can Mrs. Wilson facilitate a magical experience for hundreds of students, she can also organize almost one hundred adults to multiple unique responsibilities so that the entire high school campus can be a part of orchestrating this important event for our students. Outside of her magical prom making abilities, Mrs. Wilson also ensured that she gave students every opportunity for a genuine culinary experience in her class during this restrictive time. It’s nearly impossible to do the typical tastings and activities associated with her courses during COVID, but Mrs. Wilson said no to excuses. She consistently implemented innovative ways to ensure that her students had all of the authentic experiences that they deserved within her courses. Because she is great at saying no to anything but the best, she is an absolute yes for our teacher of the month for China Spring High School. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month – Charlene Riley is a fantastic choice for May’s Staff Member of the Month. Mrs. Riley is the library paraprofessional at China Spring Elementary School. Mrs. Riley defines what it means to be a team player. She works extremely hard and always jumps in to help out wherever is needed! In addition to her library duties, she serves as a bus monitor along with breakfast and lunch duties. In all of her roles, she goes above and beyond to make sure everything is done well and that all of our students are taken care of. She is an extremely hard worker! She is extremely organized, and even when we throw her coverage-curveballs, she is able to quickly adjust and make the best out of each situation! We are very grateful to have Mrs. Riley at China Spring Elementary, and she is a valued member of our China Spring Elementary Family! Congratulations!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Angela Springer for being nominated and selected as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Calling Angel Springer a school nurse is absolutely not giving her justice. She goes above and beyond taking care of EVERYONE on this campus. She takes care of students, teachers, and sometimes even parents. She is often called the doctor but is our ANGEL. Her expertise and professionalism are without reproach. She is rational and gives realistic advice. She is diligent with her care and understands the gravity of her work. She is calm, cool, and collected in stressful situations yet her sense of humor about some of the tasks keeps her sane. She works to be the best care provider she can be for students and wants to improve in any area she might be deficit. One of her “regulars” states… “Nurse Springer helps me with my diabetes. I feel she has a lot of experience with diabetes because her husband and daughter have it too. I know she cares about me because she reminds me to come and check my blood sugar if I forget my CGM. She can be very strict but I know she cares.” Mrs. Springer is just awesome at what she does and we were so lucky when she picked the Intermediate to be her next adventure. Thank you Nurse Angela for all you do every day to keep us all alive and well. Congratulations!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Julie Smith on being the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Smith is in her 13th year at China Spring and 32nd year in education overall. Mrs. Smith teaches U.S. History as well as Psychology and Sociology at the High School. Mrs. Smith also serves as the Social Studies Department chair, where she mentors and helps her fellow teachers, including Dr. Rutherford (13 years ago). Julie is the epitome of a teacher who, in everything that she does, keeps the welfare of her students first in mind. If there is a teacher at the high school that understands the district’s vision of #OurWhy, it’s Mrs. Smith. She shows up every day to help her students achieve success. One of Mrs. Smith’s students said, “Mrs. Smith is no nonsense teacher and she doesn’t allow us to see ourselves as anything but capable. She allows us to make mistakes, but doesn’t allow us to let those mistakes define us.” Another former student said, “Last year, my U.S. History teacher left in the middle of the year and I went into her class. I was nervous because we had a U.S. History EOC and I thought the switch would make it hard on me to succeed. I can honestly say that I’ve never been more prepared for a test in my entire life. She treated me like I was one of her students for the entire year, not just for part of a semester.” Many teachers give their all on a daily basis for this profession and for the students of China Spring, but Mrs. Smith has done so with longevity, tenacity, and integrity matched by very few. She has rolled with the many changes that have taken place in education over the course of her career and is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone to reach students. Most recently, Mrs. Smith has embraced NearPod as a tool to help monitor her students’ understanding of complex material in both U.S. History and Sociology and Psychology. While she could be satisfied that she has accomplished a reputation as a fantastic teacher, Mrs. Smith believes she has not “arrived” or “attained perfection” as an educator in the sense that she can just “do things the way I’ve always done them.” Instead, she sees her profession as one where she can continue to grow and find ways to better herself and her students. For these reasons, it’s a great joy to award the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month to Mrs. Julie Smith. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to Ms. Cindy McCollum for being selected as The Staff Member of the Month. Ms. McCollum is an excellent choice for January’s Staff Member of the Month for so many reasons. Cindy is an amazing and devoted China Spring Employee! She is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet and an extremely hard worker. Ms. McCollum is excellent at juggling 50 different tasks at one time which makes for an excellent cruise director as we cruise through Middle School this year. She stays positive and is always willing to help others. She is an extremely friendly face greeting people in the office and a calm helpful voice on the phone that parents and employees alike greatly appreciate. Her partner in crime in the office states that she feels honored to get to work with a dear friend each day that she gets to laugh with and that makes each day fun! We are extremely blessed to have Ms. McCollum as part of our CSMS Family! Congratulations!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Ms. Christy Ingram, 3rd grade teacher, for being selected as the Faculty Member of the Month. Fellow colleague, Stacy Dill, stated, “Ms. Ingram is a phenomenal third grade teacher and a true asset to China Spring Elementary School. She has provided a wealth of knowledge from putting together a true Scope & Sequence for our new math TEKS to mentoring new teachers on the team. Her willingness to help others extends beyond faculty, to her children in her classroom. Ms. Ingram signed up for the C.I.L.D. committee to help earn extra iPADS for her students in her classroom to use independently throughout the school year. Thank you for all the help you provide for our team, faculty and students, “Mrs. Ingram, we couldn't do it without you!” Her sister and partner in crime, Suzy Wright, shared, “I am beyond blessed to have my sister, Christy, as my team teacher for the past six years, and there is absolutely no one that I’d rather have for a partner. Christy is always willing to share her great ideas with those on her team, and she gives great advice. She is an amazing math teacher, builds close relationships with her students, and is extremely kind and patient—with the children and ME. Christy definitely makes working at CSE more fun. Teaming with my sister is one of the things I love most about my job!” Kim Coe, principal, stated, “Ms. Ingram goes above and beyond to take care of those around her - students, parents and fellow colleagues alike. She excels in making genuine relationships with her students and works hard to plan meaningful learning experiences for them. Ms. Ingram is truly deserving of the honor of being selected as the February Faculty Member of the Month!”
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Ms. Melissa Cain on being the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. She has worked tirelessly with many of the TAG students in an attempt to help them complete their credits toward graduation. She is always there with a smile on her face and words of encouragement. Most recently we had two young men who were struggling with finishing their last credits. Ms. Cain worked one to one pushing and pulling the student through several lessons not within her subject matter of Math. The student made the decision to stay after hours to complete the last 6 lessons with Ms. Cain preventing a return to the campus the next week. Ms. Cain is also responsible for all IEPs for students on campus. As TAG students finish credits she will immediately complete the IEP for the student and the SPED department staff. She is also diligent with the DAEP students by determining what lessons are most appropriate for them and if adjustments need to be made for the student to be successful she is willing to make those on the fly. Ms. Cain is truly a bright spot on our campus for students and staff alike. For these reasons, it’s a great joy to award the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month to Ms. Melissa Cain. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to Ms. Tierra Hennig for being selected as the Staff Member of the Month. Ms. Hennig is the secretary on the HS campus with a job description that would be daunting to many; however, Ms. Hennig does an outstanding job of keeping the HS office staff, administration, and faculty organized. Ms. Hennig is a China Spring High School graduate and brings a positive energy every single day to the high school campus. There is rarely any down time in the front office, but this does not daunt Ms. Hennig. She is extremely detailed as she must keep track of substitute teachers, students and parents checking in and out, handling phone calls, directing the office aids, calling for copy machine repairs, and handling the day to day operations of the office.
Ms. Hennig builds positive relationships with everyone she comes in contact with be it parents, students, or faculty. She makes everyone feel important all the time. While it would be easy to lose her ‘why’ facing her difficult job daily, she is completely motivated by student success and fulfills the district’s mission of preparing well-rounded students. It is an honor to recognize Ms. Tierra Hennig as the Secondary Staff member of the month. We are extremely blessed to have Ms. Hennig as part of our CSHS Family! Congratulations!
Top Cougar Kitchen - China Spring Elementary has earned the honor of being awarded Top Kitchen of the Quarter. Tammy White, Child Nutrition Manager, and her team, by their knowledge of the National School Lunch Program standards and their hard work and preparation achieved a perfect Administrative Review from the Texas Department of Agriculture. The auditor commended the elementary team on their understanding of the program, engaging customer service and outstanding quality of food. The Child Nutrition Department and China Spring Administration is proud to recognize Tammy and her team for their dedication to excellence and more importantly for the caring of our students.
Patrice Fleming -Brown
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mr. Blair Schlatter, 5th grade teacher, for being selected as the Faculty Member of the Month. He serves as a role model to our young male students as well as to any teacher. He has been very flexible the last several months. He readily agreed to change teaching content to meet the needs of our new schedule, he has diligently worked to understand and use our new LMS and has helped his team through this as well. Mr. Schlatter also took the initiative to align our Social Studies Weekly resource to our YAG. He communicates often and effectively with families through a very informative newsletter and is always willing to help them when needed. He looks for ways to use his CILD training and infuse technology throughout his lessons. His expectations for himself and his students is to be engaged lifelong learners. Mr. Schlatter is truly deserving of the honor of being selected as the Faculty Member of the Month! Congratulations!!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Rebekah Patrick, ELAR teacher at the middle school, on being the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. At China Spring Middle School, we are always working on demonstrating our #CSMSPRIDE. Our focus at this time is the “P” which stands for perseverance. Mrs. Rebekah Patrick embodies perseverance every day as she works with a smile on her face with both students and staff. When you walk in the door of her classroom, you are immediately greeted with a smile. She has the mindset of no matter what the challenge that she will remain positive and find the good in all. While she has only been on our campus for a little over a year, she continually creates a positive environment for her students. You will also find her working well past her contracted hours to assist other teachers in creating engaging lessons so that all students have a positive learning experience. Mrs. Patrick also attends multiple extracurricular activities cheering on all of our students outside the normal school day. She has an amazing superpower of being a mother of two and a coach’s wife. Mrs. Patrick is a champion for all students. We are so lucky to have Mrs. Patrick on the middle school campus. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to Ms. Judy Kemp for being selected as the Staff Member of the Month. Mrs. Kemp, the China Spring Elementary Registrar, is a rock star! The beginning of the year is a very busy time for a registrar, and Judy does this with a smile! She hand enters in every Pre-K, Kindergarten student, and new to the district student, as well as handles returning students. This is a HUGE task and Judy does a fantastic job! Once school starts Mrs. Kemp handles our attendance, both online and in person, and she has yet again adapted and figured out ways to make this process smooth and efficient! If anyone needs anything Judy is the kind of person that will stop what she is doing, even if swamped, to help someone else out. We are blessed to have Judy as part of our China Spring Elementary Family and she is a perfect example of a Staff Member of the Month! Congratulations Mrs. Kemp!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Suzy Wright, 3rd grade teacher, for being selected as the Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Suzy Wright teaches at the elementary school and epitomizes what it means to be Faculty Member of the Month! She is always seen with a smile on her face and her students say she is very kind and patient! Suzy has a great attitude and despite all the challenges we have faced, she keeps on rocking along forward! She has been very adaptable and has taken on the challenge of learning new technologies to support all of her students, both in person and online. She is a wonderful resource for her team as well. She is a source of encouragement and knowledge! If students don’t understand something the first time, Mrs. Wright looks for alternate ways to helps them be successful, and is excellent at keeping parents in the loop as well! Mrs. Wright is an asset to the school and we are so happy she is a part of the China Spring Elementary Family! Congratulations!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Shannon Field, Science teacher at the high school, on being the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Although she has been a pillar in the district for some time, we are blessed to have had her sweet presence and positive outlook at the high school campus for the last three years. Mrs. Field teaches the crucial position of Honors Biology at the High school, as she not only helps us to prepare students for the Biology EOC, but also helps set the high expectations of China Spring High School with our incoming ninth grade students. In crafting her lessons, she has the unique ability to ensure content is taught with rigorous standards, as well as to plan to engage students by catering to their specific interests and needs. She is a cornerstone in the experience of the freshman class. Beyond just serving the needs of our China Spring High School students, Mrs. Field demonstrates a superior level of care and support for her team and her colleagues. Her naturally conscientious nature means that she can be found offering support, resources, and assistance to other teachers. Finally, Mrs. Field embodies what it means to live and breathe education. She constantly pushes and grows her students and colleagues; but perhaps most importantly, she is the first to jump in and try a new technology, strategy, or approach in the learning environment. She is willing to make herself vulnerable when it means that she will improve her craft as an educator and a teammate. Whether she is helping to build assessments for her team, providing cheerleading to teachers who need support, or simply sharing a smile with all of us each day, she is a ray of Cougar Sunshine in what has been an unprecedented year in education. Thank you Mrs. Field, for your incredible work ethic and passion for students. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to Mrs. Jo Wilson for being selected as the Staff Member of the Month. Mrs. Wilson, the China Spring ISD Payroll Clerk, has been with the District since 1997, with most of her time spent as Middle School Secretary. After our long time employee that did Payroll retired in June of 2019, Jo stepped into the Payroll position and has done a wonderful job! This job is an important one for the district - there is not a lot of room for error when you are dealing with someone's paycheck! The job covers employee pay, benefits, leave and so many other aspects that it is a HUGE job and Jo has brought a fresh set of eyes, experiences and questions to the position. We have been able to change and streamline a lot of processes in the Payroll/HR area because of her flexibility and willingness to try something new. Although her position is officially Payroll Specialist, she also works closely with the other Business Office staff in accounting, accounts payable and HR to make things run smoothly for the entire Business Office. Her work ethic and flexibility are extraordinary – she never says “that’s not my job”, she just says “what else do you have that I can do to help you?” Jo is a valuable part of the Business/Admin Office and the China Spring ISD staff – we are so very lucky to have her here. Congratulations!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Kelly Barak, 5th grade teacher at the intermediate, on being selected as Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Kelly is a hard worker, a team player, and proven to be flexible beyond measure. Mrs. Barak stepped into a position that made it possible for 5th Grade Intermediate online learners to have one dedicated teacher. She had to sacrifice the in-person personal connection, her classroom “stuff”, and the constant companionship of her peers to perform this teaching duty. She has taken on this teaching position with a fantastic attitude and has worked to make it as positive for the students as possible while continuing to hold her online learners to high expectations. She continues to smile and stay positive even through the trial and tribulations of this new style of learning and teaching. Thank you Mrs. Barak for finding a way even when the way is difficult and daunting! Keep up the good work! The intermediate campus is sooo lucky to have you! Congratulations!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Janice Needham, high school and middle school Choir teacher, on being selected as Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Needham can be found on both the middle school and high school campuses championing for all students. You will hear sounds of joy and positivity whenever you are near Mrs. Needham and her classroom. She is willing to assist where ever she is needed and is willing to help students achieve their greatest potential either on the stage or in their everyday lives. Mrs. Needham builds quality relationships with her students and they know she cares. She has been more than willing to implement technology in her classroom and has done a tremendous job of working with our online learners in helping them be successful not only in her class but in checking progress in their other classes. She always cast a positive light during times that could be trying. Thank you Mrs. Needham for all of your hard work and dedication to our China Spring students and staff. Congratulations!
Staff Member of the Month – Congratulations to Tabitha Hymen, one of the ring masters of the high school office for being the staff member of the month. In a year of uncertainty, Tabitha Hymel is a constant. Regardless of the challenge, her attitude is always a genuine “I just want to make it right.” The front office is a game of baseball: it is all about the strategy, and it seems never ending. Inevitably, our days are made up of fastballs, curveballs, and the occasional slider. Tabitha is the catcher; she has no interest in fame or attention, but only in her team’s success. From her perspective, she has a full view of the game, but never lets the unexpected distract her from the essentials that allow our campus to function. She has the ability to tune out the noise, and help make the calls that she knows will get the job done. Because she does her job well, we are able to do ours. Her consistency is not only limited to her work performance - she is always a welcoming, kind face that you see when you walk in the door with a voice that lets you know she is genuinely glad to see you. Whether we have jumbled attendance, or need help with an onslaught of students in the office, or just need to hear that it will be okay after a few strikeouts, Tabitha is an unwavering positive influence that makes our high school front office one of the brightest places to be.
Top Kitchen of the Quarter - The Middle School Child Nutrition team has shown a willingness to adapt to the challenges created by COVID and to use the situation as an opportunity to improve their service, food presentation and food quality. They have displayed a positive and open attitude to the varied tasks of their campus administration and department leadership. While many campuses are experiencing severe decreases in meal participation, the Middle School’s sales have remained strong and are growing. Feeding students is the goal of our program and the Middle School Child Nutrition team is on point. Congratulations to manager, Tish Carpenter, and staff members Paula Erdman and Mireya Hooten.
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Tena Elkins, 6th grade Math Teacher at the Intermediate Campus, on being nominated and selected as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Her principal states “She has taken on any challenge I have given her and embraced it; from taking on the honors classes, to having a student teacher, to using Google Classroom! She works long and hard to make sure she is offering our students the best math education possible. She continues to find ways to blaze the trail to get technology into the classroom.” Her assistant principal Mr. Ross said “China Spring Intermediate is fortunate to have such quality teachers like Tena Elkins. When we offered teachers the opportunity to visit one another's classrooms, Tena was one of the first to want to see and get ideas from other teachers' classrooms and to invite other teachers into her learning environment. When we wanted to make our Professional Learning Communities more collaborative and teacher facilitated, Tena stepped up and guided an awesome training on "Productive Struggle" for the campus. When we needed a mentor for one of our new teachers, Tena shared of herself and filled that role. When we needed someone to invest in a student teacher, Tena took one of them under her wings. Time after time Tena has presented herself as a servant leader, and it is with great confidence that she is worthy of our Faculty of the Month award! So Congratulations to Tena Elkins as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Zabrina Lard, Math Teacher at the High School, on being selected as the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. When looking at the profile of the faculty member of the month, Mrs. Zabrina Lard fits the description in every way. Mrs. Lard is in her 2nd year on the high school campus, after previously serving our students at the middle school. Mrs. Lard currently teaches Algebra 1 and Algebra 2, and is also a member of China Spring’s CILD team. Mrs. Lard’s math department speaks highly of her that she is a team player willing to teach whatever is needed of her, “whether algebra, geometry, honors, or inclusion”. She has embraced her creativity and used it in her classroom with fantastic results. Mrs. Lard goes out of her way to document her students’ successes and share it with the community, especially on Twitter where she has a strong presence; representing herself, her students, and the CS community well. Mrs. Lard is not afraid to try new innovative techniques in her classroom and goes out of her way to communicate those successes with her department. If something doesn’t go as planned when implementing a new innovative strategy, no one would be the wiser. Mrs. Lard simply gets back to the grindstone to re-tool and make the necessary adjustments so her students find success. And she does it all with a huge smile on her face that fills the halls. Her passion for her students can be witnessed every single week as you find Mrs. Lard in the stands supporting and yelling for her students who compete in athletics. One of Mrs. Lard’s students stated, “I know that Mrs. Lard cares about us. She’s always participating in spirit days, I see her supporting us on Thursday nights at the football games and now during basketball season, and she is always curious about what is going on in our lives outside of school.” Another student stated, “I can’t ever remember Mrs. Lard without a smile. I love going to her class because whether or not I like math, or if I’m even good at math, I know Mrs. Lard will treat me with the utmost respect. We are all like her children when we’re in her class.” This speaks volumes of the character that Mrs. Lard possesses. Like many of the teachers at the HS campus, Mrs. Zabrina Lard is the consummate professional, very deserving of the award: Faculty Member of the Month! So Congratulations Mrs. Lard!
Staff Member of the Month – Congratulations to Shawn Anderson, Housekeeping at the Administration Building, on being nominated and selected as the Staff Member of the Month. Mr. Anderson does an outstanding job keeping our building super clean and in tip top shape. Many people who visit our building comment on how new it still smells and how great it looks. In my opinion, those comments are linked to Shawn Anderson and the way he takes care of our building. You can find Shawn daily working hard to stay out of everyone’s way yet at the same time doing his job well. He always is so friendly and never lets you pass by with saying good morning, or how are you, etc. He has a big smile on his face all of the time and I truly feel he enjoys his job. Jennifer Crook said “he greets her every day with a smile and his happiness is contagious. Anytime I have a meeting or training and need tables set up he is quick to ask what I want it to look like and never fails to make it happen. Shawn also takes on the role of bus driver every morning and every night. Dr. Pitts said “Shawn does a great job establishing a relationship with his students and fellow bus drivers and is a true asset to our transportation department.” So Congratulations to Mr. Anderson on being the Staff Member of the Month.
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Stephanie Hodges for being nominated and selected as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. She is a third grade math, science, and social studies teacher. Her Principal, Mrs. Coe, states, “Mrs. Hodges knows her content and is always open to trying new ideas and collaborating together with her team to provide engaging learning experiences for her students. She is dedicated to student growth and feels responsible for each of her student’s success. Mrs. Hodges makes learning relevant, fun and engaging and makes sure every student gets what they need to be successful. Year after year she creates an excellent learning environment where her students are up and moving around with interactive hands-on tasks.” Fellow 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Iverson, states, “Mrs. Hodges is a terrific colleague. She is a great collaborator and is always willing to share her resources, knowledge and expertise with others on her team. The students respect and love her and she can get the best out of them. Mrs. Hodges is consistently positive with them even when the student is having a difficult day." Mrs. Hodges’ partner teacher, Mrs. Schiller, states, “I have really enjoyed working with Mrs. Hodges this year. She has taught me a lot with just the short time we have been partners. She is a kind person and sees the good in everyone and everything. She will go the extra mile for her students and co-workers. She puts endless hours in to planning fun, engaging lessons for her students. If you have a child that has been lucky enough to have Mrs. Hodges as a teacher, consider yourself blessed. She is so patient and forgiving. She has a way of talking to the students and getting real responses from them. She’s kind of like the “kid whisperer.” It has been an amazing experience to teach along with her this year. She is very deserving of this special recognition.” Congratulations to Mrs. Hodges! We are so grateful that she is a part of our elementary school family!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Nikki Picon, AIS Teacher at the middle school, on being selected as the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Nikki is an ideal candidate for Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Ms. Picon is our AIS (Academic and Independent Skills) teacher on our middle school campus. In her classroom, she works with a variety of needs and differentiates excellently to make sure every student’s needs are met. She spends a lot of time planning and preparing individualized lessons for her students. Ms. Picon provides excellent academic instruction on each student’s individualized level while also helping meet her student’s emotional and social needs. Ms. Picon also works to integrate meaningful social and living skills that will help students throughout their whole lives. Every Friday she plans and helps guide the students through a cooking activity that is connected to a story they read that week in class. Students love eating their creations, but also enjoy getting to make them and are proud of themselves for their accomplishment! Ms. Picon is continually looking for opportunities to provide additional real-world experiences for her students. She plans field trips outside of the school, such as a trip to the Pumpkin Patch and Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, as well as meaningful social interaction experiences in school, such as their Harvest Celebration activity where they went around to different classrooms. Ms. Picon stays positive and is always willing to try new things to help her students! She also does a fantastic job communicating with parents; she goes above and beyond to give her parents updates as to how their student is doing. In ARD meetings, parents are always singing Ms. Picon’s praises and sharing how much she has positively impacted their child’s educational experience! We are thankful to have Ms. Picon as a vital member of our CSMS Family! Congratulations Ms. Picon!
Staff Member of the Month – Congratulations to Barret Schuetz for being selected as Staff Member of the Month for the month of February. Barret is a member of the grounds crew that's responsible for maintaining the exterior lawns and landscaping throughout the district. Grounds Supervisor, Bobby Lyons, said "Barret does an exceptional job in every aspect of his duties and is always willing to help out others. He's done a great job of filling in for one of the other members of the crew that been out for the past few months. Barret is a great employee that always has a positive attitude." Again, we'd like to express our gratitude to Barret Schuetz for all of his hard work and dedication to CSISD. So Congratulations to Mr. Schuetz on being the Staff Member of the Month.
Top Cougar Kitchen - Congratulations to China Spring Elementary for being selected CSISD's Top Kitchen for November-February. Director of Food Services, Jill Sanders, states, "The elementary staff continues to exceed expectations. They have increased total meals per day by 72 meals compared to this time last year. Their commitment to producing quality meals and serving the students of CSES exemplifies the true Cougar Spirit." Dr. Pitts also mentioned, "The elementary kitchen staff has had to deal with many obstacles this year, yet they've addressed those issues with a positive attitude and it's evident that is why we continue to excel on that campus." So congratulations to Manager Tammy White, Luanne Squillace, Vickie McCrary, Dawn Melead, Amber Harris, and Patrice Brown. Thank you for all that you do for the students of China Spring Elementary.
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Kelly Barak for being nominated and selected as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. She is a relative newcomer to CSISD but has come in and done a tremendous job teaching 5th grade math and working with her 5th grade team. She is quiet but dedicated, creates a classroom environment of high expectations, and has done well with our inclusion team of teachers and students alike. Kelly is a flexible team player that is always willing to help a partner out. She looks to try new things with her cohorts to engage students like Goose Chases and Math Stations. We appreciate her level of commitment to China Spring students and families and are glad she joined our CSI team! Her fellow teachers Mrs. Hoiten and Mrs. Mayes state “Kelly is such a great teacher! She brings her best every single day, teaching her students with a bright smile and a positive attitude! Her ability to understand the individual needs of her students and meet those needs with tons of caring and kindness is just one of many things that make her so amazing! She is such an asset to our campus and I’m thankful every day to have her on not only on the 5th grade team! Kelly is always ready to learn new ways to present math concepts to her class. She puts together games and uses technology to insure learning in her classroom. Kelly has embraced using centers to give students opportunities to practice math skills while using guided math to work with small groups. Kelly has a great rapport with her students and high expectations. China Spring 5th grade is blessed to have her as a part of the math team. So Congratulations to Kelly Barak!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month –Congratulations to Cody Corntassel on being selected as the Faculty Member of the Month. Cody is an outstanding athletic trainer and does an unbelievable job with our student athletes. He not only makes decisions about athletic injuries, but he spends a tremendous amount of time helping our athletes with rehab, thus getting them back on the field or court as soon as possible. Due to his outstanding performance with rehabbing our student athletes they do not have to miss school time for rehab appointments during the school day. Cody is the best athletic trainer that I have had the opportunity to work with in my coaching career. He gets to work every day by 7:00 am and usually never leaves until late at night due to his dedication to the program and our student athletes. Cody spends extra time working with our basketball teams and soccer teams with sport specific drills as well as working hand in hand everyday with our strength and conditioning class. Our coaching staff truly respects Cody for his hard work, dedication, and professionalism. Cody has quality written on everything that he touches and takes on. Once again, Cody is a “Fantastic Athletic Trainer and Employee for China Spring ISD!” So congratulations Cody and we are blessed to have you!
Staff member of the Month for March - Congratulations to Colton Richards for being selected as Staff Member of the Month for the month of March. Colton is a dedicated hard worker as a Systems Technician I. He has started his second year in a professional technical position and over his time here he has shown tremendous growth both personally and professionally. "Colt" is literally our work horse. One day I saw an increase of work orders come in from the High School campus and decided to help Colton. When I asked if he needed help said, "No. I got it covered." I thought to myself, "He must not have seen all the work orders from the HS campus." Turns out in the time that all those work orders came in he had reached out to each teacher and scheduled a time to visit with them or had assisted them remotely and resolved their issue. When asked about Colton, Ms. Cheryl McDuff stated, "Whenever I have a problem with technology, I kind of panic. But Colton always comes quickly, ready to figure it out. I appreciate that Colton is always willing to help with my classroom needs, and he does it quickly." And Mrs. Heather Jenkins stated that, "Colton Richards is a fantastic technology friend! He helps with absolutely anything that is asked of him, sometimes it’s not even really tech related like just turning a knob for volume, and he never judges or laughs at you when it’s that simple of a fix. We appreciate his quick competent responses to our constant needs!" The tech department is proud to have Colton as a member of the team. He's proved himself an asset to the district and is well deserving of Staff Member of the Month. Congratulations Colton!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Holly Johnson for being nominated and selected as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Her principal, Mrs. Coe, stated, “Holly is very deserving of this special recognition. She works so hard to create an engaging and fun learning environment for her students. Holly utilizes technology, best teaching practices, and unforgettable experiences to help each and every one of her students reach their greatest potential.” Fellow colleague, Keima Zapata, stated, “Holly is so deserving of this recognition! I have worked with Holly since I started here at China Spring many moons ago- she was actually my mentor teacher during student teaching. From that day, I have marveled at how she never seems to raise her voice. She gets her meaning across to her students in a calm, clear, no nonsense way and moves on. In addition, she has always tapped in to what the students will find engaging and motivating. In the "early years,” it was art and games. Nowadays, she has moved on with the times and is always diving headfirst into some new and cool technology for the classroom. From coding to skyping with Henry Winkler and Jane Goodall, Mrs. Johnson is ready to go! Her students are lucky to have a teacher so willing to try new and exciting things. I am lucky to have had her by me all these years passing along all her creative ideas. She is such a team player and is always willing to share what she does as well as reach ahead into upcoming units and help plan lessons to come. Her organization helps keep the second grade ELAR team on track!” Tricia Begesse, the campus’s instructional technologist, stated, “Holly has been in education for a long time. I admire her passion for teaching and always being willing to try something new. I always look forward to working with Mrs. Johnson when she comes and says, "This is my idea, now how do we do it?" When she comes to the Techy Treehouse, she is not afraid to show students she is a lifelong learner. She models her thought process and learning along with the students. Holly doesn't have to know all the answers, she gives the students the time and space to learn and problem solve. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Mrs. Johnson. I look forward to many more years.” Congratulations to Mrs. Johnson. We are so grateful that she is a part of our elementary school family!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mr. Daniel Farris for receiving the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month honor! Mr. Farris is very deserving of this award! Mr. Farris is the Choir Director at the Middle School and High School campuses. Under the tutelage of Mr. Farris, the choir program has expanded tremendously and continues to grow each year. Mr. Farris gets to know his students and forms lasting relationships with them. His encouragement and support goes well beyond the walls of the choir room, and it spills over into their other classes as well. If you ask any of Mr. Farris’ students how to describe him, they would say kind, funny, sees the potential in students when they don’t even see it in themselves, and an encourager. He has a calm demeanor and a smile on his face always! You can’t be in his classroom for long without a smile being brought to your face, because the joy he has for what he does and instills in his students is infectious! Mr. Farris is an extremely hard worker to say the least and works tirelessly to help each of his students grow and reach their goals. You often find him at the piano after school helping a student run through a solo or giving voice lessons. Mr. Farris is a wonderful team player and is always willing to help anyone out that needs assistance. He is our resident sound system guru and is constantly helping us get the PAC setup for events, solving any problem we throw at him. When approached with an idea, Mr. Farris is always up for the challenge, and the results are amazing! We are blessed to have him on our CSMS Family! Congratulations Mr. Farris!
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to E. J. Tatsch for being selected as the Staff Member of the Month for the month of April. E. J. has been an integral part of the staff at China Spring Intermediate since the day he became the Campus Maintenance Supervisor. He is always willing to step in and help no matter what is needed. He constantly takes the initiative to address issues before anyone has time to bring them to his attention. The campus administrators and faculty constantly brag about how well he and his staff take care of the building and the pride they show in their work. E. J.'s work ethic is impeccable and he does an exceptional job of leading by example. We are so blessed to have him as a China Spring Cougar! Congratulations E. J. on being named CSISD Staff Member of the Month - it is well deserved!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Delaney Straley for being nominated and selected as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Straley, even though one of our youngest teachers, is truly a master at working with families and children with special needs. She serves her students with compassion while still setting high expectations. She creates learning experiences for every student in her class at such a differentiated level and the growth has been monumental in each of her students in the 2 years of having her as their teacher. She also works with parents in the home to help extinguish behaviors that create difficulties during family time. She is full of ideas, passion, and she is always “brewing” something up to help her students grow and become the best individuals they can be as part of the student body at China Spring Intermediate. We have her to thank for our Brewing Independence coffee service. This is just one of the many ways she has gotten her kids out and about using everyday skills to learn and grow! Mrs. Straley has changed lives here at the Intermediate and we hope she realizes how special we feel she is to our families and our students. We are so grateful that she is a part of our intermediate school family! Congratulations once again Mrs. Straley!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Coach David Wright on being the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Coach Wright is in his 24th year of education with stops all over the state of Texas and Oklahoma, as a head football coach and defensive coordinator. This is his third year at CSHS and he teaches BIM 1 and BIM 2. He also is the linebackers' coach and the Varsity Basketball assistant coach. Coach Wright has a done tremendous job at the high school helping improve the already outstanding BIM program. Last year, Coach Wright implemented the Core Certification Program for Microsoft Word and Excel in his BIM classes, and 90% of his students achieved certification. This year, that number has jumped to 92%. He is in the process of starting the Expert Core Certification Program for both Microsoft Word and Excel, which could eventually earn the high school campus some coveted distinctions. One of Coach Wright's students said, "Coach Wright has helped me so much to understand the fine details of Word and Excel that I never knew existed. He is so personable and holds us accountable to finishing our work and being dedicated to excellence." Furthermore, Coach Wright is helping change the way students look at Microsoft Word and Excel helping better prepare them for a future in a quickly advancing technological world. Coach Wright has gone out of his way, on his own time, to be better versed in Microsoft, Google, and the certification process. His efforts are substantial and vital to the success of our students and the high school campus. I would like to thank Coach Wright for his dedication to our students and to our district. Congratulations again on this great honor.
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to Rhonda Gullett for being selected as the Staff Member of the Month for the month of May. She is new to the district and the MS kitchen this year but we are truly blessed to have someone like her here. She has an awesome can do attitude and is very enthusiastic. She is upbeat and always keeps our spirits up by all the cute songs she makes up and sings to us. Rhonda is a very hard worker and always tries to go above and beyond with whatever she does here. She has a great rapport with students and staff and is a standout in our kitchen. So congratulations to Rhonda on being nominated and selected as the Staff Member of the Month for May!
Top Cougar Kitchen of the Quarter - Congratulations to China Spring Intermediate for being selected CSISD’s Top Kitchen for March – May. The Intermediate staff continues to provide excellent service and healthy meals to the students and staff every day. The result of that dedication to customer service is an increase in participation at the campus of 12 student meals per day. The Intermediate cafeteria team is committed to providing the students of CSISD Intermediate a fantastic experience. Congratulations to Manager Fay Hudgins, Holly Cobb, Amanda Windle and Donna Kempinski. Thank you for all you do for the students of China Spring Intermediate.
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Teresa Kimbrough for being selected as the Faculty Member of the Month. Her Pre-K team stated, “Teresa has been an absolute joy to work with. She is an amazing mentor, teacher, co-worker, and friend. She has a servant's heart and does whatever it takes, not only for our team to be successful, but for us to feel prepared and stress free beyond expected requirements. Teresa loves her students and makes their first year of "big kid school" a smooth and fun transition. She goes above and beyond taking care of the Pre-K children as if they were her own. We truly feel blessed beyond measure to get to work alongside her and China Spring Elementary is blessed to have her.” Mr. Gilbert stated, “Mrs. Kimbrough is such a dedicated educator. She works hard each day to instill a love of learning in her Pre-K students at such a young age. Her engaging activities, songs, chants, and read-alouds help her students to learn the most foundational skills to be successful for not only their next twelve years in school, but the rest of their lives. She has worked diligently the past several months to lead a new team of four Pre-K teachers and three paraprofessionals into implementing a full-day program. Mrs. Kimbrough is the kind of teacher that everyone would want their child to have for their first year in school. She is truly deserving of the honor to be selected as the September Faculty Member of the Month!”
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Rachel Stolle on being the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Rachel Stolle is a very deserving choice for this honor. She teaches 8th grade science and Science Fair on the Middle School campus. Mrs. Stolle makes it her mission to form relationships with her students. She is their cheerleader, constant encourager, dance partner on brain breaks, and source of support and knowledge. Mrs. Stolle meets students where they are, gets to know them and helps lift them to reach their goals. If you haven’t seen it on twitter, Mrs. Stolle travels around each week to one of her students houses and places a sign in their yard that says, “Mrs. Stolle is so proud of me!” And proud of her students she is indeed. She celebrates with them when they have accomplishments and comforts them through the hard times. Her classroom is definitely an experience, from the lights, sounds, and smells down to the instruction that is taking place. She truly makes learning fun and meaningful for the students. More times than not her students are moving, completing stations, and having individualized/small group experiences with the content. She strives to continuously improve her practices and is very intentional about planning engaging lessons that are relevant to students. In addition to her regular Science classes Mrs. Stolle is also the Science Fair sponsor. Last year was her first year as our Science Fair sponsor and she had 2 kids qualify for state, with one of them, Timmy Reid, winning state and we just found out a couple of weeks ago advanced to the top 300 projects! We find out very soon if he made top 30 and advances to Washington DC with his project from last year which is quite an accomplishment! Mrs. Stolle did a fantastic job leading us through that process and coaching the kids! She is dedicated to her students and her passion for teaching kids is off the charts! She daily embodies “our WHY”! Congratulations Mrs. Stolle!
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to Mrs. Ashley Whatley for being selected as the Staff Member of the Month for the month of September. Mrs. Whatley, the Intermediate campus' technologist is a ray of sunshine. She is always on board with our ideas and very willing to collaborate about how we can make them come to fruition. She has spent countless hours making her Technology Cafe special for her students and she takes her role as technologist seriously. She works hard to combine fun and instruction within this elective. Ashley follows the interest of the students and creates experiences that reach many different parts of the technology world; robotics, videography, research and development etc..... She doesn't say no she looks for a way. One of her students, Cason Shriver, stated “I think Mrs. Whatley is a good technology teacher because she lets us play games when we finish our work but you have to get your work complete first. Overall she is the best technology teacher you can ask for.” She embodies #ourWHY #ALLINALLOURS and #WHYNOT Congratulations Mrs. Whatley!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month –Congratulations to Mrs. Jennifer May for being selected as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. We felt that the students best sum up her willing spirit, loving nature, and commitment to CSISD students! Students relate their thoughts and say, “Mrs. May, you are so awesome because you always have a great and helpful spirit. I love how you greet us at the door every day. Thank you for being so happy.” Another student said, “I love how she greets us in the morning. She says it’s going to be a great day and she is very nice and kind to us, when we are having a rough start in the morning.” Other students go on to say, “Mrs. May always greets me and starts off my day as a great day. She always gives me hugs and says good morning, have a great day, and you can do it!” Students also said, “In the mornings when I get to class she always says to my class to have the best day and all kinds of other motivational words!” “She stands at the door to the gym even if it’s cold and when it’s raining. Mrs. May is such a good counselor and she is super nice.” Her principal says, “Jennifer is driven to bring joy, fill hearts, and educate the whole individual. She is constantly coming up with ways to bring the HAPPY……..We are blessed by her presence every day! She is truly deserving of the honor to be selected as the October Faculty Member of the Month!” Congratulations Mrs. May!
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Meagan Collier on being the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Collier has been a "jack-of-all-trades" on the high school campus from the moment she was hired during the summer of 2016. She is a Math teacher by certification, but after taking some time off to be a stay-at-home mom, she filled in masterfully in an English IV classroom after an unexpected move by a teacher. She has never complained once when given different subjects to teach, ranging from Honors Algebra I, Honors Algebra II, Honors Geometry, and the aforementioned English IV. Mrs. Collier is very professional and she rarely says no, and even when tasked with teaching a subject she's never taught before, she leads her students to success. She puts students first, works on her craft in researching instructional practices, implements multiple strategies to help students succeed, and builds relationships in the community, specifically with her students' parents and guardians. She has been dedicated to educating the whole person, and the high school campus reaps the benefits of this effort every single day. Furthermore, Meagan is a great collaborator with her peers. She works tirelessly to help those in her department who are new to the profession, and she was a hands-down, unanimous choice to be a mentor teacher. The depth of knowledge is quite deep, and she shares it freely with teachers and students alike. She is both gentle, but firm in her approach in the classroom, and she is highly respected by her peers, parents, students, and administrators. It is a pleasure to have Mrs. Collier on the high school campus and the district is blessed to have teachers of her caliber. Congratulations, Mrs. Collier, for being this month's Faculty Member of the Month.
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to Mrs. Tammy Pitts for being selected as the Staff Member of the Month for the month of October. Mrs. Pitts is in her first full year as the attendance czar at the high school after joining the Cougar family last spring. Mrs. Pitts handles one of the most important factors in a school setting, which is tracking each student’s attendance throughout the year. Not only this, she simultaneously welcomes visitors to the high school with a smile and charm rivaled by no one. Mrs. Pitts is extremely hard working, detail-oriented, and passionate about making sure students are at school and in class. The high school campus could not function as well without the hard work of Mrs. Pitts. She also works with the assistant principals in the day-to-day operations as well as working with the teaching staff and substitutes to make sure the daily operations of the campus run smoothly. We could not be more proud of Mrs. Pitts and we are blessed to have her on our campus. Congratulations, Mrs. Pitts, on being selected as this month’s Staff Member of the Month!
Elementary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Ashley Gerdes for being nominated and selected as the Elementary Faculty Member of the Month. Her principal, Mrs. Coe stated, “Mrs. Gerdes builds relationships with her students and puts her students and their needs first. She adjusts her teaching methods to whatever they need to set them up for success. In addition, she is a great resource for all of her fellow teachers.” Suzy Wright, 3rd grade teacher, stated, “For the past five years, I've been blessed to work and plan ELAR lessons with Ashley. She has amazing ideas for differentiating instruction and is very knowledgeable about the TEKS. This year, I'm EXTREMELY blessed to have Ashley working in my classroom with Special Education students. Wow! I am blown away by her kindness and patience with all of the students in class. She builds close relationships with all of the students and their parents. Thank you, Ashley, for being such a huge help to all of us every day.” Third grade teachers, Stacy Dill and Carrie Bevins, also stated, “We don’t know what we would do without Ashley. She is always there to help any student in need. Her patience and understanding of all students’ learning styles is amazing. We know we can always depend on her help to help in any way. We are so grateful that she is a part of our elementary school family.” Congratulations Ashley! You are very deserving of this special recognition.
Secondary Faculty Member of the Month – Congratulations to Mrs. Tricia Hepler on being the Secondary Faculty Member of the Month. Mrs. Hepler is the perfect choice for this great honor! She teaches 7th grade English at the Middle School and is a leader in our English department. Mrs. Hepler has a true love for literature and does her very best to instill that in her students through thoughtfully prepared lessons. She strives to not only prepare her students with the skills they need, but to foster a love of reading as well. She also has a huge heart and goes out of her way to get to know her students and let them know that she genuinely cares for them. She encourages her students to pursue the very best for themselves, holds them to a high standard, and cheers them on to reach and exceed their goals. Mrs. Hepler is a prime example of a team player. She is always there to share ideas and resources with teammates without even being asked. When she sees a need, she will jump in and do it without seeking any acknowledgement. She even volunteered to help out with the Sunshine Committee being in charge of our Birthday Potluck Celebrations and has volunteered to attend Middle School dances, which is a huge feat! She is a valued member of our CSMS Family and very deserving of this honor! Congratulations, Mrs. Hepler, for being this month's Faculty Member of the Month.
Staff Member of the Month - Congratulations to Ms. Carrie Bodin for being selected as the Staff Member of the Month for the month of November. Dusty Gilley, EPCD1 special education teacher, stated the following, “Ms. Bodin has been a paraprofessional in the EPCD1 classroom for going on four years. She is irreplaceable! Ms. Bodin does everything asked of her and beyond. She notices things that may have been overlooked and finds ways to get them done. Ms. Bodin is in and out of different classrooms supporting students daily, and I have only heard positive things from all of those teachers. She loves every child with her whole heart and will do anything needed to make the student more successful whether it’s an academic accommodation or supporting them with their behavior needs. She is amazing!” Mrs. Coe, Principal, stated, “Ms. Bodin is very deserving of this special recognition. She exhibits endless amounts of patience with students and her love for them is evident in all she does. She loves and cares for each one of her students deeply and strives to meet their unique and individual needs every day. Ms. Bodin has a strong work ethic and will always jump in and help out with anything that is needed. She loves what she does and it shows through her interactions with students and co-workers. We are blessed to have Ms. Carrie Bodin as a part of our team at China Spring Elementary! Congratulations Carrie!”
Top Cougar Kitchen - The CSISD Top Kitchen for August - October is China Spring High School. The team, led by their new manager, Cheri Gardner has implemented Sodexo's Taste4 menu, designed for secondary schools. This new menu features a large variety of recipes that rotate on a 6 month cycle. What this means for the kitchen staff is new recipes every week! The High School team executes these new weekly menu items to perfection. The team's positive attitude focuses on how they can implement these changes successfully and increase customer satisfaction. For the first quarter, the High School kitchen has experienced a comp growth in sales of 19%. This growth reflects an increase of over 100 meals being served to students at both breakfast and lunch each day. Since there is a direct correlation between student nutrition and academic performance, we are proud of the results the China Spring High School kitchen has made in feeding our students.
Members of the High School Cafeteria Staff:
Cheri Gardner - Manager
Nimmie Bryant - Assistant Manager