CCISD names Employees of the Year

Special to the Leader-Press

As the school year comes to a close, CCISD has named its Employees of the Year with both the CCISD Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year advancing to the Region 12 contest.
Jennifer Stevenson of Martin Walker Elementary is the CCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. Stevenson teaches 5th grade science and is in her third year of teaching. She loves nothing more than watching and catching the ‘Ah Hah’ moments her students share during class. Her drive to improve her students’ growth is fueled by her extreme thirst to improve her own instructional craft. Stevenson’s strengths is how she reviews and leverages data to inform her instruction. She is a model on campus for how to use data to reform her instruction. Her willingness to accept responsibility and adjust her instruction based upon constant data analysis is a huge reason for her students’ success year after year. Another strength of Stevenson’s is that she maximizes all the tools and resources available. She uses them to support and augment her teaching. Stevenson understands that she is the single greatest school-related factor that impacts student learning and she is a student-centric teacher.
Jessica Steele of Copperas Cove Junior High is the CCISD Secondary Teacher of the Year and teaches 8th grade math and Algebra 1. Steele has been teaching for six years and is the lead teacher of the CCJHS 8th grade team. She uses data to drive her instruction and digs in deeply to students’ individual areas of weakness to help design lessons to make them successful. She uses technology to students engaged, often working together in teams competing in math competitions.  Additionally, she uses technology to give her students immediate feedback on their work. Steele, herself, is always learning  and constantly seeking new ways to teach her content. Steele began as a substitute teacher and became a paraprofessional before becoming a teacher. Math is a difficult subject to teach. Students are always excited to see what she has in store for them each day.  They know that there will be work to do, but they also know Mrs. Steele will make that work fun. .  Math games, hands-on activities, or taking the class out into the hallways to measure angles, Steele keeps her instruction engaging for her students.
Jessica Rhodes of Clements/Parsons Elementary is the CCISD Rookie Teacher of the Year and teaches 4th grade math and science. It didn’t take long for the campus to realize that Jessica Rhodes was an amazing teacher. Rhodes has a dedicated time every Monday when students get to share about their happenings over the weekend. Rhodes holds a lunch appreciation for her students every Friday, celebrating students for making great choices throughout the week by allowing them into her classroom to enjoy lunch with her. Rhodes became student council adviser, leading an outstanding group of young individuals who received a first place award for the Recycle She provides parents with a weekly newsletter, alerting them to upcoming events and skills she is teaching in class to help them feel part of her classroom.
Dorrie Elmore of Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy is the CCISD Paraprofessional of the Year. Elmore has been employed by the district for 24 years. The role of a paraprofessional is a difficult job that requires one to be flexible and available. As an instructional aide, Elmore had always been a hard worker. In the absence of a teacher due to disability leave, Elmore took a larger role in instruction of the students under the support of the instructional coach. She conducted whole group and small group balance literacy lessons while following established routines and procedures. Elmore ensured the students had no lapses in their learning process and that the students still had activities and structure during the absence of the teacher. In the past when needed, she has filled in in the front office efficiently answering the phones and taking messages.
Monika Robinette of the CCISD Child Nutrition Department is the CCISD Auxiliary Employee of the Year. Robinette is a very organized and has a commanding presence when she is in her kitchen. Over the last two years, Robinette has become a leader among the cafeteria managers in the district. Robinette is a professional trainer, an inspiring leader and has shown genuine ingenuity when coming up with great ideas for her school as well as the district cafeterias. She networks at conferences to meet people from other districts and gathers ideas ranging from menus to ingredients to display ideas that she then brings back to the district. Robinette is a very self-motivated cafeteria manager. 

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