McKinney ISD

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MISD Honors Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year at Annual Dinner

Article|
Shane Mauldin|
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Whitney Sellars (left) from Press Elementary is the 2017 McKinney ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Paul Stephens (right) from Scott Johnson Middle School is the McKinney ISD 2017 Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Whitney Sellars (left) from Press Elementary is the 2017 McKinney ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Paul Stephens (right) from Scott Johnson Middle School is the McKinney ISD 2017 Secondary Teacher of the Year.

McKinney, Texas – Whitney Sellars, a 4th grade teacher from Press Elementary is the MISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Paul Stephens, a band director from Scott Johnson Middle School, is the MISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Each year, McKinney ISD administrators, members of the Board of Trustees, community supporters and family members gather at Eldorado Country Club to pay homage to the best of the district’s best, those educators who shine even in the midst of their talented colleagues. They are the MISD Teachers of the Year.

The annual MISD Teacher of the Year Dinner was established to honor and showcase each Campus Teacher of the Year and to announce the elementary and secondary teacher who will each represent the district in the Region 10 Teacher of the Year selection process.

Standing onstage, MISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel offered a few remarks that set the tone for the evening. “There is no greater asset to this district than the teachers who serve our students every single day. Any time we have an opportunity to recognize our wonderful, talented teachers…I welcome that event. I’ve been looking forward to this, and I always do every single year. It’s a special, special night.”

McDaniel offered the microphone to McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller who reflected on the strong relationship enjoyed by the city and the school district during his 8 years as mayor. He spoke highly of the education that his own children received through MISD and the success they’ve enjoyed as a result of it.

Boyd High School Students

McKinney Boyd High School juniors Paris DuPre and Bryson Jackson provided entertainment for the Teacher of the Year Dinner with several vocal numbers. Both had leading roles in the Broadway Broncos recent production of “Mary Poppins.”

“You know I say this all the time,” Loughmiller said, “when we meet with companies and talk about why McKinney is such a great place to live and why you should bring your business here—or if you’re going to bring your business to Frisco or Plano or Allen, why you should buy a house in McKinney. It’s because of the quality of the school district that we have and the quality of life that we have, and I see that every day through your efforts.”

Earlier this spring, the MISD Campus Teachers of the Year were chosen by their colleagues and then took part in a portfolio review and interview process with a panel of judges who selected three finalists in each classification.

From among those finalists, the judges chose Whitney Sellars, a 4th grade teacher from Press Elementary as the MISD Elementary Teacher of the Year and Paul Stephens, a band director from Scott Johnson Middle School, as the MISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Rick McDaniel

McKinney ISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel at the 2017 McKinney ISD Teacher of the Year Dinner.

As each was announced, they weaved their way through a standing ovation to the stage where MISD Superintendent Dr. Rick McDaniel and MISD Board President Bobby Amick waited to congratulate them and then point them to the podium to address the audience.

Sellars spoke of her faith and her love for her job and thanked her husband and parents for their support. “What better honor is there than to serve children?” she said. “I have the honor of going into work every day to serve children, and it feels amazing.”

Stephens spoke of legacy and explained that his father was a band director and that his children are following in his footsteps as educators. “It’s in the blood, I guess,” he joked. Ultimately, though, he pointed out that teachers do not work in isolation and need the support of a strong team to be successful.

Whitney Sellars

Whitney Sellars, a 4th grade teacher from Press Elementary, is the 2017 McKinney ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year.

“It’s all about the students,” Stephens said. “I never had it on my own to take the credit because it’s always a group thing. It’s always ‘us’ not any one of us in the room. And, I think each of us in here understands that, and that’s why we’re in this room tonight.”

Sellars and Stephens will go on to represent MISD in the Region 10 Teacher of the Year contest. In doing so, they join a fine tradition; over the past 10 years, MISD has boasted five Region 10 Teachers of the Year, a Region 10 Teacher of the Year Finalist and a Texas Teacher of the Year.

The four remaining finalists were also called to the stage to be recognized. Angie Stallbaumer from Bennett Elementary was chosen as the Elementary Teacher of the Year 1st Runner-up, and Michael Childress from Finch Elementary was chosen as the Elementary Teacher of the Year 2nd Runner-up.

Robin Lakey from McKinney Boyd High School was named the Secondary Teacher of the Year 1st Runner-up, and Elizabeth Walker from Evans Middle School was selected as the Secondary Teacher of the Year 2nd Runner-up.

Paul Stephens

Paul Stephens, band director from Scott Johnson Middle School is the 2017 McKinney ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

MISD Board of Trustees President Bobby Amick addressed the audience and offered some personal insight into the impact that teachers make by describing struggles he faced in the 4th grade. His teacher did more than simply teach him the correct way to solve math problems.

“She put her arm around me, and she said, ‘We’re going to get this,’” Amick said. “And, yeah, she taught me distance equals rate times time. But, she taught me a whole lot more.

“You are sitting around teachers who get it. It’s not just about the lessons. You are the very best at understanding people, at solving problems that society has not yet answered because those students in your classroom struggle…and you wrap your arms around them, and you teach them about life. And, your peers recognize you. You are the best of the best, and I applaud you.”

2017 McKinney ISD Teachers of the Year by Campus:

Bennett Elementary – Angie Stallbaumer (MISD Elementary 1st Runner-up)
Burks Elementary – Sandra Cruz
Caldwell Elementary – Kimberly Hofmeister
Eddins Elementary – Carrie Nyland
Finch Elementary – Michael Childress (MISD Elementary 2nd Runner-up)
Glen Oaks Elementary – Robin Richardson
Reuben Johnson Elementary – Denise Call
Lawson Early Childhood School – Sarah Woodard
Malvern Elementary – Mary Mansfield
McClure Elementary – Cheryl Boeve
McGowen Elementary – Krystal Holguin
McNeil Elementary – Lauren Legleiter
Minshew Elementary – Ebonee King
Press Elementary – Whitney Sellars (MISD Elementary Teacher of the Year)
Slaughter Elementary – Alejandra Knott
Valley Creek Elementary – Kara Nelson
Vega Elementary – Evangeline Parker
Walker Elementary – Maya Good
Webb Elementary – Amanda Bathman
Wilmeth Elementary – Bridget Loya
Wolford Elementary – Ludi Srinivasan
DAEP – Christi Livingston

Cockrill Middle School – David Moore
Dowell Middle School – Nancy Morton
Evans Middle School – Elizabeth Walker (MISD Secondary 2nd Runner-up)
Faubion Middle School – Michael Parker
Scott Johnson Middle School – Paul Stephens (MISD Secondary Teacher of the Year)
Boyd Middle School – Robin Lakey (MISD Secondary 1st Runner-up)
McKinney High School – Laura Smith
McKinney North High School – Melvin Crosby
CRC – David Walker

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