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Lawson’s Genesis Yougas and Scott Johnson’s Daun Griffen Named 2023 MISD Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year at Annual Teacher of the Year Celebration

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Saturday, April 8, 2023
  • (left) Genesis Yougas, MISD Elementary Teacher of the Year and Daun Griffen, MISD Secondary Teacher of the Year
  • Guests arrive at the 2023 McKinney ISD Teacher of the Year Dinner held on Thursday, April 6, at the MISD Community Event Center.
  • Press Teacher of the Year Jennifer Westbrook (left) and Press Assistant Principal Rachel Cotton
  • McKinney ISD Board of Trustees President Amy Dankel shares a few words at the beginning of the Teacher of the Year Dinner.
  • Walker Elementary Principal Melanie Raleeh and Wilmeth Elementary Principal Kristin Ellis
  • Vega Elementary Teacher of the Year Alexa Nelson with family at the McKinney ISD Teacher of the Year Dinner
  • McKinney ISD Board of Trustees Vice President Philip Hassler
  • Wilmeth Elementary Teacher of the Year Chambre Carlton (third from left) with family and Principal Kristin Ellis (right) and Assistant Principal Amber Hooten (left). Ellis was Carlton's fourth grade teacher.
  • Representatives from Commercial Bank of Texas present MISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Genesis Yougas with a check for $1,000.
  • Representatives from Commercial Bank of Texas present MISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Daun Griffen with a check for $1,000.
  • 2022 McKinney ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Melvin Crosby from McKinney North High School offers some remarks at the 2023 MISD Teacher of the Year Dinner.
  • Bennett Elementary Teacher of the Year Christine Martin (left) and Bennett Assistant Principal Anita Tillson
  • McKinney ISD 2022 Elementary Teacher of the Year Erica Johnson of Press Elementary reflects on the past year as Teacher of the Year.
  • McKinney ISD Coordinator of Professional Development Jenny McGowan, Senior Director of Curriculum and Instruction Garry Gorman and Glen Oaks Elementary Principal Molly Hovan
  • DAEP Teacher of the Year Tracy Linnebur and DAEP Principal Kyle Luthi
  • MISD P.E. Coordinator Karin Klemm (left) and Valley Creek P.E. teacher and Campus Teacher of the Year Jordan Tennis, celebrate after Tennis was named Elementary First Runner Up.

McKinney, Texas – It’s one of the most anticipated and inspiring events of the year for McKinney ISD—the Teacher of the Year Dinner, held each spring at the district’s Community Event Center.

On Thursday, April 6, the oft-erratic Texas weather offered up a cool, cloudy evening as MISD officials, teachers, administrators, family, community members and event sponsors made their way into the CEC to honor the 30 MISD Campus Teachers of the Year and to announce the 2023 MISD Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year.

rows of Teacher of the Year awards sit on a table on stage

The 2023 McKinney ISD Teacher of the Year Dinner was held on Thursday, April 6, at the MISD Community Event Center.

Each Campus Teacher of the Year represented the best of the best, chosen by his or her colleagues as exemplars of the profession, educators who often impact not only their own students, but the entire campus. In March, each of these representatives participated in a portfolio and interview process with a panel of judges for consideration to be selected as the district’s Elementary or Secondary Teacher of the Year, who then represent the district in the Region 10 competition.

As the guests enjoyed dinner, the program got underway, and MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt approached the podium to welcome everyone. The audience heard remarks from Board President Amy Dankel as well as last year’s Teachers of the Year, Melvin Crosby from McKinney North High School and Erica Johnson from Press Elementary. McKinney Mayor George Fuller was not able to attend but congratulated the teachers via a pre-recorded video.

“To every teacher, every staff member and administrator…thank you,” said Fuller. “Know that your efforts and your work are recognized and appreciated. You do the most important job there could possibly be—you prepare our youth for a successful future. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Dankel expressed the board’s support of MISD’s teachers and said, “You are the best of the best. We have a fabulous district, and it is so wonderful to hear about all of the great things you’re doing and to be here with you this evening.”

Pratt standing at podium

McKinney ISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt welcomes guests at the 2023 MISD Teacher of the Year Dinner.

At Pratt’s invitation, the teachers began to make their way one by one to the stage to be recognized while a video feature about each teacher offered a glimpse into their classrooms and the heart behind their work.

Eventually, the time came to announce the MISD Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year.

“Please understand that the reason we hold this program each year is to honor each campus teacher of the year,” said Pratt. “This isn’t about who is selected as the winner, we do that for the purpose of designating a representative for our district at the regional level. The fact that you were selected, by your peers, is the highest honor you can receive in your career. Be proud of that. But, for the purpose of sending a representative to the regional or state levels, we will now announce the Finalists for this honor.”

The first name Pratt called was Elementary Second Runner-up Kimberly Hofmeister, a 2nd grade teacher from Caldwell Elementary. She was followed by First Runner-up Jordan Tennis, a P.E. teacher from Valley Creek.

ESL teacher Kathleen Trusty from McKinney Boyd was the Second Runner-up at the secondary level, and the First Runner-up was David Moore, an 8th grade science teacher from Evans Middle School.

Then, the moment arrived for the announcement of each of the 2023 District Teachers of the Year: Elementary Teacher of the Year Genesis Yougas from Lawson Early Childhood School and the MISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Daun Griffen from Scott Johnson Middle School.

on stage watching video

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, McKinney North High School Teacher of the Year Indrajit Sikdar and MISD Board Member Larry Jagours watch onstage as a video feature on Sikdar plays during the MISD Teacher of the Year Dinner.

Amid an eruption of applause, Yougas and Griffen were each offered a moment for a few remarks at the podium. 

Yougas spoke of her faith, thanked family members and those who have impacted her journey. As she concluded, Yougas directed her remarks toward her fellow teachers. “I also want to thank all of you here. I am a product of McKinney; I graduated from McKinney North, so I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for teachers like you who believed in me, who cared for me and who told me that I was valuable, and that I could do it.”

Likewise, Griffen approached the microphone and addressed faith and family and spoke about the importance of sharing one’s gifts with others. “My gift is motivation…If you walk in your gift, it levels someone else up. So, please don’t ever hold your gift because your gift is never for you. It is always designed to level someone up.”

Pratt, wrapped up the evening with words of encouragement and appreciation. “You guys who are not in McKinney ISD…you witnessed tonight what McKinney ISD is about,” Pratt said. “Our teachers are outstanding, and they make a difference every single day in our kids’ lives in McKinney ISD. So, teachers thank you very much. I hope you felt the love tonight. Our board, our administration, our community all appreciate you very much.”

2023 MISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Genesis Yougas

at podium speaking

McKinney ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Genesis Yougas from Lawson Elementary

2023 MISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Daun Griffen

at podium

McKinney ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Daun Griffen from Scott Johnson Middle School

2023 Elementary Teacher of the Year Finalists

on stage holding award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, MISD Elementary First Runner Up Jordan Tennis from Valley Creek Elementary, MISD Board Member Lynn Sperry

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, MISD Elementary Second Runner Up Kimberly Hofmeister from Caldwell Elementary

MISD 2023 Secondary Teacher of the Year Finalists

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Secondary First Runner Up David Moore from Evans Middle School, MISD Board Member Lynn Sperry

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, MISD Secondary Second Runner Up Kathleen Trusty from McKinney Boyd High School, MISD Board Member Lynn Sperry

MISD 2023 Campus Teachers of the Year:

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Bennett Elementary Teacher of the Year Christine Martin, MISD Board President Amy Dankel

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Burks Elementary Teacher of the Year Patricia Magee, MISD Board President Amy Dankel

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Eddins Elementary Teacher of the Year Meghan Lindsey, Board President Amy Dankel

on stage

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Finch Elementary Teacher of the Year Andrea Paganini, MISD Board President Amy Dankel

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Glen Oaks Elementary Teacher of the Year Theresa Walters, MISD Board President Amy Dankel

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Reuben Johnson Elementary Teacher of the Year Austin Dowell, Board Member Harvey Oaxaca

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Malvern Elementary Teacher of the Year Diana Ramos Cruz, MISD Board Member Harvey Oaxaca

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, McClure Elementary Teacher of the Year Allison Todd, MISD Board Member Harvey Oaxaca

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, McGowen Elementary Teacher of the Year Marissa San Miguel, MISD Board Member Harvey Oaxaca

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, McNeil Elementary Teacher of the Year Kimberly Bailey, MISD Board Member Harvey Oaxaca

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Minshew Elementary Teacher of the Year Lisa Saporito, MISD Board Vice President Philip Hassler

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Press Elementary Teacher of the Year Jennifer Westbrook, MISD Board Vice President Philip Hassler

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Slaughter Elementary Teacher of the Year Maria Tronconi, MISD Board Vice President Philip Hassler

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Vega Elementary Teacher of the Year Alexa Nelson, MISD Board Vice President Philip Hassler

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Walker Elementary Teacher of the Year Margaret Shelton, MISD Board Vice President Philip Hassler

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Webb Elementary Teacher of the Year Sheri Stromness, MISD Board Secretary Stephanie O’Dell

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Wilmeth Elementary Teacher of the Year Chambre Carlton, MISD Board Secretary Stephanie O’Dell

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Wolford Elementary Teacher of the Year Vicki Sais, MISD Board Secretary Stephanie O’Dell

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Cockrill Middle School Teacher of the Year Christine Graham, MISD Board Secretary Stephanie O’Dell

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Dowell Middle School Teacher of the Year Alison Bevans, MISD Board Secretary Stephanie O’Dell

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, Faubion Middle School Teacher of the Year Liz Turner, MISD Board Member Larry Jagours

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, McKinney High School Teacher of the Year Katie Watson, MISD Board Member Larry Jagours

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, McKinney North High School Teacher of the Year Indrajit Sikdar, MISD Board Member Larry Jagours

on stage with award

(L-R) MISD Superintendent Shawn Pratt, DAEP Teacher of the Year Tracy Linnebur, MISD Board Member Larry Jagours

 

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