District Teachers of the Year revealed, celebrated

Nearly 200 people gathered to celebrate the district’s leading educators at Garland ISD’s first-ever Teacher of the Year Luncheon April 30.

After selfie snapping, honoree mingling, and words of gratitude from Superintendent Ricardo López and Board President Larry Glick, the 2017-18 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year were unveiled. 2016-17 Teachers of the Year, Christy Elms and Lynette Varrassi, passed the torch and commemorative plaques to Classical Center at Vial Elementary School’s Cheryl Taylor and Bussey Middle School’s Brittney Ellis.

Shocked and honored by the announcement, both Taylor and Ellis were then surprised by family members who joined them on stage to revel in their distinction. Garland ISD Education Foundation President Lisa Cox continued the excitement by awarding $1,000 checks to Taylor and Ellis. And the celebration did not end there. The outstanding teachers received cheers, hugs and goodies from students and colleagues when they returned to their respective campuses.

“Mrs. Taylor is our librarian, teacher mentor, PTA board member, morning emcee, Lighthouse Leadership member, and much more. Everything she does is at 110 percent,” said Vial Principal Beatris Martinez. “Her commitment to our students and school is immeasurable. She has played a lead role in our Leader In Me implementation that has helped reduce our discipline by more than 65 percent.”

Like Taylor, Ellis is also extremely dedicated to her students. Although she’s an English teacher, the four-year educator takes on roles beyond her classroom.

“She is a born teacher-leader. She is able to embrace change and use it as fuel for her classroom,”  said Bussey Principal Carol Goff. “She works extra hours to create innovative lessons using technology that helps ensure student success. She also serves as a key leader and technology driver with both students and educators on campus. She created a campuswide intervention and enrichment program, was selected as a Chromebook Ready 1:1 Pilot teacher, and volunteers as a WE Schools leader.”

Relive the lively commemoration through photos or on GRS-TV's YouTube channel