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Congratulations 2022 Marva Collins Teachers and Employees of the Year

April 27, 2022

Aledo ISD surprised 13 employees on Facbook LIVE on Wednesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 28, with Marva Collins Awards for teaching excellence and department employees of the year. These employees were awarded a combined $31,000 with the overall district Marva Collins Teacher of the Year winning $10,000 thanks to a generous donation from the Reilly Foundation!

Congratulations to these outstanding employees!

cathy williams ahsMarva Collins Aledo ISD Teacher of the Year

Recipient: Cathy Williams, Aledo High School History teacher
Prize: $10,000
Donated by: Reilly Foundation

Mrs. Williams is well-loved by students and fellow staff members alike. Students remark on how she is kind and involved with every student in her class. They love that they're welcomed with a, "Hello Darlin!'" and then enjoy a class with engaging lessons taught by an enthusiastic teacher. In Mrs. Williams' classroom, any question is a good question.

kyle christensenMarva Collins Secondary Teacher of the Year

Recipient: Kyle Christensen, Aledo High School engineering teacher
Prize: $2,500
Donated by: PBS of Texas

Mr. Christensen is all about student-led learning and experiences, and engineering classes are the perfect place for that. This school year, he instituted Fix-It Fridays where AHS staff members can request help from engineering students through a form, and engineering students choose tasks from the list, take the lead on figuring out how to complete each request, and spend Fridays helping around campus. They've done everything from fixing electronics to repairing a wobbly desk.

keegan roadyMarva Collins Intermediate Teacher of the Year

Recipient: Keegan Roady, Aledo Middle School social studies teacher and coach
Prize: $2,500
Donated by: Hardick Family

Mrs. Roady's growth mindset applies to her students, student-athletes and herself as she is committed to growing and expanding her teaching style. She is an exemplar for student-led learning in the Aledo ISD, creating lessons that are inquiry-based and interactive. Roady also plays the important role of new teacher mentor to help other educators find new strategies, lesson ideas and digital tools to implement in their classroom.

keri russellMarva Collins Elementary Teacher of the Year

Recipient: Keri Russell, McCall Elementary dyslexia teacher
Prize: $2,500
Donated by: First Financial Bank

Mrs. Russell was a classroom teacher for many years before a personal life experience helped her find a new passion in educating and advocating for students with dyslexia. She takes seriously her job to help dyslexia students as well as and to educate teachers to understand signs of dyslexia and to help parents develop a deeper undertanding of dyslexia. She makes her clasroom a safe space where students can find their strengths. She said her biggest accomplishment is to hear her students use the word dyslexia with pride and without embarrassement.

alexis spencerMarva Collins Beginning Teacher of the Year

Recipient: Alexis Spencer, Aledo High School English teacher
Prize: $2,500
Donated by: Walsh Family

Ms. Spencer is only in her second year of teaching, but she has focused on differentiation in the classroom and understands its importance. According to Ms. Spencer, students aren't blank canvases and they come into every classroom with their own unique life experiences and special interests. She wants to have personalized experiences for her students. She is also organized and has a set schedule and expectations for her classes.

Jessica ClaffeyDan Manning Innovative Dedicated Educator Award (IDEA)

Recipient: Jessica Claffey, Aledo High School media specialist
Prize: $2,500
Donated by: Dan Manning Endowment

Through collegiate-level library science classes, Ms. Claffey has been exposed to the most up-to-date educational tools, and she's taken what she has learned and applied it at AHS to assist teachers in their classrooms. For example, she has created easy-to-find and use web tools for teachers, created short and easy-to-follow training videos for using these tools, and created infographics for teachers and students to use. This work has benefitted both teachers and students as well as curriculum specialists.

Becky EvansMarsha Miholovich Professional Support Award

Recipient: Becky Evans, district intervention counselor
Prize: $2,500
Donated by: Huckabee

Evans has the very important role of intervention counselor for Aledo ISD, which means she serves students at the time of acute crisis and on a regular schedule when they need support. She also helps lead crisis response for the district for both students and staff when a difficult event occurs. While working with parents to support their students, Evans teaches coping skills and how to manage emotions, and she is a trusted adult for students to talk to when they're trying to get through a difficult time.

pam leitchParaprofessional of the Year

Recipient: Pam Leitch, Aledo Middle School special education aide
Prize: $1,000
Donated by: Moritz/Hardick Family

Ms. Leitch has been a valued paraprofessional in the special education department in Aledo ISD for seven years, and she has worked hard to grow in her profession and serve students in ways that help make them the most successful. She has three main areas that she finds most helpful to her students: visual learning aids, behavior modification techniques and hands-on learning experiences. Ms. Leitch has long-term goals of continuous improvement and going the extra mile for her students because, as she said, "my 15 years of experience has proven to me that it's always worth it."

regina whiteChild Nutrition Employee of the Year

Recipient: Regina White, Walsh Elementary
Prize: $1,000
Donated by: Moritz/Hardick Family

Ms. White takes seriously her job of making sure students are fed a nutritious meal that will help them get through the school day. She is a welcoming face when students at Walsh enter the cafeteria, often giving students a high-five and smile. She also loves to encourage students to try new foods. She is a big part of the well-being of Aledo ISD students.

carlos lopezAledo ISD Police Officer of the Year

Recipient: Carlos Lopez, Coder Elementary
Prize: $1,000
Donated by: Morningstar Development

Officer Lopez is a campus favorite! He's very personable and focuses on forming relationships with students, staff and parents. He spends much of his time in the cafeteria with students even though he doesn't have to. He's always willing to pitch in and help where needed. Parents find him easy to approach, and he's got quite the fan club of students at Coder!

aris santosTransportation Employee of the Year

Recipient: Aris Santos
Prize: $1,000
Donated by: Satterfield & Pontikes

Mr. Santos is a mechanic for the transportation department, but he's willing to fill in whever needed, including driving routes regularly. He's relaible and has a great attitude about doing his work for the benefit and safety of Aledo ISD students. When you see Mr. Santos, he is always smiling. He's a very valued member of the transportation team.

James MortonMaintenance Employee of the Year

Recipient: James Morton
Prize: $1,000
Donated by: Satterfield & Pontikes

Mr. Morton is relatively new to the district but his impact has been felt immediately in the best possible way. His project management experience has been instrumental in him forming new systems in how the maintenance department manages work orders and maintenance requests. This has helped the maintenance department grow and function at a higher level. This is especially important as the district adds 355,000 square feet of space (28% growth) with the Bond 2019 projects!

michael cullersTechnology Employee of the Year

Recipient: Michael Cullers
Prize: $1,000
Donated by: VLK Architects

Mr. Cullers is a programmer and systems administrator for the Aledo ISD, a position that is vitally important to the day-to-day work of our students and staff. Without the work and the systems he maintains, students cannot access the applications they need to learn. Mr. Cullers has been with the Aledo ISD for just over a year, and he has brought new ideas and perspectives from a previous district that have been beneficial to the technology department. He does his job with excellence and a high level of expertise.