The College Tutors Educator of the Quarter recipients for the first quarter of the 2018-2019 school year are Laura Sykes (HCMS), Gina Morreale (WRMS) and Leighann Fenter (WHS).
The purpose of the award is to highlight and recognize middle and high school educators that act as a role model for our students in Eanes ISD. The award, made with input from the school administration, recognizes educators that personify the three core values of College Tutors: Can Do, Results Matter, and Leave It Better. When asked what advice she had for new teachers one of the recipients, Laura Sykes gave this advice: “Be strong. Bring your new ideas and do not be afraid to implement them. Believe that what you have been taught, the tools you have been given, and should be used. Implement them with courage and the fear will subside.” That is not only good advice for teaching, but for any aspect of life.
From Hill Country Middle School, we recognize Laura Sykes. She has been teaching nine years and currently teaches Response to Intervention (RTI) Math and Study Skills to grades 6-8. When asked her favorite thing about teaching she responded, “Impacting children as a positive role model and instilling in them their self-worth.” In conjunction with that thought, her reasons for becoming a teacher were, “To be able to relate to children and present material in a way that makes sense to them. To help them build on their individual thought process and be encouraged to think it through until they understand it in their terms.”
Gina Morreale teaches 8th grade History and is our West Ridge Middle School recipient. Gina grew up in Buffalo, New York, and unlike many other children at a younger age, she would beg her parents to make stops in historical cities like Charleston or St. Augustine rather than go to Disney World. Her love for history is what led her to become an educator, specifically in U.S. History. When asked her advice to first-year teachers, she stated, “…ask for help if you need it and be a team player! The first year is always the most work but it will be so rewarding!”. This advice allowed her to appreciate the relationship she has with her very sweet and hardworking kids.
We also want to acknowledge Leighann Fenter from Westlake High School. Her favorite part of being a teacher is, “…that every school year is a fresh start--for me and for the students. No year is the same, and there has never been a year that I did not learn something new about my content area or about life. I attribute this continuous growth to working with outstanding staff and students.” She offers this advice to new teachers, “The first year can be overwhelming, and so never be afraid to ask colleagues for help. We all remember what those first few years can be like. Don't be afraid to tell students you "don't know" the answer to a question.” Brilliant advice from a very accomplished hard working teacher with more than 15 years of experience!
Congratulations to these teachers, and thank you so much for all that you do! Eanes ISD would not be the same without you and we are thankful for your commitment to your students!