San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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Ten teachers were selected by their campus peers to represent them throughout the district and the community as the San Marcos CISD Teachers of the Year 2007-2008. Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer said, “We are proud of all of our SMCSID teachers, but these Teachers of the Year were chosen by their co-workers to represent their campus teams and to promote the Education profession before students, parents, the San Marcos community, and across the state.” The San Marcos CISD Teachers of the Year for 2007-2008 include the following:

o Cristina Arispe of Bonham Pre-K school
o Misty Hill of Bowie Elementary School
o Robyn Becak of Crockett Elementary School
o Jil Carrejo of De Zavala Elementary School
o Karen Lavender of Travis Elementary School
o Sallie Devereaux of Hernandez Intermediate School
o Stacey Cole of Goodnight Junior High School
o Monica Martin of Miller Junior High School
o José Falcón of San Marcos High School, and
o Christine Postert of the Child Development Center.

Cristina Arispe has taught for five years, all of those at the Bonham PreK School. Currently with four-year- olds, Arispe also researches the learning effects of music on the developing child’s brain, incorporates music and rhythm into her lesson plans, and presents her research at conferences around the state. She earned her Bachelors of Science (in Elementary Education, specializing in Early Childhood Education) and her Masters in Elementary Education from Texas State University.

Misty Hill earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas State University and is certified to teach grades 1-6. She is now in her 11th year of teaching, the last two years teaching 4th grade at Bowie Elementary School. She has won numerous awards for top level teaching and the effective use of technology in the classroom. Hill is keenly interested in language development in students, believing that reading and discussions are necessary for students to learn communication skills.

Robyn Becak is a veteran teacher of 22 years, 13 years with Crockett Elementary School. She teaches 3rd grade as an inclusion teacher in all content areas. Becak serves on many professional development committees and is very active in the San Marcos community. “Respect” is her core philosophy, and she strives to make learning “firm, fair, and fun” in a structured classroom. Becak was chosen Teacher of the Year for the District in 1997-1998, and has received numerous recognitions in the community. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Special Education from Texas State University.

De Zavala Elementary School’s Teacher of the year, Jil Carrejo, has taught for five years, the last two as a first-grade classroom teacher. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood from Texas Tech University, and she is the Kiwanis Club International’s K-Kids sponsor for her campus. Carrejo involves her students in community projects that allow them to take on leadership roles and serve both the school and their community. “I want to teach them the importance of service,” she says.

Karen Lavender of Travis Elementary has taught for almost 22 years, and has been with San Marcos CISD since 1990- now in a 1st grade classroom. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Texas State University. Lavender says it is important to her that she “creates a physical environment that is not only the best for learning, but also an environment that is comfortable, cozy, exciting, challenging, fun, and nurturing,” and she believes that teaching is “the most rewarding profession of all.”

Hernandez Intermediate School’s Sallie Devereaux is a Resource Math teacher. She has taught for 24 years, most of those with San Marcos CISD at the former Lamar Middle School and at Hernandez since 1994. Devereaux earned a Bachelors of Arts degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She works with the Special Ed Department and is responsible for 134 students. In addition, she mentors two new staff members. After all these years, Devereaux says, “I still love my job.”

Stacey Cole teaches Math at Goodnight Junior High where she’s taught the last four years of her seven-year career. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Students from Texas State University and is currently the 7th Grade Math Department Head. Cole’s feels her mission is to instill a love for learning in her students that will last a lifetime and makes an effort that “all feel like equals” in her classroom. Cole also makes an extra effort to bring math out of the classroom and demonstrates its significance in real- life.

Math educator Monica Martin is a relative newcomer to SMCISD, as she joined the Miller Junior High team in 2007. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University before teaching in both Arizona and Texas. She was Coach of the Year in Seguin ISD. Martin thinks it critical that a teacher establish a personal rapport with his or her students, and she uses many “styles” of teaching to reach the variety of learners in her classrooms. Humor is one of Martin’s greatest assets.

José Falcón is the San Marcos High School honoree, an Algebra I teacher now in his second year at the 9th grade level. He graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and is currently a graduate student. Falcón believes that his role as a teacher goes far beyond math and makes efforts to be a role model for students. “I teach kids the consequences of everyday life decisions and prepare them for the real world,” he says.

The representative from the SMCISD Alternative Campuses this year is Christine Postert, a PreK teacher at the Child Development Center who also works with the teen parenting program. Postert has taught for six years after earning a Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Students from the University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg, Texas. A native of the Philippines, Postert often contrasts the learning styles of her youth with the teaching and learning culture in the U.S. Her philosophy is based on seizing common learning opportunities, or “teachable moments,” and teaching parents how to take best advantage of those moments.

The Superintendent’s Office will host a reception for the Teachers of the Year on April 21, 2008, at Central Office at 5:30 pm. The School Board will recognize each teacher during the regularly scheduled meeting after the reception, at 6 pm.

The annual Teacher of the Year Awards Banquet, sponsored by Time Warner Cable and co-hosted with the San Marcos Education Foundation, will be held Thursday, May 8, at 6 pm at the San Marcos Activity Center.

By IRIS CAMPBELL
Public Information Officer

Photo by Iris Campbell

Front Row (left to right): Christine Postert, Monica Martin, Sallie Devereaux, Cristina Arispe, Misty Hill, Robyn Becak, and Karen Lavender

Back Row: Jose Falcon, Jil Carrejo, Stacey Cole

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