San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 9th, 2008
Nash, Younts named Hays CISD’s teachers of the year

From the Hays school district

Betty Nash, a kindergarten teacher at Elm Grove Elementary School, has been selected as Hays CISD Elementary Teacher of the Year and Jason Younts, a social studies teacher at Chapa Middle School, has been selected as Hays CISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

The two teachers were selected by a team of professionals based on an essay each wrote answering this question, “What are the background, people and events that persuaded you to become a teacher?” Nash and Younts represent the district in the Texas Education Agency’s regional and statewide Teacher of the Year program.

“What I have come to realize is that good teachers become good by taking what they have learned from others and in the process find their own way through their experiences,” Nash said. “Kindergarten is a magical year in which the little ones’ lives are filled with wonder, joy and excitement and I consider it a privilege to be a part of it.”

Elm Grove Elementary principal Irma Flores-Brothers said of Nash: We look to you to inspire us to look at our students with respect, love and patience.

“Obviously, it’s not about fortune and fame that draws us to teaching,” Younts said in his essay. “It’s about the opportunity to lay a foundation in a child’s life that can meet both their academic and growing needs. They don’t all come from supportive families, nor do they have the same hopes and dreams or even the same abilities. However, they do all possess the ability to learn, grow and to excel. My job is to find a means to help them visualize those abilities. In reality, if I fail, they fail.”

Chapa Middle School principal Lisa Islas aid of Younts: He is always willing to help. He gives and never expects anything back.”

All 18 Teachers of the Year (17 campuses plus Special Education) and their principals were lauded with lunch on Friday at the Onion Creek Country Club, due to the generosity of the Hays CISD Education Foundation.

“I promise you that the Education Foundation, the School Board and the administration are all committed to attracting and keeping the best teachers we can,” said Dr. Kirk London, the district’s superintendent, at the celebration luncheon. “That’s what you represent, the best of our best.”

“You will never know the impact you are making on these young men and women,” said Chris Harkrider, President of the Hays CISD Education Foundation. He described a music teacher he had as a young student who inspired him to a life of music. His adult son is launching a career in music, and Harkrider attributed the passion for music by the both of them to his early music teacher.

Hays CISD Teachers of the Year for 2008 are:

  • Tracy Mulligan – Kyle Elementary School
  • Betty Nash – Elm Grove Elementary School
  • Jamie Huston – Buda Elementary School
  • Jamie Griggs – Tom Green Elementary School
  • Janice Mangrum – Fuentes Elementary School
  • JoAnn Zavala Hemphill – Elementary School
  • Mary Ellen Lewis Negley – Elementary School
  • Patty Jones – Science Hall Elementary School
  • Lucila Bosquez – Tobias Elementary School
  • David Hall – Wallace Middle School
  • Lorenzo Pool – Dahlstrom Middle School
  • Elaine Rackley – Barton Middle School
  • Jason Younts – Chapa Middle School
  • Danielle Zweschper – Hays High School
  • Ryan Neuhaus – Lehman High School
  • Joseph Bennett – The Academy@Hays
  • Evelyn Gamble – The Impact Center
  • Denise Minton – Special Education
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