Area teachers honored by Weatherford College

By Messenger Staff | Published Wednesday, February 5, 2014
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Weatherford College honored 32 educators Jan. 24 with the presentation of the 2014 Jack Harvey Fellowship Awards of Exemplary Teaching.

The awards are presented in memory of Professor Emeritus Jack Harvey, who taught at WC for 23 years and was considered among his peers as a “master teacher.”

Each school district selected its own “exemplary teacher” and submitted nominations with high praise and accolades.

Those honored from Wise County include Janan Anderson, sixth-grade math teacher, Alvord Middle School; Norma Phillips, seventh- and eighth-grade English Language Arts teacher, Boyd Middle School; Cristina Garza, elementary bilingual and middle school Spanish teacher, Bridgeport ISD; David Smith, seventh and eighth grade science teacher, Chico ISD; Rhonda Whiteaker, PE teacher, Carson Elementary School, Decatur ISD; and Stephanie Hogan, ninth-grade English Language Arts teacher, Paradise High School.


Janan Anderson

“Ms. Anderson is exemplary because she is truly dedicated to helping her students perform at the highest level possible. She consistently combines subject knowledge with the ability to connect with her students. Students achieve success when they least expect it, and Ms. Anderson makes all students believe in themselves. Her energy and positive attitude are absolutely contagious. Ms. Anderson’s love of teaching is evident in the growth and enthusiasm of her students. She puts her students first and never fails to reach out to them when they are in need. Ms. Anderson’s pleasant personality, caring attitude and professional demeanor all serve to make her one of our students’ favorite teachers. She is a much-deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”


Norma Phillips

“Norma Philips is exemplary because of her dedication, positive attitude, willingness to tackle any challenge and her unwavering desire to help students. Her dedication to her students, her job and her craft is unquestioned. With 29 years of experience, she has yet to speak an ill word to or about a student. Her students always outperform all other students on the standardized test. She has never met a challenge she didn’t like, always responding by saying her signature line: ‘It would be fabulous.'”


Cristina Garza

“Ms. Garza is exemplary because of her tireless dedication to the education of the bilingual/ESL students at Bridgeport Intermediate School. She has a passion for literacy and devotes herself daily to helping struggling readers and writers overcome their personal obstacles to reach their potential. She fulfills multiple roles on our campus – teacher, mentor, translator, LPAC coordinator – but her greatest role is that of student success advocate. Ms. Garza’s greatest professional desire is to see her students succeed, not only in elementary school, but also throughout their educational careers and in life.”


David Smith

“David Smith is one of those rare and exceptional teachers. He is always on time and on task, using higher level thinking skills and technology to inspire and challenge his students. Professionalism describes his dress and demeanor each day. Attesting to the fact he is, indeed, an outstanding educator, Mr. Smith’s eighth-grade science students achieved a 95 percent Level II Satisfactory rating on the 2013 spring STAAR test. In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Smith also serves on the Career Technology Education Committee, the Science Textbook Committee and the Campus Safety Team and is the sponsor for the academic UIL Science I and II teams. Mr. Smith is an excellent role model. He is, indeed, an exemplary teacher for Chico Middle School students.”


Rhonda Whiteaker

“Rhonda Whiteaker is a noteworthy educator for Decatur ISD and exemplifies the characteristics of the Jack Harvey Fellowship Award. She consistently models lifelong skills such as physical fitness, self-confidence, fair play and cooperation. She collaborates with core subject teachers and other physical education teachers to provide meaningful activities and learning experiences for Decatur ISD students. She has been a pivotal figure in the development of the Grasslands Grant, which promotes conservation with personal fitness. Mrs. Whiteaker’s devotion to the physical education program positively impacts the lives of every student at Carson Elementary School.”


Stephanie Hogan

“Stephanie Hogan is exemplary because she has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially children. Her ability to connect with students and her talent at teaching simple concepts, as well as more advanced topics, are truly superior. Ms. Hogan can work independently and is able to follow through to ensure that the job gets done. She accomplishes these tasks with great initiative and a positive attitude. She is a great role model for young students based on her hard work and dedication to the profession of teaching.”

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