Appreciated Teacher: Meredith Boeneman, Santa Fe High School

boenemanMeredith Boeneman is the kind of teacher who cares about students and their experience in high school. She started the Prom Angels to make sure that any SFHS student who needed help with a dress and shoes for prom could receive them through the program. Meredith understands how the major events in high school can impact students and works to make sure they all have the best experience possible by volunteering as the senior class sponsor.

She is the type of teacher who is continually busy helping to organize and make sure things get done. Boeneman was responsible for putting together the district’s Veterans Day ceremony which by all accounts was the highest attended event of its kind. A big part of the high school experience is learning about giving back to your community.

Students respond to her leadership and teaching style which makes them look forward to working with her on projects such as the stock market game in which the team ranked 2nd out of 280 teams. Meredith is setting an outstanding example for her young adult students to follow. The students at Santa Fe High School truly appreciate Meredith Boeneman and all that she has done for them and her impact will be felt for years to come.

Appreciated Teacher: Megan Elliott, Longfellow Elementary, Alvin ISD

elliott_teachersMegan Elliott was only ever going to be one thing when she grew up, a teacher. She comes from a family of teachers and by fourth grade was helping tutor students in her mother’s classroom. Megan grew up in the classroom and spent countless hours helping her mother with everything in the classroom from bulletin boards to manipulatives for the students. Her mother’s biggest fear was that Megan would be burned out and not consider joining the noble teaching profession.

There was no chance of that happening. Megan started as a substitute teacher before becoming a kindergarten teacher at Longfellow Elementary. Her principal and coworkers were on hand to share their praise for this energetic, passionate teacher and all agreed her attitude is infectious. Megan is always willing to give her time to her students and has even been known to attend student birthday parties and sporting events.

Like so many teachers, Ms. Elliott spends a great deal of her own money to make sure her students get the best possible start to their education career. In fact, her kindergarten class was so excited because they knew the honorarium she received was helping to fund their kindergarten graduation. Megan’s first thought is always her students and for that reason, her students and coworkers truly appreciate her. Congratulations Megan, we wish you the best in your teaching career for years to come!

Appreciated Teacher: Christy Freshour, Fairmont Elementary, Deer Park ISD

freshourSome people were simply born to teach, you get that impression after meeting Christy Freshour from Fairmont Elementary in Deer Park ISD.  When we arrived in her classroom to present her with a 2014 appreciated teacher award we were greeted by a classroom of smiles, 5th graders that knew they had a special teacher in their midst.

Christy was nominated by the parents of one of her students, they remarked on her tireless commitment to improving their child’s education, and her wholehearted approach to teaching. She made time to give them weekly updates on their child’s progress and even directed them to find teaching aids that they could use themselves to help instruct their child at home as well.

When we asked Christy to tell us about her teaching style she had this to say “I teach from the heart, every child is different, and requires a different approach to truly make an impact. I try to reach out to them individually. Teaching is not a one size fits all type of thing”. Indeed The students at Fairmont Elementary and the parents of those students are lucky to have such a passionate and committed teacher.

Appreciated Teacher: Amy Bolting, Alvin Elementary

boltingGreat teachers never stop being students. They are lifelong learners who always seek out opportunities to grow professionally. Amy Bolting is that type of teacher. She has spent countless hours learning to integrate technology into the classroom to give every student including those struggling the best possible chance at success. She’s flipped her classroom and made those lessons available to her students and their parents so that lessons can be reinforced at home.

Amy doesn’t keep what she learns inside her classroom. She eagerly shares it with her coworkers at Alvin Elementary who have benefited from Amy’s dedication in the form of iPads which she was able to obtain for the entire school. Her collaboration with her colleagues has led to a newly implemented program for interventions in and after school.

Her coworkers will tell you that Amy makes them all better teachers. A true campus leader who has learned that setting high expectations pays off because all those around will elevate their performance.

Appreciated Teacher: Kevin Poe, Lomax Junior High, La Porte ISD

PoeMr. Kevin Poe understands the power of education and teachers. Kevin grew up in Mississippi and credits his childhood teachers with inspiring him to become an educator who is loved by the students, parents and fellow teachers at Lomax Junior High. Mr. Poe has time and a smile for everyone which has turned the LXJ Band into one of the most popular student activities on campus.

Danette Tilley, principal of Lomax Jr. High, told us she is the president of the Kevin Poe fan club. The club’s membership must be full of students and his fellow teachers who named Kevin as this year’s Lomax Junior High Teacher of the Year. He genuinely loves his job, school and the students. He can be found engaging with the students in the cafeteria during lunches instead of taking that time for himself.

Mr. Poe’s calming influence extends to the entire campus and he’s willingly taken on the reaching out to the students that others might consider a challenge. He relishes that opportunity because he knows that education represents the best chance to make a better life for yourself and family.

Appreciated Teacher: Mandy Benedix, Rogers Middle School, Pearland ISD

benedixTeachers touch countless lives during their tenure in their chosen profession. Every now and then a teacher comes along whose impact is magnified beyond the walls of their own classroom or school. That teacher is Pearland ISD Rogers Middle School’s Mandy Benedix. Her True Grit program has become a standard throughout the district as a way to help students learn skills to become more successful and create a positive school culture.

Benedix states, “Grit is the ability to passionately pursue a goal for an extended period of time despite adversity, failure, or a loss of interest.  It is resiliency, and research shows over and over that it is a necessary part of becoming successful.” The program was featured on Fox 26 as part of a segment about Rogers Middle School and the school’s principal Dana Miles recognized the difference it has made at the Pearland ISD’s third largest school.

The program’s success isn’t taken for granted by her peers and it was a fellow teacher who nominated Benedix. Peer recognition can often be the most rewarding since it validates the work done on a professional level. Every student & teacher on her campus can validate the importance of the work Benedix has done for their campus and the entire Pearland community.

2014 Appreciated Teachers Announced

We are proud to announce that the following teachers have been selected as 2014 Appreciated Teacher Award recipients. A committee selected the recipients from almost 200 nominations. Each recipient will receive a $100 honorarium, a $100 donation to the school in their honor and an award.

Amy Bolting – Alvin Elementary – Alvin ISD
Meredith Boeneman – Santa Fe High School – Santa Fe ISD
Christy Freshour – Fairmont Elementary – Deer Park ISD
Kevin Poe – Lomax Jr. High – La Porte ISD
Mandy Benedix – Rogers Middle School – Pearland ISD
Megan Elliott – Longfellow Elementary – Alvin ISD

2014 Appreciated Teacher Awards

Teacher looks over students workWe Love Teachers. We would not be who we are without you. That’s why Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union will recognize at least five outstanding teachers within the credit union’s field of membership which includes all school districts in Harris, Brazoria & Galveston counties. A committee of credit union employees will select from all nominations received by Friday, May 2nd.

Nominees should be dedicated to greatly improving the quality of education for students. The Appreciated Teacher Award recipients will be named during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-9) with an award, a $100 honorarium, and a $100 donation to their school in their name.

We encourage you to nominate a deserving teacher.