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Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and Spring Branch ISD Educators Named Region 4 Teachers of the Year

Houston (August 1, 2018)—Jeanna Peña, Lamkin Elementary (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD), and Holly Hartman, Memorial High School (Spring Branch ISD), were chosen as the Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year, respectively, at the Region 4 Teachers of the Year Dinner and Awards Ceremony, held August 1, 2018.
 
Peña and Hartman will represent elementary and secondary teachers from the Region 4 area at the Texas Teacher of the Year Awards Ceremony, which will take place Friday, September 14, 2018, in Austin.
 
Peña, the Region 4 Elementary Teacher of the Year, has 17 years of teaching experience, most recently as visual arts specialist. She believes in engaging students by including personal connections, curiosity, challenges, and real-world application. She has received numerous accolades during her career, including being a recipient of the National Audubon Society Hog Island Teacher Institute Scholarship, National Gallery of Art Teacher Institute Fellow, and National Geographic Lindblad Expedition to Antarctica Grosvenor Teacher Fellow. She holds a bachelor of arts in political science and a master of education both from Texas A&M University.
 
Hartman, the Region 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year, has 23 years of teaching experience. She is currently a journalism teacher. About engaging students of all backgrounds and abilities, she stated, “I make it a priority to ensure that all my students feel confident expressing themselves . . . to learn to engage in open-minded discussions in which they can present their opinion on a given topic and objectively listen to others’ viewpoints.” Her publication students have earned more than 20 scholastic journalism awards, including the National Scholastic Press Association’s prestigious Pacemaker Award. This year she was named a City of Houston “Harvey Hero” for her service to the community as 9-1-1 dispatcher during the hurricane. She holds a bachelor of science from the University of Texas at Austin.
 
Peña and Hartman were chosen from Region 4 Teachers of the Year finalists. The other finalists and their respective districts are as follows:
 
Elementary
  • Lynette O’Neal, Parker Intermediate, Aldine ISD
  • Xavier Lewis, Cobb Elementary, Channelview ISD
  • Bonnie Jackson, Ben Bowen Early Childhood Center, Huffman ISD
  • Heather Coleman Bothe, Frostwood Elementary, Spring Branch ISD
 
 
Secondary
  • Chelsea Davis-Bibb, Davis Junior High, Aldine ISD
  • Anita Lewis, Westbrook Intermediate, Clear Creek ISD
  • Shaughn Thomas, Lake Olympia Middle School, Fort Bend ISD
  • Amanda Sandlin, Tompkins High School, Katy ISD
 
“We are honored to be able to recognize the dedication and hard work of these inspiring teachers who are committed to excellence in service for children,” stated Dr. Pam Wells, executive director, Region 4 Education Service Center. 
 
The Region 4 Teachers of the Year program recognized 90 outstanding teachers from 44 districts and two charter schools throughout the Region 4 area. Superintendents and principals also participated in the celebration. The program, held at the Marriott Marquis Houston, was underwritten by corporate sponsors Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union; National IPA; Office Depot, Inc.; Smart Financial Credit Union; Tremco Incorporated; Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation; Flippen Group; and contributor The HON Company.
 
About Region 4 Education Service Center
Region 4 Education Service Center (Region 4), located in Houston, is one of 20 service centers established by the Texas Legislature in 1967. The purposes of the service centers, as presented in legislation, are to assist school districts in improving student performance, to enable school districts to operate more efficiently and economically, and to implement initiatives assigned by the Legislature or Commissioner of Education. The core purpose of Region 4 is to provide excellence in service for children.
 
Encompassing seven counties in the upper Texas Gulf Coast area, Region 4 serves 48 independent school districts and 37 open-enrollment charter schools. As the largest service center in Texas, Region 4 serves an education community of more than 1.2 million students, more than 97,000 professional educators, and 1,500 campuses.
 
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