Liberty Hill school district employees celebrated another year of achievements as they prepared to leave school Friday for summer vacation.
During the district’s end-of-year employee meeting, Superintendent Rob Hart recounted student achievements in academics, athletics and band, and built the excitement for the opening this summer of a new high school and the transition of two other schools to new campuses.
The district also honored employees for their years of service and said farewell to those retiring this month.
The steady stream of good news continued with the presentation of a $10,000 contribution to the school district from a local businessman wanting to help 25 teachers capture kids’ hearts.
John Clark, a local insurance agent with Farmers Insurance, said he was proud to invest in the teachers of Liberty Hill and believed the Capturing Kids’ Hearts training will make a difference.
“I approached Dr. Hart and the principals for a wish list and this was the #1 thing they wanted,” Clark told The Independent.
Clark, who was raised in La Porte by a family of educators, said he understands the personal sacrifices teachers make to encourage excellence in the classroom.
He said he and his wife, who have children attending Liberty Hill schools, along with Farmers Insurance wanted to do something special to help teachers improve themselves.
“It’s easy to give when you see how easy they (teachers) give. Why shouldn’t we as parents also support that,” he said.
The Capturing Kids’ Harts program provides teachers with the tools to build positive relationships with fellow staff members and students.
By creating a safe nurturing environment in the classroom, students can succeed academically, Clark said.
He said a lot of emphasis is often placed on athletics, but in the end it will be a student’s academic experience that will present opportunities for a productive life. Clark said he wanted Liberty Hill ISD to be the best school district in Texas and wanted to do his part as a parent and business owner to help teachers be the best they can be.
The training program, which will be held July 9-11 at Balcones Country Club in Austin, will be attended by the following teachers: Kathy Becker, Michelle Boring, Casey Butler, Melva Dunan, Amanda Hosman, Sarah Janicek, Sarah Johnston, Erin Knapik, Reagan Lochte, Nicole McConnell, Emily Menke, Terri Michener, Stephen Openshaw, Tonya Papasan, Emily Pirtle, Chelsea Powell, Mickey Rogers, Crystal Schautschick, Kathy Shaw, Sara Shirey, Sara Sikes, Ruby Tuffentsamer, Shyla Vickers and Sharron Wilson.
Prior to the presentation, Hart recognized educators who had reached various milestones of service to the school district.
Those honored for 30 years of service were Jan Tredemeyer, Lucy Kemper and Nell Winstead. Serving 20 years was Jennifer Morrill.
Those recognized for 15 years of service were Maria Trujillo, Michele Bordelon, Margaret Tufts, Michelle Cole, Jennifer Hurley, Kathleen Lundy and Leticia Lankford.
Ten-year service awards were presented to Susie Smith, Maria Guerra, Elizabeth Torres, Maria Alvizo, Kathy Gay, Haika Karr, Bonnie Reus, Jennifer Haines, Joyce Milam, Mary Wolfe, Meleia Cox and Bobbie Cochran.
Five-year service pins were presented to Esperanza Hernandez, Alice Acosta, Sarah Baulch, Kathy Becker, Robert Headrick, Murray Lord, David Runnels, Robert Stoss, Annette Coe, Sandra Davenport, Blanca Esparza and Leslie Krizan.
Also, Christopher Lange, Elaine Maclauchlan, Julie Patterson, Denise Swynenberg, Christine Castle, Juli Haught, Alison Jalufka, Janis Kidd, Kimberley Pierce, Arrmandina Segovia, Gina Doolittle, Julie Kindle and Patience Lange.
Also recognized for five years of service were Joann Lawhorn, Melissa Pelletier, Kim Sanders, Kasey Faurie, Laura Kiick, Monica Lanning, Jennifer Morrison, Garlon Evans, Ashley Sugimura and Kenna Park.
Dr. Hart also received a five-year service pin.
Retiring from the school district this summer are Vicki Bates with 29 years in education and 14 years with LHISD; Bobbie Cochran, 9 years in education and 9 in LHISD; Susan Haberer, 28 years in education and 21 in LHISD; Lucy Kemper, 30 years in education and 30 in LHISD; Nancy Kerstens, 21 years in education and 9 in LHISD; Kay McCarthy, 24 years in education and 9 in LHISD; and Mary Wolfe, 27 years in education and 10 in LHISD.