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Jostens Teachers of the Year honored by trustees, community and peers

Traci Burt, secondary teacher of the year, and Andi Hawkins, elementary teacher of the year, pose with Dr. Jamie Wilson
Teachers from 34 Denton Independent School District campuses were honored by the Board of Trustees as well as local business and community leaders for being the top educators at their schools at a recent reception at the LaGrone Advanced Technology Complex.
Members of the Teachers Communications Committee of Denton ISD named the 34 educators as the district’s 2015-16 Jostens Teachers of the Year for their outstanding work in the classroom and ability to engage students in learning.

At the presentation, the district’s top two educators, who will represent Denton ISD at the Regional XI level, were also announced. Andi Hawkins, a P.E. teacher from Ryan Elementary, was named the Jostens Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Traci Burt, an English teacher at Ryan High School, was named the Jostens Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Jostens was named the district’s official partner of the award as company officials wanted to recognize all the educators receiving the honor by donating a gold ring to each teacher. In all, Jostens’ contributions to the award are valued at more than $30,000.

In 2004, the company designed the special Teacher of the Year ring for Denton ISD’s top educators, a now-annual tradition for the company and district. The following year, local businesses San Bay Studios, DATCU and James Wood Auto Park stepped forward to also sponsor the event.

The district’s elementary Teachers of the Year include:
  • Adkins: Ashley Jones, kindergarten
  • Blanton: Tamarra Thiessen, second grade
  • Borman: Karrie Windham, third grade
  • Cross Oaks: Collin Jones, P.E.
  • Evers Park: Jessica Colson, first grade
  • Ginnings: Susan Patrick, third grade
  • Hawk: Jamie Rives, music
  • Hodge: Joanna Gonzalez, bilingual third grade
  • Houston: Michele Tinch, kindergarten
  • Lee: Rebeca Olver-Alfaro, bilingual fifth grade
  • McNair: Annamarie Edwards, first grade
  • Nelson: Lisa Davidson, kindergarten
  • Paloma Creek: Melanie Stewart, music
  • Pecan Creek: Kim Solley, inclusion
  • Providence: Erica Lease, art
  • E.P. Rayzor: Aleisha Fuller-Moore, first grade
  • N. Rayzor: Cheree Barnette, music
  • Rivera: Audrey Bryant, counselor
  • W.S. Ryan: Andi Hawkins, P.E.
  • Savannah: Claire Biggs, first grade
  • Stephens: Kelly Kuykendall, first grade
  • Wilson: Vanessa Suarez-Arispe, fifth grade
  • Gonzalez: Dixie Crossland, pre-kindergarten
The district’s Secondary Teachers of the Year include:
  • Calhoun: Darlene Petit, language arts
  • Crownover: Robert “B.J.” Garcia, math
  • Harpool: Kayla Keese, inclusion
  • McMath: Gail Frisby, English
  • Myers: Jenifer Hamilton, reading
  • Navo: Gina Woodling, science
  • Strickland: E. LeRoy Rowe, industrial tech
  • Denton: Robert Brannock, music
  • Guyer: David Jensen, social studies
  • Ryan: Traci Burt, English
  • Davis DAEP: Anna Braudrick, social studies
To see photos from Denton ISD's recent 2015-16 Jostens Teachers of the Year ceremony, click here.