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Denton ISD Honors 2024 Jostens Teachers of the Year

Denton ISD recognized the 2024 Jostens Teachers of the Year with a parade at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex on Thursday, April 18.

Cheered on by their colleagues and community members, each campus winner worked through the parade route in the athletic facility parking lot. The event’s main sponsor, Jostens, presented each campus winner with a custom ring.

This year’s Denton ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year is Katie Roche, a special education teacher at Sam Houston Elementary. Ms. Roche was selected from a pool of 25 elementary campus nominees.

Ms. Roche has spent the last seven years at Houston Elementary, but before becoming a teacher, Ms. Roche served as a substitute and long-term substitute at Houston Elementary for nearly a decade, primarily working in Positive Academic Behavioral Support (PABS) classrooms.

Ms. Roche decided to pursue teaching as her career after watching the impact her own daughter’s first-grade teacher had on her. She believes teaching is more than pages in a book, equations or problems. Instead, Ms. Roche believes it is about building relationships, love and structure while being an advocate for every student.

Denton ISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year is Bill Wainscott, a deaf education teacher at McMath Middle School.

Mr. Wainscott spent over a decade as a professional sign language interpreter before moving to education in 2013. Each day, Mr. Wainscott serves as a lifeline to students in his classroom, not just explaining lessons or educational concepts, but also basic information related to everyday life.

Mr. Wainscott strives to bridge the gap between his students who are deaf and their classmates or even their families, ensuring none of his students ever feel lost.

“I am very honored and blessed to receive this recognition,” Mr. Wainscott said. “I love the school I work at and the people I work with. They are why I’m here. They support me in so many ways. And most of all, I love the kids. They are why I do what I do.”

Each Denton ISD Elementary and secondary school nominated one educator for Teacher of the Year. Members of the district’s Teachers Communication Committee (TCC) reviewed the applications of the campus winners and selected one elementary and one secondary teacher to advance to the Region XI Teacher of the Year Competition.

Local memorabilia manufacturer Jostens was the title sponsor for this year’s Teacher of the Year event. Other local business contributors who provided gifts for the event included: Chrissy Mallouf Realty, Chuy’s Denton, Explorium Denton, Buff City Soap, The Cookie Crave, Sonic, Replenish School Supplies, UNT Athletics, UNT College of Education, CoServ, Shuck Me Denton, TWU Athletics, TWU College of Education, Modern Woodmen, First United Bank, Erin Rooks at Keller Williams, Dillas, Foster Grandparents, Little Elm Chamber of Commerce, Raising Canes, RBFCU, Monty Felts at Cross Country Mortgage, Walmart, Walmart Health, Crumbl Cookies and Huffines Subaru.

District-winning elementary and secondary teachers of the year are awarded $2,500 – $1,500 from James Wood AutoPark, $500 from the Denton Public School Foundation and $500 from Denton ISD.

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