Dobie counselor Glenda Nicholson, Pasadena Memorial High principal Dr. Angela Stallings and Dobie biology teacher Maureen Nweke celebrate over 20 years of service in Pasadena ISD.
| Fourth grade teacher Patricia Dorsey celebrates 45 years of teaching at Pearl Hall Elementary.
The Pasadena ISD Board of Trustees honored more than 300 employees and retirees for their careers in education at the 67th Annual Service Awards, Thursday, May 13.
Pasadena ISD Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell and board members expressed gratitude as nearly 250 employees representing 20-50 years of service and 150 retirees were recognized for dedicating years of service to the district. When these retirees bid farewell, they will represent more than 3,200 years of experience collectively.
“It is such a privilege to be part of this recognition ceremony because we have the opportunity to show our appreciation for the hard work you do on a daily basis for our students,” said Dr. Powell, a 25-year honoree herself. “You make a difference.”
Guests were given the royal treatment throughout the evening with piano music by Pasadena Memorial test coordinator Roger Woest. A group of Sam Rayburn High students showcased their artistic skills by drawing caricature portraits for the honorees to take home.
The employees and retirees were given a commemorative coin as they were recognized, a fitting token of appreciation for the night’s treasure theme.
“You are the rare jewels of Pasadena ISD,” Dr. Powell said. “We treasure all of you for making a difference in the lives of students.”
Vickie Morgan, vice-president of the school board, was recognized at the ceremony for serving on the Pasadena ISD board for 30 years, the longest tenure in board history.
“When Vickie was elected to office, school began the first week of September and chalkboards were a classroom staple,” Mariselle Quijano, board president said. “All that has changed, but her commitment to students and this community remains the same. We recognize you because you have played a significant role in the evolution of our school district. Thank you for giving 30 years to Pasadena ISD.”
Two of the district’s most seasoned employees reached their 45- and 50-year mark this year.
Patricia Dorsey, fourth grade teacher, has been making an impact in the lives of Pearl Hall Elementary students for 45 years. She reflected on her experiences when she started teaching.
“Instead of teaching different grade levels, we taught groups of students based on their achievement levels – those with the lowest average were grouped together and those with the highest average were grouped together,” Dorsey said. “Each classroom had about 35 students.”
“We didn’t have a dress code for students, but teachers couldn’t wear pants,” she laughed.
She spoke about the positive relationships she built over the years with the school’s faculty.
“I was so young when I started teaching there,” Dorsey said. “Pearl Hall had veteran teachers and principals who treated you like family. We were one for all and all for one.”
Charles Knight is celebrating 50 years with the district. He began as a coach and seventh-grade life science teacher at Queens Intermediate in 1964. Knight is now director of operations.
He said there have been many individuals who have made a positive impact on his life during his 50 years of service, but one in particular who stood out the most – the late Jack Donnell, who retired as assistant superintendent of special service operations.
“He hired me in 1964 to teach and coach and again in 1979 to the current position I now have,” Knight said. “He was my inspiration.”
A demonstration of the close-knit ties of the district family happened at the end of the ceremony when Meador Elementary staff crowded around Steve Laymon, associate superintendent of campus development, to bid farewell to the retiree and share stories about their experiences with him as principal of the school.
“I remember you leaving because my birthday is Feb. 4 and I said, “’I hope you are going to my birthday celebration.’” Cindy Vantilburg, a retired honoree said. “When he left Meador, we all cried.”
Laymon began teaching at Meador in 1987 and was later appointed to the position of principal at the school. He is retiring after 37 years with Pasadena ISD.
“I have mixed feelings about retirement,” Laymon said. “I am excited about it, but I am leaving behind great memories and wonderful friends.”
Associate superintendent Steve Laymon bids farewell to staff after 37 years with the district.
Vickie Morgan is recognized by board members for serving on the Pasadena ISD school board for serving on the board for 30 years.
Pasadena ISD Superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell (right) and her administrative assistant celebrate their years of service in the district.
Associate superintendent of human resources Keith Palmer is among many administrators who were recognized at the Service Awards.
Celebrating 20 years
Celebrating 25 years
Celebrating 30 years
Celebrating 35 years
Celebrating 40 years
Celebrating 45 years
Rayburn High art students