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Superintendent Surprises Teacher of the Year Winners

Superintendent Surprises Teacher of the Year Winners
Posted on 05/30/2014
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What first seemed like an ordinary work day for four extraordinary Pasadena ISD teachers, turned out to be one of the happiest of their career.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kirk Lewis recently surprised Dobie High School speech teacher Trish Boudra, Frazier Elementary fourth grade bilingual teacher Gracie Puente, Queens Intermediate reading teacher Blanca Lopez and Melillo Middle School ABLE teacher Carissa Puckett in their classrooms and announced the winners of the 2014 District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year and the First-Year Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year awards.

Boudra was named the winner of the District Secondary Teacher of the Year award.

For 23 years Boudra has made a difference in the lives of countless Dobie High School students as a speech, social studies, debate teacher and coach of the school’s Academic Decathlon team. Boudra works with current graduates to help them perfect graduation speeches and she has been instrumental in establishing the Alumni Hall of Honor at Dobie.

Principal Franklin Moses said, “She is a class act, a master teacher and a person whose passion for education is only surpassed by her passion for her students.”

Puente was named the winner of the District Elementary Teacher of the Year award.

Puente accommodates the unique and varied needs of general and special education students in her bilingual classroom. She has designed innovative lessons to motivate and inspire students to push themselves to higher levels of success.

Through creative planning and fundraising, she has organized a field trip to San Antonio to bring alive Texas history for the entire fourth grade.

“Mrs. Puente has a true passion for teaching children and making a difference in their lives,” Frazier Elementary Principal Wendy Wiseburn, said.

Lopez was honored as the Secondary First-Year Teacher of the Year.

Blanca has been a motivational force for students, faculty and staff at Queens Intermediate. She recently organized an impromptu Mock STAAR pep rally for sixth grade students taking the mock STAAR test. She worked with reading teachers to add more tutorial dates and times to accommodate students taking the STAAR assessment.

Puckett was honored as the Elementary First-Year Teacher of the Year.

Just in her first year of teaching, Puckett already serves as a role model for her fellow colleagues at Melillo Middle. Her high expectations and persistent efforts have helped students show progress this year.

Her coworkers have heard her say that she feels she has found where she truly belongs.
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Trish Boudra, Dobie High School
When Dr. Lewis walked into Boudra's classroom and announced that she was one of this year's winners, she asked if she was worthy. Based on the applause from students in the classroom, the answer was obviously, yes.

Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year

Gracie Puente, Frazier Elementary
Puente was filled with joy when Dr. Lewis presented her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year

Blanca Lopez, Queens Intermediate
It took some time for Lopez to wipe away the tears gently streaming down her face. After she received flowers from Dr. Lewis, she said, "Thank you all so much for recognizing me. I love this school, I love what I do and I am so honored to be recognized this year."
Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year

Carissa Puckett, Melillo Middle School
Puckett's face said it all. One could tell that she was deserving of the honor because those who work closely with her cried tears of joy for the first year teacher and showered her with hugs.
Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year