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Rookie Teachers of the Year Named by Pasadena ISD

Rookie Teachers of the Year Named by Pasadena ISD
Posted on 05/12/2015
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As a first year teacher the pressure and responsibility of educating the future can be overwhelming. Two of Pasadena ISD’s rookie teachers have taken the challenges head on and are being honored as New Teachers of the Year.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kirk Lewis surprised Chris Koter, South Houston Intermediate orchestra director and Jacquelyn Kennedy, Gardens Elementary third grade teacher Tuesday morning to bestow the honor on them.

Koter was named the winner of the District Secondary New Teacher of the Year award.

As the orchestra director, Koter often works long hours to ensure the success of his students. As a result of his hard work, enrollment numbers for the orchestra program have tripled this year. His door is always open to students, even during his lunch period, investing extra time to those who want to practice. Setting high expectations for his students, he led them to victory winning Sweepstakes, or a perfect score, at their UIL competition, something seldom achieved by a first year teacher.

“The students love his style of teaching and come to him for advice,” Laura Gomez, South Houston Intermediate Principal said. “He is always willing to listen and open to assisting the students however he can.”

Chris Koter

Kennedy was named the winner of the District Elementary New Teacher of the Year award.

Not only is Kennedy a first year teacher, but faced challenges head on when she began at Gardens. She took over for a class that had been without a consistent teacher for two months prior. She immediately began focusing on building relationships with her students. As a result, attendance in her classroom increased and parents and staff began taking notice of her unique and passionate teaching style. She also took on the role of third grade team leader, flourishing as a leader.

“Ms. Kennedy’s positive spirit and energy are truly a gift that inspires many to improve and be the best educators they can be for our students,” Lindsey Lesniewski, Gardens Elementary Principal said. “The fire and passion she exhibits will recharge your excitement for teaching.”

Jackie Kennedy

Congratulations to these first year teachers on their success in education.

Chris KoterDr. Kirk Lewis, Superintendent of Schools; Chris Koter, Secondary New Teacher of the Year; Laura Gomez, South Houston Intermediate Principal; Dr. Rhonda Parmer, Associate Superintendent of Campus Development; Dr. DeeAnn Powell, Deputy Superintendent of Campus Development and Kristen Still, South Houston Intermediate Assistant Principal.

KennedyGardens Elementary Principal Lindsay Lesniewski; Dr. DeeAnn Powell, Deputy Superintendent of Campus Development; Dr. Kirk Lewis, Superintendent of Schools; Steve Laymon, Associate Superintendent of Campus Development; Elementary New Teacher of the Year Jacquelyn Kennedy and her class.