Pasadena ISD’s Varvoutis named Region 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year

Pasadena ISD’s Varvoutis named Region 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year
Posted on 08/02/2017
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South Houston High School choir teacher Brenda Varvoutis was named the 2018 Region 4 Secondary Teacher of the Year during an awards ceremony recently. She will now advance as a finalist for the Texas Teacher of the Year honor.

Varvoutis, a music educator in Pasadena ISD for 28 years, described the honor as music to her ears. 

"I was extremely surprised," Varvoutis said. "I'm thrilled that it puts our name out there for South Houston High School and for Pasadena ISD. It's rare for this to happen to fine arts teachers, so this is for all the fine arts teachers who work hard each day."

She began her career in PISD in 1989 as a music instructor at Freeman Elementary. She continued to teach choir at South Houston Intermediate from 1990 to 1993, Bondy Intermediate from 1993 to 2003, Memorial High School from 2003 to 2006, and Queens Intermediate from 2006 to 2007.

Since 2007, Varvourtis has served the SHHS Mighty Trojans as the choral director. Under her instruction, the choir and its members have earned multiple award designations. These include:

  • UIL Sweepstakes for the varsity mixed choir
  • UIL Sweepstakes for the varsity women’s choir
  • Five Tony award-style Tommy Tune nominations, including Best Chorus and Best Costume Design for the school’s production of ”Once Upon a Mattress”
  • Two students were named to the Texas All-State Choir

In May, she was named the Secondary Teacher of the Year for Pasadena ISD during the district’s First Annual ‘Teacher of the Year’ celebration.

Varvoutis is well known in the Houston area for her talent as a music instructor. Since 2010, she has served students as an artistic director for the Bay Area Youth Singers (BAYS). She is the music director for Lakeside Lutheran Church and serves as an adjudicator for UIL contests and choral festivals.

She holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of Houston and a performance certificate in flute from the International Academie in Nice, France. She is a member of the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Texas Music Adjudicators Association (TMAA), Texas Choral Director Association (TCDA) and the American Choral Directors Association (AMCD).

Varvoutis was accompanied to the event by some her most staunch supporters, including PISD superintendent Dr. DeeAnn Powell, South Houston HS Principal Andrea Wenke, Fine Arts coordinator Linda Fletcher and SHHS assistant principal Paula Ballew. She credits this group among many others for helping her earn this recognition. 

"I want to thank my students for this honor because without them this would not have been possible."

Varvoutis said she will mount the award on her piano tonight.