Carroll and Massey were nominated by their local school districts for their concern for students and the capability to inspire them, ability and willingness to work cooperatively with colleagues, drive to initiate activities that improve instruction for students, ability to work effectively with different groups in the community, desire to stay informed about current educational theories and practices, and their ability and willingness to make meaningful contributions to education.
Elementary Teacher of the Year, Lisa Carroll, earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from East Texas Baptist University in 1998. Carroll has 13 years of teaching experience, ten of which are at Marshall ISD. She is a 1st grade teacher and team leader at Robert E. Lee Elementary School. Lisa is a three-time recipient of the Robert E. Lee Elementary Teacher of the Year Award.
“I want to do for children what the great teachers I have come across have done for me. I want to motivate and inspire them, have a positive impact on their sense of self-worth, their learning, and their lives. I want to share an enthusiasm for learning and empower them….I believe, as a teacher I am able to do these things each day,” says Carroll.
“I feel that one of my most significant contributions in education thus far has been to be able to help inspire and shape student teachers’ ideas about the influence they can each have on children,” she adds, “I hope my greatest accomplishment in education is the impact I’ve had on my current and past students.”
Ms. Carroll has served as an observer, intern, and has supervised student teachers since 2002. She is involved in the Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA), Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE), National Parent Teacher Association (NPTA), and the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Lisa takes part in teaching at family math and literacy nights at school, presenting parents with strategies and tactics through games and activities. She also helps organize and work at Reading First Carnivals, where children and their parents play reading games and receive free books to add to their home libraries. “I place a heavy emphasis on reading in my classroom, as I believe it is the key to academic success,” adds Carroll.
Secondary Teacher of the Year, Vicki Massey, has 26 years of teaching experience with the last 15 years being in Gilmer ISD. Massey is currently employed at Bruce Junior High teaching 7th Grade English/Language Arts. In addition, Massey is a Mentor Teacher at Bruce JH, a New Jersey Writing Institute trainer and presenter, and local In-service presenter at Gilmer ISD.
Massey earned her Bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University with emphasis in Physical Education and minor in Biology. Massey has been selected as Campus Teacher of the Year, Secondary Teacher of the Year at GISD, and received the Heroes for Kids Award by Gilmer Beta Sigma Phi Service Club.
Being involved in the lives of children means more than just a paycheck to Massey. Nearly every summer Vicki participates in her church’s youth mission trip. She conducts Vacation Bible School, Backyard Bible Club, and block parties to reach out to children. “My husband and I open our home each year to 7th grade boys during a weekend of evangelism and renewal called Disciple Now. This gives me a chance for the boys I teach to see me in a different role, a substitute mother who cooks for them, prays with them, and cleans up after they have eaten us out of house and home!” notes Massey.
Vicki’s love of teaching and love of kids are at the foundation of her teaching style. “If you love someone, you’re willing to work hard to help them in anyway,” adds Massey, “In my classroom, that means not drowning my students with worksheets and TAKS passages! Instead, I try to incorporate diverse, research based activities into my instruction. If kids are actively engaged, they will learn.”
On August 15th, Carroll and Massey will compete against the thirty-eight other Regional Teachers of the Year, which are reviewed by a panel of judges where six finalists are selected. The six finalists are invited to Austin for personal interviews, before the Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Secondary Teacher of the Year is chosen. These educators become spokespeople for all teachers in the state of Texas. They also serve as traveling ambassadors for public education with a demanding schedule of speeches, workshops and presentations while continuing to teach in the classroom.