District recognizes teachers of the year, distinguished retirees, and community service award recipients

Lake Travis ISD officials placed the spotlight on its 2016-2017 teachers of the year, distinguished retirees, and the recipients of the district’s Community Service Award at a dinner held May 18 at the Sonesta Bee Cave.

The 2016-2017 Teachers of the Year are Tanya Henslee - Digital Graphics, Hudson Bend Middle School; Jessie Lawson - Teen Leadership, Lake Travis Middle School; Esther Peckover - 1st Grade, Lakeway Elementary School; Jamie Kennedy - 1st Grade, Lake Pointe Elementary School; Brooke Lane - Kindergarten, Lake Travis Elementary; Kassey LeBlanc - 2nd Grade, Bee Cave Elementary School; Becca Wells - Kindergarten, West Cypress Hills Elementary School; Josie Sellers - 4th Grade, Serene Hills Elementary School/District Elementary Teacher of the Year; and Lamar Schrader - English, Lake Travis High School/District Secondary Teacher of the Year.

“The teaching profession is one of the most noble and important vocations in our society, yet it is constantly under the microscope,” said Dr. Lancaster.  “Teachers must meet the strictest of ever-evolving standards.  They must also deal with a wide range of student needs and unique challenges each and every day, and there are no two students alike.  It is fitting that we take a moment to recognize these hard-working, dedicated public school educators who are truly first among equals at Lake Travis ISD.”

Officials also recognized several individuals who elected to retire from the school district this year including Mary Senn - Reading Specialist, Lake Travis Elementary School; Karen Evans - Music Aide, Lake Travis Elementary School; Beth Andrus - Counselor, Lake Travis Elementary School; Gina Dodson - 3rd Grade, Lake Travis Elementary School; Deborah Watson - Art, Hudson Bend Middle School; Cynthia Allen - Physical Education, Lakeway Elementary School; and Carol Taggart - Discovery, Hudson Bend Middle School.  Not in attendance were Margaret Bloomfield - Distribution Center, District Administration; Marilyn Gayle - English, Lake Travis High School; Mary Kosacz - Administrative Assistant, Lakeway Elementary School; Mary Lou Knutson - Registrar, Hudson Bend Middle School; and Norma Laird - Special Education, Hudson Bend Middle School.

Additionally, district officials lauded the work of three community volunteers with the second annual Lake Travis ISD Community Service Awards.  

“The purpose of the Community Service Awards program is to recognize and celebrate volunteers, mentors and business partners who give their time, talents and resources to improve the educational experiences for students of the Lake Travis Independent School District,” said Holly Morris-Kuentz, Lake Travis ISD Assistant Superintendent for Administrative and Community Services.  “The program is intended to increase awareness of the importance of parental and community involvement in LTISD.”

The LOVE (Leader in Outstanding Volunteer Efforts) for LT Award recognizes an individual who has contributed quality time and extraordinary effort towards improving the learning climate at an individual campus.  The 2016-2017 LOVE for LT Award recipient is Dandi Holec, West Cypress Hills Elementary School.  Dandi volunteered more 200 hours throughout the current school year.  Some of her accomplishments include organizing and managing the school's fall book fair, serving as a Destination ImagiNation team leader, and personally servicing the school's die cutter and poster printer.

The Mentor Me LT Award recognizes the mentor for his/her dedication to the spirit of mentoring, including regular visits with his/her student, the quality of time spent, and the concern and enthusiasm with which he/she has approached the mentor-student relationship. The 2016-2017 Mentor Me LT Award recipient is Michelle McCabe, Bee Cave Elementary School.  Michelle visited weekly with two different students throughout the school year.  She played games with the students, helped develop their reading skills and provided much needed companionship.

The Most Valuable Partner (MVP) Award is presented to one civic or business partner.  This award recognizes an exceptional partnership impacting an individual campus or the school district.  The 2016-2017 Most Valuable Partner Award recipient is Lexus of Lakeway.  Lexus of Lakeway is a Founding Level Partner of the District's Video Display Board program and has sponsored numerous events and programs district wide during the current school year.  

The event was sponsored by HEB, Lexus of Lakeway, and Sonesta Bee Cave.