The Sherman Independent School District ‘s elementary and secondary teachers of the year got an unexpected surprise Monday night after they were each awarded a free car to drive for one year.


Crutchfield Elementary School Bilingual Second Grade Teacher Blanca Serrano and Sherman High School Biology Teacher Suzanne Green were honored at the district’s monthly school board meeting and were given the the keys to two gas-electric hybrids by Sherman Chevrolet Cadillac. The two educators will be allowed to trade in their cars every three months and may choose from a number of other models each time.


“We actually got it that same night,” Serrano said of her new ride. “It all happened very fast and the next day I just kept thinking, ‘It all must have been a dream. There’s no way there’s a brand new car sitting out there.’”


Sales Manager Chad Norton said this was the dealership’s first year to offer free use of vehicles to the district’s awarded teachers and the idea came from a collaboration with the dealership’s new owner, the Graff Corporation.


“That’s one thing they wanted to implement when they got in here: getting involved in the community and rewarding teachers, first responders and other folks along those lines,” Norton said. “That really made a huge impression on us and to see it actually take place was really neat.”


Serrano is a graduate of Sherman High School and is in her second year of teaching at Crutchfield Elementary. A district presentation at Monday’s meeting said Serrano was selected as Elementary School Teacher of the Year because of her “out-of-the-box” thinking and her ability to capture students attention and enhance their bilingual skills.


“I like to think that I’m flexible and that I can work well with pretty much anyone,” Serrano said “I try to be as positive as I can and I have a really good team.”


Green has worked for Sherman ISD for three years and serves as the team lead for Sherman High’s science department. The district said Green is considered one of the school’s most prepared teachers and able to build positive relationships with her students.


“You don’t go into education for the money and there are a lot of struggles,” Green said. “You go into education and you teach year after year, after year, because you truly care about your students, their future and the community.”


Both Serrano and Green expressed their thanks to the dealership.


Other Sherman ISD educators recognized at Monday’s meeting included Neblett Elementary School Third Grade Math Teacher Sarah Morgan, who was the district’s new teacher of the year and Perrin Learning Center Administrative Assistant Ruthy McCurrin was named the district’s employee of the year. The Dillingham Intermediate School Sixth Grade Science Team, run by Kacie Beene, Samantha Deaton, Rick Foster, April Kloer and Amy Taggart, was named the district team of the year and Lori Walker was named the district’s volunteer of the year.


Drew Smith is a reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at asmith@heralddemocrat.com.