2021 SISD teachers of the year surprised with new cars
In the average day, a teacher can wear many hats and fill many roles. From acting as a protector, role model, and sometimes parental figure, the role of a teacher goes well above simply acting as an educator and often extends well beyond the boundaries of the classroom.
Two local teachers were recognized this week for their efforts when choices for teacher of the year for 2020-2021 were announced. Along with the recognitions and other presents, both teachers will receive a new car that they will be able to use for the next year.
"We are so proud to recognize our teachers of the year for elementary and secondary today," Sherman Independent School District Superintendent David Hicks said. "Each of them is inspirational to our staff and especially to our kids and give 110 percent each and every day. Their life's passion is about making children and we are lucky to have them at Sherman ISD."
The elementary school teacher of the year award was presented to Shann Schubert, who teacher pre-K at Fred Douglass Early Childhood Center, for her work in distance learning over the past year. In that time, Schubert has worked both inside and outside the classroom to ensure that her students have what they need to effectively learn from home in an unprecedented time.
"Shann has gone above and beyond this year, not only for her students but for her entire staff," Fred Douglass Principal Deloris Dowell said. "She has said, "How can I help." She has delivered items to students so they have the items they need at home. She has stepped up to help here at the building in many, many ways, so we are honored and privileged to have her as teacher of the year."
Shubert said she initially has her concerns with returning to the classroom during the ongoing pandemic. However, she was allowed to continue her work through the distance learning program where she was allowed to teach students who were working remotely and not in that classroom.
Despite working virtually, Schubert continued to have a hands-on approach to her work and would often purchase and deliver supplies to students in her class who needed them. On Fridays, she would also deliver meals for the week to her students who were eligible.
At school, Schubert also contributed by mentoring and coaching other teachers on best practices on remote teaching, Dowell said.
Despite these efforts, Schubert said the work has been a collective effort with parents and guardians.
"I've always felt collaboration was always important between parents and schools but this year it was essential," she said.
Meanwhile, seventh-grade math teacher Doretta Kinnison saw signs outside Piner Middle School early Wednesday morning and was proud to know that the secondary teacher of the year came from her campus. Little did she know, the district chose her for the award for her work in engaging with her students.
"I just want this to recognize all of my peers because we had a very difficult year we have succeeded," Kinnison said. "I just hope that it is another launching point with Sherman for improving our education program."
Kinnison was previously recognized as secondary teacher of the month in January for her efforts to make math both relevant and engaging for her students. She said the topic often elicits eye rolls when she talks about it with people, but it doesn't have to be a dry topic.
"Math is always around us and we need to make it interesting," she said, noting that it will help students later in life when buying groceries or balancing a check book, she said.
"Her leadership, her passion for kids and work ethic say everything," Piner MS Principal Amy Porter said.
Schubert said she hopes to take the car to Florida this summer on the family's first road trip since the pandemic began.