2020 Educator of the Year
This Westie goes to a Westlake area teacher or administrator in recognition of his or her outstanding contributions to the educational community and to the enrichment in the lives of children through academic achievement. He or she inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, has the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues, and plays an active and useful role in the community as well as in the school.
Finalist: Carolyn Foote, EISD District Librarian
As first a teacher, and then a librarian, Carolyn Foote has served EISD students and staff for 29 years before her retirement in March. Her work centers around creating libraries that are safe, lively, and engaging places for students and staff where they can explore, create, and communicate ideas. Believing that collaboration is central to impacting student learning, she constantly collaborated with teachers, students, other librarians, and ed partners to support projects like the Vietnam War project, an Art History Independent study, and received the American Association of School Librarians Award for Collaboration in 2019 for organizing an art history research trip to Washington, D.C. with her colleague, Melinda Darrow. She was instrumental in bringing the iPads to the district, and was honored as a White House Champion of Change in 2013 for this effort. She is dedicated to designing safe and interesting learning spaces for all, and was instrumental in designing the original Ninth Grade Learning Commons, the Westlake High School Library and co-ed the 21st century classrooms at Westlake High School. As the campus voter registrar, Carolyn organized voter registration drives every year and spoke to government classes about the registration process. As District Librarian, she was instrumental in implementing a new ebook program for K12 students, supporting the district librarians as they transitioned to working in a virtual environment, and curating resource lists for the DEI website.
Finalist: Cathy Cluck, AP History Teacher at Westlake High School
During the pandemic, Cathy Cluck made remote learning a completely engaging experience by taking her instruction on the road, giving students a glimpse of the US on an epic road trip. Dubbed the #greatamericanhistoryroadtrip, Cathy went live for her students at various famous sites including Gettysburg, the Lincoln Memorial, Jamestown and the Alexander Hamilton-Aaron Burr duel. Her extraordinary teaching received national attention including NPR, CNN, Inside Edition and more; and she’s been featured on several podcasts. Cathy was chosen to be one of four Americans featured in the Heroes Across America segment of the Biden-Harris Presidential Inaugural Ceremony and was awarded Southwest Airlines Heroic Teacher Award for 2020. Cathy has also been awarded with the President’s Meritorious Achievement Award for her work with the Texas Vietnam Veterans Association and the Golden Apple Winner Award multiple years. Given the limitations that we all had to work within in 2020, Cathy embodies the spirit of eanes excellence and inspires her peers to think creatively and exceed expectations.
Finalist: Steven Ramsey, Principal of Westlake High School
As principal of Westlake High School, Steve Ramsey oversees the daily operation of the largest school in Eanes ISD with more than 2,800 students. Over the years, Steve has consistently provided outstanding leadership of this community, but his service in the 2020-21 school year went far above the normal call of duty. Charged with opening Westlake High School for in-person learning during a global pandemic presented Principal Ramsey and his team with many unique challenges, from drafting and implementing safety protocols to enforcing them in a way that was productive and instructive to students. His care for the health and safety of his staff is admirable. Steve’s success in this area is clearly evidenced in the low infection rates among the high school community and the ability to keep the school open and operating the entire academic year. Steve helps make students, teachers, and parents feel safe and promotes a learning environment that is as normal as possible given the challenging circumstance. His leadership during such a tumultuous time is commendable; his heartfelt love and concern for the Westlake community is exceptional.
2020 Winner: Cody Spraberry, Forest Trail Elementary Principal
2019 Winner: Ed Snouffer, Westlake High School Choir Director
2018 Winner: Melinda Darrow, Westlake High School Art History Teacher
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