2019 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: Molly May, Executive Director of Special Education for Eanes ISD
Molly May has tirelessly invested in the Westlake community for over 20 years. Mrs. May began her career in Eanes ISD at Hill Country Middle School as a Life Skills teacher, serving students with the most significant disabilities. Through her vision and leadership as a teacher, Mrs. May created an inclusion program at HCMS, which would eventually spread to both WRMS and WHS. These qualities led Mrs. May to be recognized by her peers as Teacher of the Year at HCMS. Mrs. May would eventually become an administrator for the district. For the last 8 years, she has served as the Executive Director of Special Education. In the role of a district leader, Mrs. May has broadened her vision by leading two current and critical initiatives - Restorative Practices and Universal Design for Learning. Both are innovative programs that support ALL students with their social-emotional and academic learning needs.
Finalist: Carol Reese, GT Specialist and Above and Beyond elective teacher of West Ridge Middle School
Carol has taught 36 years in EISD, encouraging critical and creative thinking, and empowering students to be their best. She is District Coordinator for Destination Imagination’s creative problem-solving program, sponsors Student Stock Market teams, the WRMS Future City Engineering Program (and assists BCE junior teams), coordinates WRMS Model UN, and organizes STEAM Day teams (WRMS students teach STEAM-related lessons to elementary students). She organizes a Maker Faire for 5th graders at Widen Elementary School in AISD (WRMS students create hands-on maker stations). Carol serves on EISD’s Thoughtful Use of Technology Committee.
She serves on Destination Imagination’s Regional Board and as Lead Mentor of the TEDxYouth@Austin team, (working with Austin area youth, annually organizing an event for 1000 secondary level students), and has helped organize Austin area school tours for Silicon Labs.
Carol leads international tours for EISD families, and volunteers at the Salzburg Global Academy in Austria, teaching international students.
Finalist: Cody Spraberry, Principal of Forest Trail Elementary
As principal of Forest Trail Elementary, Cody makes everyday fun and engaging while providing students with a sense of belonging. He has created a strong culture by building relationships with peers and teachers through daily community circles. Students become self-advocates as they learn that their words are powerful and have meaning. Cody will frequently ask students “whose day did you make better?” and they are proud to share their impact. Cody strives to connect school and families. Examples are launching the postal service in which students and teachers correspond with one another and his newsletter link that encourages parents to spotlight staff members Whether it’s supporting students’ extra-curriculars with a personal note, phoning every kindergarten parent the first week of school, or becoming Elf on the Shelf the last week of December, Cody models the benefits of serving others and the importance of finding the fun in everything they do.
Last Year's Winner: Ed Snouffer, Westlake High School Choir Director
2018 Winner: Melinda Darrow, Westlake High School Art History Teacher
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