CCHS names Teachers, Humanitarian of the year

George Juarez, Editor-in-Chief

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The English and social studies departments both had members named teachers of the year for the second year in a row.

English I teacher Jodi Garrett and world history teacher Sarah Dudley are this year’s Teachers of the Year. Instructional coach Lauren Smith was named Humanitarian of the Year.

The process for selecting a teacher or humanitarian of the year begins with open nominations from the school staff. Once nominations are complete, a ballot is distributed with the names of the nominees and all faculty members vote.

“I was surprised,” Dudley said. “I’ve been nominated before, but was never Teacher of the Year.”

Dudley has been the Student Council sponsor for the past four years. Social Studies Department Chair Elaine Wix said Dudley is a “wonderful teacher and invests so much of her time and heart.”

“She is here all summer working on her lessons and supports her students at many of their games,” Wix said. “She is a tireless supporter of CCHS and everyone who knows her, knows that she puts 100 percent heart into everything she does.”

Garrett has been the class of 2018 sponsor for the past four years and is also the Student Success Center coordinator.

“Volunteering to be a class sponsor or the sponsor of a student club or organization requires a large amount of extra time,” Nancy Kahn said. “They both spend many extra hours after school tutoring students and/or meeting with students to plan and work on projects or programs for the class of 2018 and the student council.”

This is Garrett’s second and consecutive year to receive this award. Boys soccer coach and world geography teacher Andrew McGregor received the award last year alongside her. Garrett said her first reaction was one of disbelief.

“I appreciate their votes of confidence and recognition for the effort that I put into making Caney Creek High School a positive, safe learning environment for all students and faculty,” Garrett said.

English Department Chair Elaine Cates was also excited for Garrett’s award.

“It is an honor (for someone) to receive this award, and to receive it two years in a row is fantastic,” she said. “Jodi is totally committed to our Caney Creek students.”

Smith works as an instructional coach, someone whose responsibility is to bring evidence-based practices into classrooms by working with teachers. She was “incredibly honored” to receive this award and proud to be included on that list alongside the previous winners who have done so much for the school.

“Being awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award affirmed that teachers see me and my position in the school as a valuable part of helping them learn and grow as professionals,” Smith said.

This is Smith’s first year at Caney Creek. The staff focuses on nominating employees who are team-players, respectful, dedicated and effective.

“Since she started this year, as our Instructional Coach, she has dedicated every moment of her time to helping teachers grow and expand their skills,” Associate Principal William Kelly said. “She is never too busy to help a teacher, and will do whatever it takes to help teachers because she knows that it will benefit students.”

Garrett and Dudley will each write an essay that will go toward a selection process for the Conroe ISD Teacher of the Year.

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