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Teacher and Employee of the Year Announced

(May 18, 2018) Last night at the annual Teacher and Employee of the Year Awards, Thursday, May 17, 2018, GISD came together to honor the unsung heroes of our community, our amazing teachers and school district staff. Their lives are dedicated to our most valuable asset in Galveston: our children. Teaching is a profession of passion, where ensuring student success far outweighs the long hours and tireless work. We are honored to present Galveston Independent School District’s best and brightest stars.


Each year, Galveston ISD campuses and departments select an employee to represent them as the teacher and employee of the year nominees. Four big winners are named in the following categories: Elementary Teacher of the Year, Secondary Teacher of the Year, Professional of the Year and Auxiliary Employee of the Year. 


This yearly event, highlights the limitless passion and effort these individuals have for their jobs and students. In Galveston’s quest to honor our employees and staff, as well as demonstrate our appreciation, our community partners have graciously donated numerous gifts, gift certificates, prizes, coupons or other items to honor our winners. Their donations went directly toward thanking these stars of the classroom and departments for their efforts during the school year. The participating sponsors are listed below.


View the photo album from the event here:   


Galveston ISD is pleased to announce the winners and nominees for this year’s event. 


2017-2018 Winners:

Elementary Teacher of the Year Winner—Diana Mitchell, L.A. Morgan Elementary

Secondary Teacher of the Year Winner—Angela Crowder, Austin Middle School

Professional Employee of the Year Winner—Cay Surman, Support Center

Auxiliary Employee of the Year Winner—Robert Simpson, Maintenance & Operations 


Elementary Rookie of the Year—Alberta Keener, 

 Coastal Village Elementary

Secondary Rookie of the Year—Michael Belansky, Ball High School



The nominees for Teacher of the Year are:

 Burnet Elementary - Wendy Ogden

 Coastal Village Elementary- Jamie Leimer

 Moody Early Childhood Center- Heather Wulff

 L.A. Morgan Elementary- Diana Mitchell

 Oppe Elementary - Kimberly Kovacevich

 Parker Elementary - Wendy Autrey

 AIM College & Career Preparatory Academy - Kristin Bingley

 Austin Middle Scool - Angela Crowder

 Central Media Arts Academy - Tabitha Sanders

 Collegiate Academy - Karen (Kandy) Arena

 Crenshaw Elementary & Middle School - Michael Samonte

 DAEP - Linsey Leopold

 Ball High School- Alison Martinez


The nominees for Employee of the Year are:

Campus Leadership- Cathy VanNess

Campus Support- Talisa Comeaux

Support Center- Cay Surman

Campus Paraprofessional – Carina Tovar

Child Nutrition- Maria Hernandez

Maintenance & Operations -Robert Simpson

Safety- Julie Idema

Transportation- Sam Salinas




Galveston Educational Foundation Sponsorship:

• $500 Both Elementary and Secondary Rookies of the Year

• $500 for the District Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year

• The $2,000 donation is to be utilized for any supplies needed for the teacher’s classrooms.

• $100 for all Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year to Lakeshore Learning

Hyatt Regency Houston, Carol Greaney-Wurst & W. Frederick Wurst, Ishmael Robles/Martial Arts America, Galveston Railroad Museum, Galveston Country Club, Yarbrough Campaign, Moody Gardens Hotel, Joy Nails, Gia Insurance, East End Theatre Company, Gaido's, Island Car Wash, Happy Buddha Restaurant, Galveston Chamber Of Commerce, Tom's Thumb Nursery, The Original Mexican Café, Buster's Old Time Photos, Whataburger, Escape The Island, Yaga's Cafe, Casa Del Mar, Galveston Daily News, El Jardin, The Sunflower Bakery, The Spot, Abuelitas Inc, Schlitterbahn Waterpark, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum, Stingaree, Shrimp ‘n Stuff, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Bennett Floral, Starbucks, The Batting Cages, G R G, La King's Confectionery, Strand Brass, Head To Footsies, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Dorothy May's and Galveston Children’s Museum, The Grand 1894 Opera House