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Teachers of the Year Announced

Beaumont ISD named Regina-Howell’s AnaKaren Leslie as the 2020-21 elementary division Teacher of the Year and Beaumont United’s Sojourner Brown as the 2020-21 secondary division Teacher of the Year. The winners were surprised at their residence with an entourage of district and campus staff, community members, sponsors and more to celebrate the recognition. Click here to see the video.

Leslie has dedicated over three years of teaching experience at BISD. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communications with a Minor in Business Education from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Lamar University. Leslie is certified in Core Subjects (grades EC-6) and teaches reading (grades 4-5) and English/language arts and social studies (grade 5).

Brown’s teaching career of over three years has been dedicated to educating the students of BISD. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Rice University. Brown is certified in Social Studies (grades 7-12) and teaches world history/world history advanced placement (grades 10-11). She also serves as the freshman girl’s basketball head coach. Brown is a BISD alumnus, graduating as the salutatorian at Clifton J. Ozen Magnet High School.

The 2020 Teacher of the Year Selection Committee was composed of business partners, community stakeholders and students. They reviewed applications and interviewed the top five elementary and secondary campus teachers of the year. The committee included Margaret Swope, chair, Lamar University; Alena Savoie, co-chair, ExxonMobil; Chase Arceneaux, Beaumont United High School Student Body Vice-President; Peyton Barrett, West Brook High School Student Body President; Fannie Brown, Beaumont Public Schools Foundation; Ana Pereda, Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce; Greg Sholl, Beaumont Teachers Association; and John Williams, Beaumont Area Retired Teachers. 

In December 2019, a Teacher of the Year was selected from each BISD campus. Each nominee was chosen by their colleagues and asked to submit an application. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Celebration of Excellence Gala scheduled for May 2020 has been postponed. Each campus winner will be recognized individually in the near future. The District appreciates all partners that make the program possible led by Star Sponsor ExxonMobil.

Leslie and Brown will go on to represent BISD at the regional level. If successful, they will compete at the State Texas Teacher of the Year. The Texas Teacher of the Year program has been in existence since 1969 and showcases outstanding educators. This program is facilitated by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). According to TASA, the Texas Teacher of the Year is the highest honor that the State of Texas can bestow upon a teacher.

The campus nominees for Teacher of the Year, in alphabetical order by school, are:

Lauren Simmons of Amelia Elementary

Sojourner Brown of Beaumont United High School

LaKeisha Carter of Bingman Head Start

Princess Reynolds-Peter of Blanchette Elementary

Alea Greer of Paul A. Brown Learning Center

Amy Mathis of Caldwood Elementary

Tyna Williams of Charlton-Pollard Elementary

Allison Doty of Sallie Curtis Elementary

Andrea Dorsey of Dishman Elementary

Thomas Ehrensberger of Early College High School

Lana Nelius of Fehl-Price Classical Academy

Alba Portillo of Fletcher Elementary

Traci Carter of Roy Guess Elementary

Elizabeth Buxton of Homer Drive Elementary

Aysha Sanders of Phalen Academy at Jones-Clark 

LaWanda Coleman of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

Laura Bridges of Lucas Pre-K Center

Juaune Saveat of Marshall Middle School

Stephanie Gilder of Martin Elementary

Nancy Neeley of Odom Academy

Ronald Kelley of Pathways Learning Center

Shameka Guidry of Pietzsch-MacArthur Elementary

AnaKaren Leslie of Regina-Howell Elementary

Britteny Guidry of Phalen Academy at Smith Middle School

Jeralyn Johnson of Taylor Career and Technology Center

George Loker of Vincent Middle School

Phillip Boone of West Brook High School