It’s a privilege to honor outstanding teachers

You remember that teacher that made you feel like you could do anything … that your dreams were attainable, that you weren’t awkward and unaccepted, but loved and appreciated?

That teacher for me was my second grade teacher, Mrs. Proffer. I will never forget how she made learning fun and treated me like I was smart. I remember being in what I thought was a starring role in the second grade play “Ghostbusters” to perform in front of everybody. I wanted to give my part to someone else, but Mrs. Proffer believed in me and said, “LaTonya, you were born to be a star.”

That was all the encouragement I needed to give it my best and to this day, I will always remember Mrs. Proffer.

Last week I had the privilege of going campus to campus (15 campuses, and walking in heels mind you) to award some of the most amazing people in our district with a Campus Teacher of the Year award selected by their peers.

I must admit it was fun for me to surprise them, but what it meant to them was so much more. It meant countless hours of preparation and hard work inside and outside the classroom finally realized and recognized. It meant that they were loved and appreciated like they make our students feel every day. It meant tears of joy and hugs all around and pure joy to the children in their classrooms who have known all along how amazing their teacher is.

It was truly one of my favorite days as Superintendent at Lufkin ISD. One teacher who was acknowledged has been teaching on her campus for 42 years! That’s a lot of years and a lot of students who have been in the presence of greatness and inspired by one of our finest. Another teacher has proven to be a fighter as she has overcome health issues while also focusing on the needs of her students.

We appreciate all of our teachers and staff at Lufkin ISD, and I was honored to take a day to remind 15 campus Teachers of the Year what an asset they are to our schools and community. Congratulations and job well done to: Andrea Eoff-Travis, Alternative Center for Education; Julie Thornton, Anderson Elementary; Amy Reynolds, Brandon Elementary; Carol Riley, Burley Primary; Tracey Charanza, Coston Elementary; Jean Ann Keen, Dunbar Primary; Odessa Cullum, Garrett Primary; Barbara Holden, Hackney Primary; Kristi Mackey, Herty Primary; Sharon Collins, Kurth Primary; Cindy Rich, Lufkin Middle School; Michael Hillis, Lufkin High School; Arline Gates, Slack Elementary; Susan Spencer, Trout Primary.

These teachers along with other staff members will be acknowledged for their extraordinary impact on students and years of service to our district at the End of Year Convocation on May 8.

Published by drgoffney

Dr. LaTonya Goffney was named Lufkin ISD Superintendent in 2013. A native of Coldspring, Dr. Goffney began her career as a language arts teacher in Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD. Additionally, she served as assistant principal and principal before serving as superintendent at Coldspring-Oakhurst for five years. Dr. Goffney earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and English, a Master of Education degree in administration, and a Doctorate of Education degree in Educational Leadership, all from Sam Houston State University. In her new role as Superintendent of Lufkin ISD, Dr. Goffney has focused on building community support. She has established an Education Foundation to enhance educational opportunities for all students through innovative teacher grants, a Strategic Planning group involving more than 100 community members and created a Hispanic advisory committee called the Nuestras Madres to connect with the Hispanic mothers in the district. She implemented the Panther Community Forums, which are quarterly meetings to address topics with the community and parents. Dr. Goffney began the Team Lufkin ISD Student Ambassadors, a high school student advisory group to the superintendent. Annually, she hosts Lufkin ISD Evento en Español to inform the Hispanic community of educational opportunities. Dr. Goffney was the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Administrator of the Year Award selected by the faculty of Sam Houston State University College of Education. She was named as one of only 22 members of the 2012-2013 Class of Phi Delta Kappa International Emerging Leaders. The PDK Emerging Leaders program recognizes top educators from across the world. She currently serves on the following civic boards: Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, The Coalition, and Angelina County Economic Development. She is president-elect of the Texas Council of Women School Executives and was recently elected as recording secretary to the Texas Association of Black School Educators. Dr. Goffney also serves on the Executive Board of the Texas Association of School Administrators. Dr. Goffney is married to Joseph Goffney. They have two children, Joseph, Jr., 14, and Joslyn, 10. Dr. Goffney and her husband, Joseph, have co-authored a book titled All is Well as a tribute to their special needs son. Their story has been featured in several local magazines.

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