Ronda Hancock and Cody McDonald have been selected as the VISD Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, respectively.
Ms. Hancock is a second-grade teacher at Torres Elementary School. In her eighth year teaching Torres Tigers, she has creatively moved her hands-on, interactive lessons into a virtual environment. This year her online students have made weather forecast videos, videos to demonstrate how to make a sandwich to complement a “How To” writing project, scavenger hunts for 3D shapes, used tools around their house to make a ramp, and watched chicks hatch on a live feed from the classroom. Before the end of the school year they will dissect a lima bean, plant seeds and watch them grow. Her goal is for online students to receive the same second grade experience as face-to-face learning.
Aside from the classroom education, Ms. Hancock is teaching them compassion and generosity. Through Hurricane Harvey, COVID-19, this year’s ice storm, and other difficult situations in her students’ lives, she has helped connect families with the resources to meet their basic needs.
Mr. McDonald has been a teacher and coach at Victoria West High School for the past three years. He strives to create an environment that fosters curiosity and excitement for learning, rather than a fear of making mistakes. In his AP Computer Science class, students enthusiastically learn serial logic, variables, conditionals, and iteration by programming handheld drones.
It’s not only the high school years that Coach McDonald focuses on shaping for his students. He is open and honest about his own struggles finding his purpose after high school. As a high school teacher, he feels he is given the unique opportunity to guide and mentor students as they begin making decisions that will impact their occupation, community investment, and overall future.
Ms. Hancock and Coach McDonald candidates for the Region 3 Teacher of the Year in their respective grade levels. The regional selection process is conducted in June and July.
VISD 2020-2021 Campus Teachers of the Year:
Aloe Elementary School - Linda Dentler, Kindergarten
Chandler Elementary School – Cassaundra Hybner, Librarian
Crain Elementary School – Diana Cedillo, 4th grade
DeLeon Elementary School – Katy Rodriguez, PE
Dudley Elementary School – Patty Weaver, 4th grade
Hopkins Elementary School – Viron Reed, 4th grade
Mission Valley Elementary School – Melinda Armadillo, Music
O’Connor Elementary School - Brandy Vaughan, 2nd grade
Rowland Elementary School – Mercedes Walton, 4th grade
Schorlemmer Elementary School - Andrea Garcia, Pre-K
Shields Elementary School - Misty Hogan, PPCD
Smith Elementary School - Ty Armstrong, PE
Torres Elementary School - Ronda Hancock, 2nd grade
Vickers Elementary School - Gabrielle Garza, 2nd grade
Cade Middle School - Gina Hale, Investigating Careers
Howell Middle School - Jennifer Atkins, 7th grade ELAR
Patti Welder Middle School - Jennings Gonzalez, Band
Stroman Middle School - Robert Fulgham, 8th grade Social Studies/Coach
Liberty Academy - Linda Cantu, Credit Recovery
Victoria East High School - Amy Alexander, Principles of Applied Engineering/Principles of Information Technology
Victoria West High School - Cody McDonald, Math/Coach
Career & Technology Institute - John Wright, Welding