Hillsboro and Lampasas Educators Selected as Regional Teachers of the Year
WACO, Texas – Two exceptional teachers from Central Texas have been chosen by a selection committee of their peers as Region 12 Teachers of the Year. The Elementary Teacher of the Year is Sherrie Berry of Lampasas ISD, and the Secondary Teacher of the Year is Jennifer Faulknor of Hillsboro ISD. Berry and Faulknor will also be the regional nominees for the Texas Teacher of the Year award.
“We are so pleased that these outstanding teachers are being recognized for their hard work and dedication to teaching students,” Dr. Jerry Maze, executive director of ESC Region 12, said. “The commitment they have to being a good teacher, motivator and mentor is truly an inspiration.”
Berry, Elementary Teacher of the Year, has been teaching for 20 years, serving as a fourth-grade teacher for the last eight and as HOSTS (Help One Student to Succeed) teacher/coordinator for the previous eight years at Hanna Springs Elementary School. Prior to her positions in Lampasas ISD, Berry served as an elementary and Title I teacher for the third- and fourth-grade in Copperas Cove ISD.
Berry believes that her experience in the classroom has taught her to teach her students to become life-long learners. By focusing on her students as individuals, she is able to teach in a way that enhances their strengths, and improves their weaknesses. Berry believes being a teacher is not just her job—it is who she is, and she strives daily to give her students the best of herself, with the hope of getting the best of them in return.
Berry has and continues to serve in many leadership roles that positively impact student achievement. In addition to serving as a grade level chair for the past three years, she worked as the HOSTS Program coordinator pushing the program to an exemplary rating and helping numerous students improve their reading ability. She serves as a mentor for new teachers, and designs and delivers district-level training. Due to her success with the HOSTS program, Berry has presented numerous times at the annual HOSTS National Convention. Berry has also served on a teacher advisory panel for State Representative Jimmie Don Aycock and has received many awards and recognition.
Berry received her Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development and Elementary Education from the University of Texas in Austin. She is a member of the American Federation of Teachers and the Texas Federation of Teachers.
As a member of the Beta Mu Service Sorority, Berry enjoys serving her community and supports the Lampasas Mission, and other local charities. Every Christmas, she involves her fourth grade students in a service project. Berry also enjoys volunteering for activities surrounding her children’s participation in the Lampasas County Livestock Show, and sporting events.
Berry resides in Lampasas with her husband, Brett, and two boys, Hadley, 14, and Gage, 12.
Faulknor, Secondary Teacher of the Year, has been teaching for 13 years, all in Hillsboro ISD. She currently serves as science department head and teaches high school biology. In this leadership role, she is responsible for mentoring teachers, monitoring the budget, analyzing student data and supporting staff with the science curriculum. Prior to her current position, she taught eighth-grade science at Hillsboro Junior High for 12 years. Faulknor also serves as the junior high science coordinator and as a member of the District Education Improvement Committee.
The Hillsboro native loves the classroom because she is able to transfer her love of science to others while positively impacting the world at the same time. She is always looking for exciting, fun and hands-on ways to engage students and meet their diverse needs and learning styles. With her enthusiastic approach to teaching, she, along with her colleagues, helped move a campus from low-performing to exemplary early in her career.
Faulknor is frequently recognized and awarded for her dedication to education. Most recently, she was selected as the most influential teacher to a top ten student at Hillsboro High School. She also received the W.F. Doughty Award for the third time in 2007 for outstanding contributions to faculty professional growth and enhancing student success and learning.
She strives to stay current in the latest trainings to keep her and her colleagues’ teaching as innovative as possible and to keep students engaged. Faulknor is known for sharing strategies with local teachers as well as teachers throughout the state. She often collaborates and shares strategies online and recently presented at a state conference demonstrating how to utilize laptops in the classroom and for checkout use at home.
Faulknor graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Bioenvironmental Science. She later received her Master’s of Education Curriculum and Instruction from Tarleton State University. She is a member of the American Federation of Teachers and the Science Teachers Association of Texas.
Faulknor enjoys being active in her community as well as in her district. She serves as a Cub Scout Den Leader and is a community service partner for the Learn and Serve Program. She is a member of the Sesame Club, a historic women’s organization, the Parent-Teacher Association, and served as a board member for three years on the Philotechnos Preschool Board. In her district, she has served as a sponsor of the Spirit Team, UIL Science Team and Science Club.
Faulknor resides in Hillsboro with her husband Mark. They have two sons, Evan, 8, and Andrew, 6.
As Region 12 Teachers of the Year, Berry and Faulknor will serve as ambassadors for public education in Texas participating in special appearances, workshops and other presentations throughout the upcoming year. The Texas Teacher of the Year will be announced October 19. Education Service Center Region 12 will honor regional teachers and the Superintendent of the Year at a reception in the fall.
About Texas Teacher of the Year
Sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators, this program annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching. Each year, two teachers from each of the 20 Regional Education Service Centers - become eligible for two titles, Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year. From this group of 40 teachers, six finalists are chosen and they are interviewed by an independent panel of judges, composed primarily of members of various teacher associations. The state's top elementary and secondary teachers are chosen from these half dozen exemplary educators.
About ESC Region 12
One of 20 regional education service centers statewide, Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12 is dedicated to serving school districts, charter schools and area private/parochial schools in improving student performance. ESC Region 12 partners with school districts to deliver services and solutions to educators so they may help all children be successful.
Based in Waco, with satellite offices in Corsicana, Hamilton, Nolanville and Teague, ESC Region 12’s service area includes Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Lampasas, Limestone, McLennan, Mills and Navarro Counties.