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2014 Teacher of the Year Winners & Nominees Honored at May 15 Gala

Plano ISD's bright and bold Teacher of the Year nominees and winners were honored by the community at a gala celebration on May 15 at Plano Centre. All 72 Teacher of the Year nominees, nominated by the peers on their campuses, were honored. The celebration culminated with the announcement of the top 10 "Excellence in Teaching" award winners, which included Plano ISD's Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, Whitney Pitzer, Stinson Elementary School kindergarten teacher, and Karen Stanton, Clark High School English teacher, respectively.

Congratulations, Teachers of the Year!


Richard Matkin, Superintendent of Schools; Karen Stanton, Clark High School English teacher and 2014 Plano ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year; Whitney Pitzer, Stinson Elementary School kindergarten teacher and 2014 Plano ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year; and Nancy Humphrey, Plano ISD Board of Trustees president. (view larger image opens in new window)

Among their many gifts, "Summer in a Lexus" packages from Park Place Lexus Plano were presented to Whitney and Karen.

View Gala Event Photo Gallery opens in new window

About the Teacher of the Year Gala

More than 1,100 guests attended the annual gala, where teacher nominees representing each campus were honored, and the top 10 "Excellence in Teaching" awardees and the 2014 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year were announced. The top two teachers are now eligible to participate in the Texas Teacher of the Year competition. Teacher of the Year Selection Committee members interviewed all teacher nominees and made awards selections.

Teacher of the Year Gala Planning and Solicitations Committee members devoted months to securing generous monetary and in-kind gifts for the Teachers of the Year, Excellence in Teaching awardees and all teacher nominees. Committee co-chairs Joa Muns and Penny Chapman, community volunteers, lead the effort.


Gala co-chairs Penny Chapman (third from left) and Joa Muns (third from right) and volunteers are pictured preparing for the gala.

Congratulations, Teacher of the Year Nominees

Heather Schmitt - Beaty
Kristi Vest - Head Start
Bethany Bowers - Isaacs
Sarah Senne - Pearson
Karen Christensen - Aldridge
Mindy Schreiber - Andrews
Chrystal Litman - Barksdale
Penny Beazley - Barron
Connie Gillmore - Bethany
Nora Davis - Beverly
Ashley Dantzler - Boggess
Amy Chilcutt - Brinker
Laura Teague - Carlisle
Jennifer Collins - Centennial
Meagan Middlebrooks - Christie
Joanne Curley - Daffron
Erin Graham - Davis
Lauren Shaw - Dooley
Andrew Wick - Forman
Emily Hollingsworth - Gulledge
Lorie Lyon - Haggar
Linda Culbreth - Harrington
Cyndy Baltzley - Haun
Tiffany Samuel - Hedgcoxe
Michele Rollins - Hickey
Patrick Quinlan - Hightower
Donna Hartman - Huffman
Lori Turnbull - Hughston
Kelly Hamilton - Hunt
Shelly Arthur - Jackson
Kristin Glasscock - Mathews
Julie Walker - McCall
Leigh Adams - Meadows
Kaitlin Eckstein - Memorial
Debbie LaChey - Mendenhall
Lacy Watson - Miller

Laura Arellano - Mitchell
Rebecca Bailey - Rasor
Christi Burkle - Saigling
Jessica Sides - Schell
Jana Martin - Shepard
Kari Tolle - Sigler
Megan Bruce - Skaggs
Whitney Pitzer - Stinson
Casey Howell - Thomas
Debbie Little - Weatherford
Stacy Lawrence - Wells
Kim Ramirez - Wyatt
Ashley Brown - Bird Center
Kathleen Farquhar - Armstrong
Mark Caspersen - Bowman
Kathleen Zeier - Carpenter
Anna Vines - Frankford
Eric Feldman - Haggard
Karen Horne - Hendrick
Nick Seibert - Murphy
Bonny Pan - Otto
Neelima Singh - Renner
Cindy Woolum - Rice
Kimberley Ahrens - Robinson
Azam Anet - Schimelpfenig
Kennitra Robertson - Wilson
Karen Stanton - Clark
David Jones - Jasper
Sarah Fischer - McMillen
Joshua Thompson - Shepton
Fred Sampson - Vines
Christine Miller - Williams
Megan Walters - Academy
Daniel Knight - Plano East
Terry Eder - Plano Senior
Barbara Nelson - Plano West


Gala Honorary Chair: Danny Modisette

ModisetteDanny Modisette, retired Plano ISD deputy superintendent of schools, served as honorary gala chair. As such, he joined guests at the May 15 gala to celebrate excellence in teaching. Mr. Modisette devoted 30 years of his 39-year career as a public school educator to Plano ISD. Upon retirement, he has continued to foster his advocacy of public education and expand his expertise in strategic planning as a consultant to school districts and communities across Texas and the nation. While an educator in Plano schools, he served as a teacher, coach and assistant principal at Clark High School, principal at Haggard Middle School, executive director of human resources and deputy superintendent. Mr. Modisette retired in 2007 and returned in 2009 for two years to fill a vacancy in the deputy superintendent's office. Before joining Plano ISD in 1979, Mr. Modisette taught in Goose Creek ISD and Silsbee ISDs.


Teacher of the Year Sponsors / Forms

Plano ISD sincerely appreciates the businesses, organizations and individuals who contributed financially and with gifts to the Teacher of the Year Gala. Look for "Proud Sponsor of the Plano ISD Teacher of the Year Program" decals in these fine places of business.

A list of sponsors will be posted here and updated each week.

Presenting Sponsor

Gay, McCall, Isaacks, Gordon & Roberts. P.C.

Doctorate Degree

InTouch Credit Union

Master's Degree

M&A Technology

Bachelor's Degree

Park Place Lexus Plano

Associate's Degree

Blunck's Photography
GCA Services Group, Inc.
Plano ISD Education Foundation

Dean's List

Betty & James Muns Foundation
Don Painter Photography
Engineered Air Balance Co., Inc.
Krypton Solutions


City of Plano
Columbus Realty Partners, Ltd.
Corgan Associates, Inc.
David McDavid Lincoln of Plano
ER Centers of America, Inc.
Phillips Painting, Inc.
Warner Group, Inc.
WRA Architects, Inc.


Beaty Early Childhood School
Ann and Michael Boswell
Carpenter Middle School PTA
Loreta Hickey
Kirk C. Hooper, DDS
Junior League of Collin County
Lisa and Kurt Kern
Lepley Orthodontics
Gail Lundberg
Olmsted-Kirk Paper Company
Schimelpfenig Middle School


Summer in a Lexus Package
Park Place Lexus Plano will provide two "Summer in a Lexus" packages, including the use of luxury vehicles, for the Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year.

$2,000 and Up
Adventure Landing
American Laser Skincare
Chamberlain's Fish Market Grill
Creating Healthy Lifestyles
Fossil Group
Goldenlight Creative
Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra
Jostens/Texas Grad Shop, Inc.
Smiley’s Studio, Inc.

$500 to $1,999
4imprint, Inc.
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Chick-fil-A, Frankford Road
Dickey's Barbecue Pit, 15th & Coit Road
Dillas Quesadillas
Gleneagles Country Club
Heritage Farmstead Museum
Jack in the Box
JC's Burger House
John Voight Designs
Luna De Noche TexMex Grill
Neiman Marcus, The Shops at Willow Bend
Papa John's
Plano Children's Theatre
Plano Family YMCA
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers
Seasons 52
ShutterBooth DFW
Southwest Airlines
Steve Fields' Steak & Lobster Lounge
Texas Legends
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches

$200 to $499
Angela's at the Crosswalk
Banana Leaf Thai Cuisine
Barnes & Noble, Creekwalk
Barnes & Noble, Park & Preston Road
Ben & Jerry's
Bosco Pet Photography
Brinker International, Inc.
Chick-fil-A, Preston Road & Gary Burns Drive
The Container Store
Dr. Kracker
Japan House
Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches
Judy Nordseth Photography
La Hacienda Ranch
Larry North Fitness
McDonald's - The O'Reilly Group
Mesquite Arena
North Texas Orthodontic Associates
Red Door Spa - Elizabeth Arden
Sonic Drive-In, Murphy
Texas Olive Ranch - Cowgirl Brands LLC
While You Work, Inc.

Business Recognition Packages – up to $199
III Forks - Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc.
Academy Sports & Outdoors
Allen Premium Outlets
Animal Crackers
Azure Med Spa
Baker Bros. American Deli
Bavarian Grill
Blue Mesa Grill
Blue Moose Tees
Boomer Jack's Grill
Campisi's Restaurants, Inc.
Central Market, Plano
Chamberlain Performing Arts
Chamberlain School of Ballet
Chick-fil-A, Plano Parkway
Chipolte Mexican Grill
Chuy's Restaurant
Coca Cola Refreshments
Columbia Sportswear
Country Burger, Murphy
Dallas Arboretum
Dallas Children's Theater
Dallas Cowboys Football Club
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Dallas Zoo
El Norte Mexican Grill
Elements Massage
Everlast Climbing
Family Christian
Fish Shack
Get Organized!
The Great Outdoors
Half Price Books
Henry's Homemade Ice Cream
IHOP Restaurant
In Bloom Flowers, Gifts and More
InterContinental Dallas
Japon Steak House & Sushi Bar
Jersey Mike's
Jimmy John's #1138
la Madeleine Country French Café
Le Peep Restaurant of Plano
Lifeway Christian Stores
Main Event Frisco
Mary Kay, Sonja Ryder
Men’s Wearhouse
Mogio's Gourmet Pizza
Mooya Burgers
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina
The Original Pancake House
Panera Bread
Pizza Hut
Pizzeria Testa
Plano ISD Alumni Association
Plano ISD Council of PTAs
Plano ISD Education Foundation
Plano Symphony Orchestra
Pluckers Wing Bar
Poor Richard's Café
Pop-Ins Maid Service
Renée Rouleau Skincare
Ridgeview Ranch Golf Course
Rockfish Seafood Grill
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
Rose Catering
Scotty P’s Hamburgers
Shady's Burger Joint
Sonic Drive-In, Custer Road &15th Street
Spaghetti Warehouse
Spring Creek Companies
Sprouts Farmers Market
Studio Movie Grill
Target 0067
Teacher's Tools
Terillis Restaurant
Texas Land & Cattle, Central Expressway
Texas Land & Cattle, Stacy Road
Texas Rangers Baseball Club
Texas Roadhouse
Theatre Britain
Tino's Too
Tom Thumb
Trader Joe's
Walmart Neighborhood Market, Store 2995
WaterTower Theatre

Table Sponsors

Aldridge Elementary School PTA (2 tables)
Andrews Elementary School
Armstrong Middle School
Armstrong Middle School PTA
Barksdale Elementary School
Barron Elementary School PTA
Beaty Early Childhood School PTA (2 tables)
Bethany Elementary School
Beverly Elementary School
Beverly Elementary School PTA
Boggess Elementary School
Boggess Elementary School PTA
Bowman Middle School PTA
Brinker Elementary School PTA
Carlisle Elementary School
Carlisle Elementary School PTA
Carpenter Middle School
Centennial Elementary School PTA
Christie Elementary School (2 tables)
Clark High School
R.C. Clark High School PTSA
Daffron Elementary School PTA
Davis Elementary School PTA
Dooley Elementary School PTA
Frankford Middle School PTA
Gulledge Elementary School
Rose Mary Haggar Elementary School
Haggard Middle School
Harrington Elementary School PTA
Bettye Haun Elementary School PTA
Hedgcoxe Elementary School
Hedgcoxe Elementary School PTA
Hendrick Middle School PTA
Loreta Hickey Elementary School
Hightower Elementary School PTA
Huffman Elementary School PTA
Hughston Elementary School PTA
Martha Hunt Elementary School PTA
Jackson Elementary School PTA
Jasper High School PTSA
Mathews Elementary School PTA
McMillen High School
Meadows Elementary School PTA
Mendenhall Elementary School PTA
Miller Elementary School PTA
Mitchell Elementary School
Murphy Middle School
Murphy Middle School PTA
Otto Middle School
Otto Middle School PTA
Pearson Early Childhood School PTA
Plano East Senior High School Panthers Inc. PTSA
Plano ISD Academy High School PTSA
Plano ISD Council of PTAs
Plano Senior High School PTSA
Plano West Senior High School PTSA (2 tables)
John Rasor Elementary School PTA
Renner Middle School PTA
Rice Middle School PTA
Robinson Middle School
Robinson Middle School PTA
Saigling Elementary School PTA
Schell Elementary School
Schell Elementary School PTA
Schimelpfenig Middle School
Schimelpfenig Middle School PTA
Shepard Elementary School PTA
Shepton High School PTSA
Sigler Elementary School
Sigler Elementary School PTA
Skaggs Elementary School
Stinson Elementary School PTA
Thomas Elementary School PTA
Vines High School PTSA
Weatherford Elementary School PTA
Williams High School PTSA
Wilson Middle School
Wyatt Elementary School PTA


Contact Information

Questions about the gala and/or sponsorships? Please contact:

Plano ISD Communications Department
2700 W. 15th Street
Plano, Texas 75075
(P) 469-752-8150
(F) 469-752-8096



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eNews Table of Contents


Teacher of the Year Biographies

Read the May 16 eNews for links to the top 10 "Excellence in Teaching" award winner's educational philosophies and principal recommendations.

Gala Videos

Click here to watch.

Whitney's Remarks

Click to watch

Karen's Remarks

Click to watch

Small Talk with the Superintendent

Click to watch

Bright, Bold Students Belong in Plano ISD

Click to watch

2013 Teacher of the Year Tribute

Gala Photos

Click here to view photo gallery

Gala Event Photo Gallery


About the Gala

Teacher Nominees

Gala Honorary Chair

Gala Sponsors