For its February Employee Excellence Award, the Spring ISD Board of Trustees returned to the district’s Gordon M. Anderson Leadership Center for a surprise mid-day ceremony honoring Spring ISD Coordinator of Parent Engagement Tranita Carroll.
Board President Rhonda Newhouse – joined by fellow trustees Donald Davis, Justine Durant, Jana Gonzales and Deborah Jensen – announced the award and spoke to the crowd of central support staff members, campus-based parent engagement liaisons and 21st century coordinators, along with members of Carroll’s family who came to help celebrate the surprise recognition.
“This is a special day for someone that each of you know, someone that the board is very pleased about having as an employee of the Spring Independent School District,” Newhouse said. “Tranita is our coordinator for family and parent engagement, and she’s very important to us. As one of her associates wrote, ‘Ms. Carroll exhibits the same level of excitement and customer service for everyone that she encounters, be they parents, community members or business leaders.’ Whether she’s working with our district’s parent engagement liaisons, training our parent group leaders, or collaborating with mentors, volunteers and community members, her exuberance is unmatched.”
In addition to her work coordinating district staff members, Carroll is also active in planning district-sponsored community events, such as the annual registration day and community expo at the start of the school year and the Winter Wonderland literacy event, attended this year by over a thousand children and family members. But Newhouse especially praised Carroll for her everyday work connecting the district with the surrounding community to support student growth and achievement.
“Ms. Carroll has nurtured strong, positive relationships with many faith-based leaders, as well as with many business leaders in our community,” Newhouse said. “They often invite her to attend and to speak at their events, and we believe that she is just the perfect ambassador for exhibiting the excellence of Spring ISD.”
Carroll, who thought she was on her way to a meeting when the award ceremony began, hugged coworkers and members of her family – including her father, aunt and sister – after learning she was the board’s February winner. “I’m just so shocked,” Carroll said. “But I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You can’t even consider what I do a job. This is just what I do; I consider this work my ministry.”
Executive Director of Family and Community Engagement Leticia Grounds said that Carroll is both motivated and dedicated. “It’s not a job for her,” Grounds said, “because she lives in this community, she grew up in the community, she’s vested in it. She spends her time doing what she knows she needs to do to strengthen the families in the community and make it better.”
Britney Sells, Carroll’s sister, also works for the district, currently as the 21st Century Coordinator at Westfield High School. She thanked the trustees for acknowledging and recognizing all the work Carroll does in this district. “Spring ISD is truly in her heart,” Sells said, “and Spring ISD was also there for my sister during a very difficult time – when we lost our mother almost two years ago. I just want everyone to know, and I want my sister to know, that Mommy is really proud and I know she’s looking down, very proud of you right now.”
Like the previous award recipients, Carroll received a Spring ISD pin and a framed award certificate, along with a check for $100. She will also be eligible for the $1,000 prize to be awarded at the district’s annual Employee Recognition Banquet later this spring.