HOUSTON – Aug. 21, 2018 – Spring ISD awarded $93,000 to 57 teachers Monday as part of its EVERYday Counts attendance incentive program, designed to reward campus teachers for perfect or near-perfect attendance.
“We are truly excited about what we’re celebrating today,” Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson said during the Facebook Live event, as teachers gathered at campuses around the district to watch. “We know that the single most important person in front of our students each and every day is you, their classroom teachers.”
The recipients include 52 Spring ISD teachers, each with two or fewer absences during the spring 2018 semester, who are now set to receive $1,500 apiece. Additionally, five grand prize winners, all of whom had perfect attendance for the entire 2017-18 school year, will each receive a $3,000 award. All prize winners were selected in a random computerized drawing from a list of eligible faculty.
The awards ceremony was the second of its kind under the new incentive program, following the district’s inaugural event in February.
Also on hand for the live-streamed celebration were Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, chief of school leadership and student support services; Ann Westbrooks, the district’s chief financial officer; and Chief Human Resources Officer Deeone McKeithan. The group was joined for the announcement by Records Manager Gerardo Rochin, who conducted the random drawing, and Internal Auditor Patricia Rios, who oversaw the process.
“We are so excited to be here today,” Hinojosa said, “to be able to reward and motivate our teachers to come to school each day.”
A total of 149 high school teachers were eligible for the drawing, having two or fewer absences during the spring semester. Three winners apiece were drawn for Dekaney, Spring and Westfield high schools. Carl Wunsche Sr. High School had two winners chosen, while Spring Early College Academy – the district’s smallest high school campus – had one winner.
Amanda Owens, one of the winning teachers from Westfield High School, cited the influence of her own parents, who helped her develop good habits at an early age.
“My mother just always made us go to school every day, that’s what it is for me,” Owens said. “I mean, rain, snow, sleet, whatever, we went to work at the school. And also, you know, you are just blessed to be able to influence the kids. You make a promise to them and you want to be there to make sure that you follow through with whatever you said. It’s a privilege to get to work with them.”
Meanwhile, out of 308 eligible teachers at 26 Spring ISD elementary schools, one winner from each campus was chosen to receive the $1,500 prize – which winning employees will receive as a separate direct deposit on their next district payday.
Third-grade teacher Annette Terry was the winner at Beneke Elementary School. She was surprised to win, but said she hopes her example will help inspire her students.
“I’m here because I want my kids to know that it’s important, being at school every day,” Terry said. “If we are not here, then they don’t get that message.”
Finally, at the middle school level, 96 teachers were eligible for the prize, with two winners selected from each of seven campuses.
In all, 552 district faculty members with two or fewer absences were eligible for the spring semester drawing. The drawing for the five perfect attendance grand prize awards included 84 candidates, each of whom finished the entire 2017-18 school year without missing a day of school.
“I think it’s wonderful that the district is providing the incentive for the teachers to come to school,” said Beneke Elementary Principal LaTracy Harris. “Without the teachers being here we can’t do what we need to do for the students and make sure that the students are successful.”
More information about the teacher attendance program, including a full list of winners and those who were eligible for the awards, can be found online at www.springisd.org/teacherattendance.
McKeithan wrapped up each event by congratulating the winners and reminding all district teachers of the important role they play in creating successful learning environments.
“It’s absolutely critical to have a teacher in the classroom every day for the success of our students,” McKeithan said. “A teacher in the classroom is so very important.”