HOUSTON – Feb. 4, 2019 – More than 50 Spring ISD teachers earned a $1,500 incentive award on Monday in the district’s third EVERYday Counts attendance drawing.
The winners were announced in a special Facebook Live presentation starting at 2:45 p.m. for high school teachers, 3:45 p.m. for elementary teachers, and 4:45 p.m. for middle school teachers. Teachers and principals were urged to watch from their campuses so they could celebrate the winners as they were revealed. The event drew hundreds of views on Facebook as both teachers and principals offered congratulations and support to those who won.
“We’re here to celebrate all of those teachers who make attendance a priority, not only for their students but for themselves,” said Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson. “We know there is no one more important than the teacher in the classroom, so it’s critical that they are there on behalf of their students. This attendance incentive drawing is to let our teachers know that their hard work and commitment are appreciated.”
All full-time, campus-based classroom teachers who missed no more than two days of work during the district’s fall semester qualified to participate in the drawing. The number of incentives being awarded per campus varied by school level and type.
At the elementary level, one teacher at each campus received $1,500 for a total distribution of $39,000 across the district’s 26 elementary schools. At the middle school level, the district awarded two teachers with $1,500 at each of the district’s seven middle school campuses for a total amount of $21,000.
Among the district’s three comprehensive high schools – Dekaney, Westfield and Spring – three incentives of $1,500 were awarded at each campus. At Carl Wunsche Sr. High School, two incentives were awarded. Spring Early College Academy and the Virtual Learning Program were combined in the drawing for one incentive of $1,500.
The attendance incentive couldn’t have come at a better time for Samantha Nixon, a fifth-grade math teacher at Heritage Elementary. She had no trouble thinking about how the money will come in handy.
“I couldn’t believe it because I never win anything,” she said. “I am trying to get in the process of buying a house. So I’m putting it toward the down payment.”
In all, the district awarded $78,000 to 52 teachers on Monday afternoon. Under the supervision of the district’s Finance and Internal Auditor’s offices, RandomPicker – an online random selection software system – was used to conduct the drawings.
“Excellent attendance for both teachers and students is one of the keys to boosting achievement,” said Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, chief of school leadership and student support services. “By showing up every day, teachers are modeling the behavior we want to see in our students. Being there is a way to develop the relationships and accountability that keep our kids coming to school.”
At Dekaney High School, Israel Lopez said he was surprised when he heard that his name had been called.
“I got a call from one of my coworkers who said, ‘Hey! You just won $1,500 for the attendance drawing.’ It was unexpected,” Lopez said. “This is my second year both teaching and here in Spring. It feels good that the district cares that we’re here for our kids every single day. That’s what matters – that I’m here every single day.”
Chief of Human Resources Deeone McKeithan noted that those teachers who didn’t earn the incentive on Monday for good attendance this past fall semester will have another opportunity this spring semester. The next drawing will be held in August to again award 52 incentives of $1,500. In addition, any teacher who had perfect attendance for the entire school year and returns to teach next school year will have a shot at one of five $3,000 awards, also to be announced in August.
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.