HOUSTON – Jan. 23, 2020 – The Spring ISD Board of Trustees on Tuesday announced its Employee Excellence Award winners for December and January. Spring High School English II Team Lead Jessica Dickens and Spring ISD Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Cynthia Williams were each honored during surprise ceremonies at their job sites.
Beginning with a small ceremony in the lobby of the district’s Gordon M. Anderson Leadership Center, the trustees were joined by Spring ISD administrators and central office staff to recognize Williams, a 20-year veteran of the district. Trustee Jana Gonzales kicked off the presentation and praised Williams for her many contributions to student success through the years.
“Most people don’t realize the magnitude of the Career and Technical Education department,” Gonzales said in announcing the award, describing how Williams and her staff are go-to resources for nearly every department across the district. She praised Williams for never shying away from a challenge or an opportunity.
“She is a servant leader in her role,” Gonzales said. “She doesn’t expect anything from anyone that she wouldn’t do herself.”
Williams, who believed she was on her way to a meeting before she was surprised by board members and staff gathered in the main hallway, said she was honored by the award, and grateful for the day-to-day opportunity she has to serve students and support teachers as a member of the district’s leadership team.
“CTE helps all students,” Williams said, “whether they’re going to the military, whether they’re going to technical school or going straight into the workforce, or to college, CTE helps with all of those.”
After celebrating with Williams, board members next headed to Spring High School to honor the day’s other award recipient. Dickens, a third-year teacher with the district, was recognized for her tireless devotion to her students, both in their academics and through her sponsorship of several after-school clubs and campus organizations, including a Korean culture club, a tabletop gaming club, and the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
In presenting the award, Spring ISD Trustee Dr. Deborah Jensen praised Dickens for her commitment and thanked her for always showing care and compassion for her students.
“I was very surprised,” said Dickens afterward, admitting that the unexpected call down to the principal’s office had made her wonder what might be going on. “It was a really nice surprise,” she added.
Spring High School Principal Diaka Melendez was also on hand for the presentation at the school. She described Dickens as a valued member of the school’s staff who regularly went above and beyond to provide opportunities for students to help them grow.
“This is her third year here, and she’s a great teacher,” Melendez said. “She’s awesome.”
Also on hand representing the board were trustees Winford Adams Jr. and Justine Durant, who were joined by Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson, Chief of Staff Dr. Julie Hill and Chief of School Leadership and Student Support Services Dr. Lupita Hinojosa. Williams and Dickens each received a framed certificate and a special Spring ISD recognition pin, along with a check for $100. They will go on to join other 2019-20 winners at the district’s annual Employee Recognition Banquet in May, where one of the year’s winners will receive a $1,000 prize.
Both were nominated through the district’s “elevate” online submission form. Any employee, parent, or community member can enter a nomination on the site. To learn more, or to nominate a Spring ISD employee, visit www.springisd.org/employee-recognition.