With the spring semester now underway, members of the Spring ISD Board of Trustees paid a surprise visit on Tuesday, Jan. 17 to Heritage Elementary School to present the January 2023 Employee Excellence Award to Math Coach Linda Olisa, who together with other winners of the monthly award was selected for embodying the qualities in the district’s Leadership Definition.
“The Board of Trustees a few years ago decided to change how we did our Employee of the Month,” said Trustee Winford Adams Jr. during the presentation. “We wanted it to really focus on what leadership looks like on our campuses, and we wanted to emphasize that leadership happens in all parts of our system, from student to superintendent.”
Specifically, Adams said that Olisa had been singled out for displaying exemplary service-oriented leadership on behalf of the teachers she works with and the students of Heritage Elementary.
“She gives her time, talent and resources to help our students succeed,” Adams said. “She pours into the teachers of Heritage to ensure that they have what they need to support our students. She helps teachers find additional resources, and she sits with teachers to help them plan for their students.”
Also on-hand for the presentation was Superintendent Dr. Lupita Hinojosa, as well as Spring ISD Board of Trustee members Dr. Deborah Jensen and Rhonda Newhouse.
“We are very proud of you,” Newhouse said. “Congratulations, and thank you for your service to our teachers, to our students and our community.”
Heritage Elementary Principal Dr. Trenn Russell, who has spent a decade working with Olisa at both the elementary and middle school levels, said she was happy to see such a deserving employee recognized by the board.
“She gives everything,” said Russell, adding that Olisa, in addition to her coaching duties, helps teach Wednesday tutorials and Saturday school at the campus. She also supports science teachers at Heritage in developing integrated math and science lessons.
“She’s just so service-oriented,” Russell said. “Anything that she needs to do to help the teachers help the kids, she does it.”
Olisa, who has spent the past four years at Heritage, previously worked at Clark Elementary and Hoyland Elementary, and also taught math at Dueitt Middle School. Having served as a classroom teacher, department chair, athletic coach, and math coach, she said that what motivates her has remained constant across her various positions and campus assignments.
“I think at the end of the day, it’s still all about the kids,” Olisa said. “I also love helping our teachers design lessons that help our students to be engaged.”
Trustees awarded Olisa with a framed certificate and a special Spring ISD recognition pin. Each Employee Excellence Award winner also receives a check for $100, made possible by the support of the Spring ISD Education Foundation. Olisa was nominated for the Employee Excellence Award by a colleague through the online submission form, where any employee, parent, or community member can enter a nomination for an outstanding district employee.
“I really appreciate this, and I’m just so shocked” Olisa told the trustees. “I’m going to be smiling from ear to ear all day!”
To learn more, or to nominate a Spring ISD employee, visit www.springisd.org/employee-recognition.