Magnolia ISD Honors the 2018 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year

The annual Teacher of the Year Banquet, held on May 17, honored the campuses Teachers of the Year, the Paraprofessionals of the Year and the Rookie Teachers of the Year.
The Elementary Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Berna has been in education for over 15 years. She has taught in six different school districts and with each move, her professional development continued with her certifications in the areas of English as a Second Language, Gifted and Talented, and Special Education. She has been honored to receive Teacher of the Year in three schools throughout her teaching journey. She states, “This is such an honor! I am most grateful to teach alongside passionate educators here in MISD who create a culture to inspire each other to reach all students.”
Our Secondary Teacher of the Year, Mr. Gustin, has been an educator for 28 years, starting his career in Pasadena ISD. In 1994, he moved to Magnolia, teaching elementary Language Arts and Social Studies. Mr. Gustin began working with MISD Technology Department in 2001 where he was responsible for designing and maintaining training programs for the district. In the summer of 2015, he designed the district’s first robotics class for the junior high and has developed the curriculum, coding and 3-D printing for both junior highs in MISD. He states, “I love the idea of giving kids the opportunity to do things they never thought about or thought was a possible through teaching robotics.”
The district also honored an Elementary and Secondary Rookies of the Year, someone who is new to the teaching profession and has three years or less teaching experience in public education. Dayna Longnecker from Ellisor Elementary and Matthew Finley from Magnolia High were named as this year’s winners. Thank you to our title sponsor Magnolia Education Foundation for giving each winner a $500 grant for their classroom.
The district also honored each paraprofessional nominee from each campus naming Tammy Lewis from Williams Elementary as the Paraprofessional of the Year.
Superintendent Dr. Todd Stephens, “This is one of my favorite events of the year as we get to celebrate and honor the work that our teachers do to serve our students every day. This is our chance to brag on you in front of our board, elected officials and our community. The Magnolia community values the work of our teachers and it shows through their generous donations to our nominees and winners.”
Members of the community and business leaders honored the nominees and winners in gifts totaling $15,000. Click here for a list of all the sponsors. This year’s $1,000 Crown Sponsors included the Magnolia Education Foundation, America’s ER, Anco Insurance, Herff Jones, and Child and Family Eye Care.

The $500 Diamond Sponsors included Chick-fil-A of Magnolia, PBK, B&C Constructors, Perdue Brandon Attorneys, SSR Letter Jackets, Quadvest, Post Oak Municipal Advisors, First Financial Group of America, Walsh Gallegos, Commissioner Charlie Riley, Tomball Regional Medical Center, Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce, Action Communication Technology, Creative Risk Funding, Woodforest National Bank, HEB and Hometown Junction.
Teachers of the Year Nominees:
Bear Branch Elementary Cathy Wroten
Ellisor Elementary Nancy Wilson
Lyon Elementary Stephanie Gable
Magnolia Elementary Diana Turner
Magnolia Parkway Elementary Shayla Richter
Nichols Sawmill Elementary Vanessa Berna (Elementary Teacher of the Year)
Smith Elementary Lynette Tatman
Williams Elementary Christy LottBear
Branch 6th Grade Shannon Wilson
Magnolia 6th Grade Rena’ McBroom
Bear Branch Junior High Jamie Gustin (Secondary Teacher of the Year)
Magnolia Junior High Amber Barnard
ALPHA Academy Tonya McCleskey
DAEP AJ Sadberry
Magnolia High School Tracy Mentlewski
Magnolia West High School Fernando Rodriguez
Rookies of the Year Nominees:
Bear Branch Elementary Susan Yoars
Ellisor Elementary Dayna Longnecker (Elementary Rookie of the Year)
Lyon Elementary Ashley Jolly
Magnolia Elementary Courtney Ranshaw
Nichols Sawmill Elementary Caitlin Stearns
Magnolia Parkway Elementary Kelly Thompson
Smith Elementary LeAnne Williams
Williams Elementary Calley Padgett
Bear Branch 6th Kelly Meek
Magnolia 6th Kimberly Kinsey
Bear Branch Junior High Shelby Sides
Magnolia Junior High Randi Tamez
Magnolia High School Matthew Finley (Secondary Rookie of the Year)
Magnolia West High School Samantha Armstrong
Paraprofessionals of the Year Nominees:
Bear Branch Elementary Karen Kayser
Ellisor Elementary Tanya Monson
Lyon Elementary Matthew Wood
Magnolia Elementary Jennifer Johnson
Nichols Sawmill Elementary Shelly Jeansonne
Magnolia Parkway Elementary Hillary Yates
Smith Elementary Tamera Brockett
Williams Elementary Tammy Lewis (Paraprofessional of the Year)
Bear Branch 6th Kassandra Spencer
Magnolia 6th Melissa Markus
Bear Branch Junior High Rebecca Snell
Magnolia Junior High Lisa Kelly
Magnolia High School Heather Matthews
Magnolia West High School Michelle Minjarez
Alpha Academy Gay Bostick

All photos by Kenneth Taunton