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Texas teacher of the Year? Bagley is one of 3 finalists

Photo caption: Connnie Bagley in her classroom at Crockett Elementary. (Submitted photo)

First came honors at her school. Then Crockett Elementary teacher Connie Bagley was named the Teacher of the Year for the region.

Now, she is among six exceptional educators from across Texas to be chosen as finalists in the Texas Teacher of the Year program, the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) announced this week.

Three elementary and three secondary school educators were selected from the 40 regional Teachers of the Year from each of the states 20 education service centers. The finalists will now vie for the honor of being named Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year and Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year.

The elementary school finalists are:

Connie Bagley, a dyslexia specialist at Crockett Elementary in San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District;

Jillian Howard, a bilingual teacher at C.D. Landolt Elementary in Clear Creek ISD;

Julie Woodard, a 6th grade social studies teacher at D.S. Pullen Elementary in Rockwall ISD.

The secondary education finalists are:

Carlos Briano, a journalism teacher at El Dorado High School in Socorro ISD;

Christian DeBerry, special education teacher at William P. Hobby Middle School in Northside ISD;

Monica Washington, an English teacher at Texas High School in Texarkana ISD.

These phenomenal educators symbolize the thousands of teachers across the state who are committed to making a difference in childrens lives, Johnny Veselka, executive director of TASA, said. I congratulate the six finalists who diligently work to ensure their students not only master the academic content, but also are prepared to face the future with perseverance, integrity and a love of learning.

In their Teacher of the Year applications, each educator offered insight into their teaching backgrounds, philosophy and style.

Bagley, a dyslexia specialist in San Marcos ISD who is a 40-year teaching veteran, writes: I was inspired to teach at an early age. My dad was being transferred and we were moving. It was a traumatic event for a six-year-old. My class was taking a field trip to the San Antonio zoo soon and I would miss it. I remember how sweet my teacher was and how she promised to take pictures for me.

She did that and more. My classmates wrote me stories of their trip and drew me pictures. This teachers extra effort planted the seed growing in me that I would someday grow into a teacher that made a difference in a childs life. Even the smallest of gestures can have an impact on a child.

The Texas Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year, as well as all of the Regional Teachers of the Year, will be honored at a luncheon and awards ceremony on Oct. 4 at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.

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