information for the community

Ed White librarian named teacher of the year state finalist

Teacher of the Year State Finalist from North East Media Production on Vimeo.

Teacher of the Year state finalist

State finalist for Teacher of the Year, Irene Kistler, takes a photo with Ed White students.

State Finalist

Ed White students huddle around Kistler after the big announcement.

Irene Kistler, librarian at Ed White Middle School, walked into the campus on the first day of school having no idea about the big surprise that awaited her that afternoon. Disguised as a standard school assembly, campus leaders and Dr. Brian G. Gottardy, superintendent of schools, took an opportunity to recognize Kistler as a state finalist for the Texas Teacher of the Year award, by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA).

When Dr. Gottardy made the big announcement, students rushed Kistler, greeting her with flowers and balloons. “I will just share with you, from the bottom of my heart, that getting nominated by this specific faculty to represent you as your campus teacher of the year was amazing, because you are the hardest working, most deserving faculty that I have ever worked with,” said Kistler, during her emotionally inspired speech. She addressed the students, saying, “You choose your own narrative…what matters is that you value yourself, and you value your education, and you can do anything.”

Kister addresses students

Dr. Gottardy (right) hands over the microphone to Irene Kistler, to address faculty and staff.

Throughout her 20 year career, Kistler has been known for her unrelenting dedication to students and staff. In addition to hours of training teachers on the latest educational software programs, Kistler spearheaded the effort that made Ed White one of only 219 schools chosen nationwide to receive a $5,000 Laura Bush Grant last May. The money will be used to develop the library collection, including developing a Spanish language collection for bilingual students.

Out of approximately 135,000 teachers in the state, Kistler is one of three secondary teachers up for the award. Each year, two teachers from each of the 20 regional Education Service Centers become eligible for two titles, Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year and Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. To achieve recognition, a teacher must first be chosen as a campus and a district Teacher of the Year, and ultimately a regional honoree. From this group of 40, only three from each category are selected as finalists.

Texas Teacher of the Year is the highest honor that the State of Texas can bestow upon a teacher. The judging will take place in mid-September and the announcement will be made in October.

State Finalist Teacher of the Year

A representative from Region 20 awards Kistler for her latest achievement in educating young minds.


Posted on August 25, 2014