Region 7 Education Service Center is honored to announce that Kylie Altier from Nacogdoches ISD and Karyn Ard from Troup ISD have been named Elementary and Secondary Teachers’ of the Year for Region 7. Both of these educators will represent Region 7 as semifinalists in the 2019 Texas Teacher of the Year.
Altier and Ard were nominated by their local school districts for their dedication to their students and the capability to inspire them, ability and willingness to work cooperatively with colleagues, drive to initiate activities that improve instruction for students, ability to work effectively with different groups in the community, desire to stay informed about current educational theories and practices, and their ability and willingness to make meaningful contributions to education.
Elementary Teacher of the Year Kylie Altier earned her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Florida State University in 2013. After graduation, Altier immediately started her teaching career in Alabama teaching first grade. After three years in Alabama, Altier and her family moved to Nacogdoches where she is currently teaching at Brooks-Quinn-Jones Elementary School.
Secondary Teacher of the Year Karyn Ard has 22 years of teaching experience with the last 9 years being in Troup ISD. Ard is currently employed at Troup High School where she teaches Biology. Ard currently serves as the Head of the Science Department, and is also a major contributor of resource materials for the STAAR EOC exams. Prior to joining Troup ISD, Ard taught in Elysian Fields ISD and Marshall ISD.
Ard earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Henderson State University in 1995. She then went on to serve on several educational committees, including the Biology Streamlining Committee and the Texas Regional Collaborative Lead Biology Teacher.
In addition to Ard’s dedication in the classroom, she also volunteers her time to host Saturday reviews, which help high school students prepare and excel in their EOC exams. Ard states that their scores have increased exponentially in all three levels; approaches, meets and masters.
“My scores have been between 99-100% for the last five years,” says Ard.
“We could not be more proud of Mrs. Ard in all of her success; she is such an asset to Troup ISD,” said Troup High School Principal Bobby Dyess. “She is so self-motivated and involved with all of our students around the district.”
At Region 7’s Teacher of the Year Luncheon on August 1, both winners were presented with grand prizes, courtesy of Jack O’Diamonds Honda. The dealership donated $5,000 and a 2018 Honda Accord LX to the event. Through a random drawing between Ard and Altier, Ard won the $5,000, and Altier won the car.
“It’s an incredible honor. It kind of took my breath away,” Ard said. “I didn’t know it would be me.”
On August 6, Altier and Ard will compete against the thirty-eight Regional Teachers of the Year, which are reviewed by a panel of judges where six finalists are selected. The six finalists are invited to Austin for personal interviews, before the Elementary Teacher of the Year and the Secondary Teacher of the Year are chosen. These educators become spokespeople for all teachers in the state of Texas. They also serve as traveling ambassadors for public education with a demanding schedule of speeches, workshops and presentations while continuing to teach in the classroom.