Lakehill Headmaster Roger Perry with honorees Julie Riggs and Rochelle Rasheed, and Assistant Head of School Lara Gajkowski
Each year, the Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce recognizes teachers who have made significant contributions in the classroom and in the community.
Two Lakehill teachers were selected as winners in their respective categories. English teacher Julie Riggs was recognized in the Private Middle School Teacher of the Year. Riggs said she was she was honored to accept this year's award. "It really was a beautiful ceremony," she said. "This recognition meant more to me than I even realized. It was a wonderful feeling and made me feel valued as a teacher. I am so honored to be included in such an outstanding group of nominees."
Rochelle Rasheed was recognized as the Private Elementary School Teacher of the Year. Rasheed, who teaches third grade, discussed her feelings on receiving such acclaim. "I am honored for the privilege of nurturing the minds, hearts, and lives of those who will impact the future. Being Teacher of the Year doesn't mean I have arrived...it emphasizes my work is just beginning, my learning is ever increasing, and my efforts to impact students remain continuous."
Lakehill Headmaster Roger Perry said he was especially thrilled at the way the business community turned out in force to support these teachers. "It is an honor to have two of our master teachers recognized for their outstanding accomplishments," he said. "It is reassuring to know that the business community recognizes the importance of excellence in education and supports this program wholeheartedly."
Eight additional Lakehill teachers were selected as finalists in the competition. In the Upper School category, Bill Dunklau,Martina Kroll, Susan Rapoport, Jamie Thorne, and Jennifer Warder were recognized. In the Middle School category, finalists included Kristen Munoz, Elizabeth Schmitt, and Victoria John.
The Teacher of the Year Awards Program solicits nominations from all public and private schools in east Dallas as well as from business and community leaders. On November 19, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Roger Perry presented awards to the six winners (three public school, three private school) at a luncheon in their honor at Lakehill's Alice and Erle Nye Family Environmental Science Center. Doctors Hospital was this year's program sponsor. Charles Williams, Chief Operating Officer at Doctors Hospital, gave an inspired keynote address, reflecting on the impact of great teachers.