Spotlight: Yesenia Stadler, Rizzuto Elementary, La Porte ISD

stadlerYesenia Stadler is a first grade Spanish teacher at Rizzuto Elementary in La Porte. She takes the time to recognize every single student and their individual needs to enhance their learning experience. She tutors after school, gives special one-on-one instruction, and celebrates every holiday (costumes included) to not only create awareness, but also to encourage class participation.

Mrs. Stadler was chosen as Teacher of the Year for Rizzuto Elementary in 2015, and was then awarded the KHOU Red Apple award in January 2016. When she received the KHOU Red Apple Award, the television crew surprised her and her students in class. When the students realized that Mrs. Stadler was getting an award, they all swarmed around her in a great big hug. It is easy to see she is very loved by her “little ones,” as she calls them.

Mrs. Stadler is all about getting the children involved and trying to peek their interest. She celebrates all holidays, including Dr. Seuss week, which is where they celebrate his birthday all week long. The kids are served green eggs and ham and get to participate in interactive activities.

Mr. Gregory Stadler summed it up by saying she is “quite incredible” and “most deserving” of this award.

Spotlight: Pamela Bogusz, League City Intermediate School, Clear Creek ISD

boguszPamela Bogusz has been pouring her heart and soul into helping her students for over thirty years. She’s retiring from League City Intermediate where she has impacted countless students over the years with her compassion and teaching style. Not many students or parents of students get the full appreciation for what teachers do such as the long hours spent outside of the classroom preparing, grading, making sure that students will have their academic and emotional needs met.

Mrs. Bogusz was nominated by her daughter who has seen the impact her mother has had first hand. She wrote, ” My mom is amazing. If you meet her, you know she is someone special within 5 minutes of talking to her. The biggest trait I realize about her as a teacher that makes her great is patience. I always was struck by the patience my mother had with her students. ”

Like all great teachers, Mrs. Bogusz cares about her students, not only their comprehension of the classroom lessons but their overall emotional well being. For example, Mrs. Bogusz bought birthday presents for a student dealing with a difficult home life and anonymously put the gifts in the student’s locker so that they would have a happy birthday. That’s what teachers do. They give and do so willingly without needing recognition.

We thank you Mrs. Bogusz for your years of dedication to your students.

Spotlight: Albert Perez, Creekside Intermediate (Clear Creek ISD)

perez3Mr. Perez is a sixth grade Social Studies teacher at Creekside Intermediate whose passion is broadening his students’ horizons and showing them there is a big world with big possibilities awaiting them. He is very energetic with his students and makes learning about the world fun.  We got to see firsthand how much his students love him. We presented his award right after the Clear Creek Education Foundation awarded Mr. Perez with a grant for $3,000. His students were in the hall literally chanting his name.

Mr. Perez has created many activities for his students to learn about the world around them. He has established a United Nations with all of his Omega students, and they have a trial court at the University of Houston Clear Lake every year. He also puts on a County Extravaganza for his students and their parents. Students set up a booth for each country with artifacts, information, culinary dishes, and costumes from that specific country.

In addition to his classroom work, Mr. Perez has also established an athletic club for sixth graders called The Cobra Chain Cred. This club helps with the chains during football games and also lends themselves to other athletic groups, including basketball, volleyball, and track.  He is an asset to his campus and judging by the appreciation his students show, he has been an asset to his community during his twenty plus years of teaching.


Spotlight: Caitlin White, Bobby Shaw Middle School (Pasadena, ISD)

whiteMrs. White’s vision for all of her students is something very special. She exceeds in providing a unique opportunity to all of her students as an Orchestra teacher at Bobby Shaw Middle School in Pasadena, TX. Throughout the years, she has built and maintained one of the largest middle school programs in the district while continuing to increase participation.

Mrs. White creates opportunities for her students throughout the year to perform not only for the school, but for elementary schools in the district, public performances at Hermann Park as well as working with the members of the Houston Symphony. Whether her students go on to study music later in life has never been the point for Mrs. White, but rather to have provided an opportunity for them to participate in something that creates life-long memories and experiences.

Because she believes that all students should have access to music and be able to participate, Mrs. White went through the vigorous process of applying for and receiving the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Grant in 2014. This increased the number of orchestra instruments available for the students to use in the program. For Mrs. White, if a student has the desire to participate, then there should be a way for them to do so. In addition to school owned instruments, the grant was another avenue to increase the opportunities for the Shaw students who may not have had access to an instrument.

A lot of times, there is a lot of pressure put on students of all ages for testing, competitions, and other various parts of school day life. Mrs. White has created an environment to expose and include students in orchestra in a way that excites them, makes them want to come back the following year, and continue when they move through junior high.

Spotlight: Ursula Bryant, Lonnie B. Keller Middle School (Pasadena ISD)

bryantUrsula Bryant could not stop teaching even if she tried. She is simultaneously a mother, taskmaster, confidante, defender and teacher for each of her students in the way each one of them needs it most. She is currently an English Language Arts teacher at Lonnie B. Keller Middle School. It is said that you can hear her coming before you ever see her, but what you hear are quality lessons filled with equal parts content, sass, and love. She absolutely expects the best from each of her students while knowing the best from each student may not look the same.

Knowing that literacy holds the keys to the future, Mrs. U. Bryant ensures her students are not without books. Like all ELAR teachers, she takes them to the library. But that is just the beginning – she searches for programs and grants that will provide relevant, page-turning, poignant novels for her students. Even more, she pours her own money in the form of paperbacks straight into their backpacks. The only thing she asks in return is that they read.

Her co-worker, Ms. Beran, said that “Octavia Spencer would play her in the movie version of this nomination.”

Spotlight: Stephanie Nelson, Manvel High School (Alvin ISD)


Stephanie Nelson is the type of teacher that knows not all learning takes place in the classroom and that to truly engage students there has to be a real world connection with her lessons. As a Health Science teacher at Manvel HS in Alvin ISD, she builds genuine relationships with students while growing a thriving health science program where students gain relevant skills for entering the medical profession. At the same time she sponsors HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America). This is one of the largest most active student organizations on campus. Her students compete nationally in health occupation skills. She is also the career and technology department head. Stephanie has built a strong department where she continually supports teachers in their efforts to create classrooms with strong connections to health science careers. In her role as department leader, Stephanie has built strong community partnerships for our health science students to intern and experience health science occupations first hand.

This year Stephanie put on the “Shattered Dreams” program which highlights the dangers of distracted driving including texting and drinking while driving. The program shows students how their peers lose their lives engaging in these dangerous behaviors. This powerful program starts with parents writing their children’s obituaries. The program culminates with a mock car crash where 2 student ‘die’, followed by a mock memorial service. Students participating visit a local hospital where they experience an active ER and spend time with health professionals learning more about the consequences of engaging in dangerous behaviors. Stephanie has organized and put on this program for Manvel HS seamlessly and created and experience that will have a lasting impact on students.

Her principal Mrs. Liptack summed it up with, “Absolutely one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever seen.”

Introducing the 2016 Appreciated Teacher Recipients

Thank you to all those who took time to nominate a teacher. Our award committee enjoyed reading all of the nominations.

Check back over the coming weeks for detailed stories on each recipient.

2016 Appreciated Teacher Awards

Teacher looks over students workWe Love Teachers. We would not be who we are without you.

That’s why Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union will recognize up to five outstanding teachers within the credit union’s field of membership which includes all school districts in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery or Waller Counties, Texas. A committee of credit union employees will select from all nominations received by Friday, April 22nd.

Nominees should be dedicated to greatly improving the quality of education for students. The Appreciated Teacher Award recipients will be named during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6) with an award, a $100 honorarium, and a $100 donation to their school in their name.

We encourage you to nominate a deserving teacher.