Tyler ISD Announces 2021 Educators of the Year

Tyler ISD announced its 2021 District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year this evening at the annual Tyler ISD Educator of the Year Banquet sponsored by the Cooperative Teachers Credit Union (CTCU). The evening also celebrated the Tyler ISD Rookie of the Year and Principal of the Year.

In front of Tyler ISD administrators, board members, and special guests, the evening began with the announcement of the District’s Rookie of the Year. The Rookie of the Year award recognizes a teacher who demonstrates outstanding performance and superior instruction skills during their first year of teaching. The 2021 Rookie of the Year is Jade Perry, a second-grade teacher at Jones Elementary School.

Traditionally, the Principal of the Year award honors a principal for their outstanding leadership among their students, staff, and community. This year, Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford explained that all Tyler ISD principals came together in a collaborative spirit to create safe environments for staff, students, and families. After calling the campus principals to the stage, Crawford named them all Principal of the Year.

“This school year has been like no other,” Crawford said. “This group of principals stepped up to the plate to guide, encourage, and equip their staff and students to be successful throughout this unprecedented year. I am extremely proud of every one of them. For this reason, I name them all ‘Principal of the Year.’”

CTCU Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Matt Horton joined Crawford on stage to honor all 29 campus teachers of the year. Crawford then announced Ashley Phelps from Andy Woods Elementary School as the District Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Ashley LaCroix from Moore MST Magnet School as the District Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Tyler ISD announced its 2021 District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year this evening at the annual Tyler ISD Educator of the Year Banquet sponsored by the Cooperative Teachers Credit Union (CTCU). The evening also celebrated the Tyler ISD Rookie of the Year and Principal of the Year.

In front of Tyler ISD administrators, board members, and special guests, the evening began with the announcement of the District’s Rookie of the Year. The Rookie of the Year award recognizes a teacher who demonstrates outstanding performance and superior instruction skills during their first year of teaching. The 2021 Rookie of the Year is Jade Perry, a second-grade teacher at Jones Elementary School.

Traditionally, the Principal of the Year award honors a principal for their outstanding leadership among their students, staff, and community. This year, Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford explained that all Tyler ISD principals came together in a collaborative spirit to create safe environments for staff, students, and families. After calling the campus principals to the stage, Crawford named them all Principal of the Year.

“This school year has been like no other,” Crawford said. “This group of principals stepped up to the plate to guide, encourage, and equip their staff and students to be successful throughout this unprecedented year. I am extremely proud of every one of them. For this reason, I name them all ‘Principal of the Year.’”

CTCU Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Matt Horton joined Crawford on stage to honor all 29 campus teachers of the year. Crawford then announced Ashley Phelps from Andy Woods Elementary School as the District Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Ashley LaCroix from Moore MST Magnet School as the District Secondary Teacher of the Year.

A graduate of Texas Tech University, Ashley Phelps has taught physical education at Andy Woods for 11 years. Phelps’ goal is to educate the ‘whole child’ by meeting their academic, mental, and physical needs. To accomplish this goal, she partners with parents to help students build healthy habits at school and home.

“We have a lot of success with our Family Challenge program,” she said. “Students are given tasks, like doing a wall sit while they brush their teeth, or challenging their parents to a plank hold. It is fun for them to see their parents do at home what we do at school. Integrating programs like these use external motivation to create internal motivation.”

Ashley LaCroix teaches eighth-grade reading, language arts, and professional communications at Moore. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Tyler and is in her seventh year of teaching. With a classroom library of more than 500 books for her students to “browse, borrow, read, and reread,” LaCroix hopes they find value in the words of others and their own.

“Joyful reading and exploratory writing are core values and principles in my classroom,” LaCroix said. “The days my students beg for more reading time or can’t put the book down until they’ve reached the end of a paragraph or chapter are truly magical. While some in the world write them off as ‘teenagers,’ I see a generation filled with kindness, wonder, fierce independence, and everything we need in this country. My reward is helping them find their path, their voice, and their way through a literate life.”

Phelps and LaCroix will compete for Regional Teacher of the Year through the Region 7 Service Center.

“I’ve said this many times, but Tyler ISD has the best teachers and educators in East Texas, and I am so proud of their dedication in adapting to the challenges this year has presented and delivering opportunities for student success,” Crawford said. “It is always fun to honor the best of the best in a profession, and we are certainly doing so tonight.”

Additional sponsors for the event included Tab and Bonnie Beall, Purdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott, LLP, and the Tyler ISD Foundation.

A graduate of Texas Tech University, Ashley Phelps has taught physical education at Andy Woods for 11 years. Phelps’ goal is to educate the ‘whole child’ by meeting their academic, mental, and physical needs. To accomplish this goal, she partners with parents to help students build healthy habits at school and home.

“We have a lot of success with our Family Challenge program,” she said. “Students are given tasks, like doing a wall sit while they brush their teeth, or challenging their parents to a plank hold. It is fun for them to see their parents do at home what we do at school. Integrating programs like these use external motivation to create internal motivation.”

Ashley LaCroix teaches eighth-grade reading, language arts, and professional communications at Moore. She is a graduate of The University of Texas at Tyler and is in her seventh year of teaching. With a classroom library of more than 500 books for her students to “browse, borrow, read, and reread,” LaCroix hopes they find value in the words of others and their own.

“Joyful reading and exploratory writing are core values and principles in my classroom,” LaCroix said. “The days my students beg for more reading time or can’t put the book down until they’ve reached the end of a paragraph or chapter are truly magical. While some in the world write them off as ‘teenagers,’ I see a generation filled with kindness, wonder, fierce independence, and everything we need in this country. My reward is helping them find their path, their voice, and their way through a literate life.”

Phelps and LaCroix will compete for Regional Teacher of the Year through the Region 7 Service Center.

“I’ve said this many times, but Tyler ISD has the best teachers and educators in East Texas, and I am so proud of their dedication in adapting to the challenges this year has presented and delivering opportunities for student success,” Crawford said. “It is always fun to honor the best of the best in a profession, and we are certainly doing so tonight.”

Additional sponsors for the event included Tab and Bonnie Beall, Purdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott, LLP, and the Tyler ISD Foundation.