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NISD announces 2024 Teachers of the Year

NISD announces 2024 Teachers of the Year

Northwest ISD is proud to announce that Monique Lawson and Leann Shelley have been named the district’s Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year, respectively. The two dynamic educators were honored at the district’s annual Inspire Celebration on Thursday, April 11.

Image of Monique Lawson, NISD 2024 Elementary Teacher of the Year

Ms. Lawson, a second-grade teacher at Schluter Elementary School, has been teaching for 29 years, including five in her current role. She has been a mentor teacher in NISD since 2011 and has also served as a UIL Storytelling coach since 2016. She was previously named an Exemplar Educator at Love Elementary in 2015 and was also the Fort Worth ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2004.

“My most significant contribution and accomplishment as an educator is building relationships with my students for 29 years,” Ms. Lawson said. “I strive each and every day to be conscientious of my students’ needs - not just their educational needs, but their personal needs as well.”

“Ms. Lawson is frequently described by her colleagues as 'magical',” said Donae Raymundo, Schluter Elementary principal, “I have witnessed this magic in the way that she builds a family atmosphere in her classroom and helps students see, develop, and grow into their full potential. 

“She pours her heart into every single lesson and masterfully crafts ways to keep engagement and creativity high. She is a partner and pillar of support to our entire school community. We are all better educators for knowing and learning alongside Mrs. Lawson.”

Image of Leann Shelley, 2024 Secondary Teacher of the Year

Ms. Shelley, an English teacher at Medlin Middle School, has been teaching for 12 years, including seven in her current role. She has served as a sixth-grade English language arts curriculum writer and presenter for five years and has assumed many ELA leadership roles in her time at Medlin. She was also previously named the Teacher of the Year at Austin Middle School in Amarillo in 2011.

“I’ve had 12 blessed years to give back to hundreds of students what was once given to me,” Ms. Shelley said. “My greatest accomplishment in education, and what I’m most proud of today, is the distinguished honor of educating a very diverse community of learners who arguably teach me far more than I’ve taught them.”

“Ms. Shelley is an exceptional teacher in every way,” said Paige Cantrell, Medlin Middle principal. “She cares so deeply for the students and goes the extra mile to ensure their success. She offers the right amount of support for each child, but has the highest of expectations for all, making sure that each student reaches their highest potential. Ms. Shelley is an excellent leader and role model at Medlin Middle School.”

With these commendations, Ms. Lawson and Ms. Shelley will now represent the district in the Region XI Teacher of the Year competition, which spans 76 public school districts as well as charter and private schools across an area of 7,843 square miles.