On the scale of tough jobs, teaching has to be near the top. Teachers juggle dozens of personalities, varying levels of learning aptitude among students and prepare classes for state-mandated testing, while making the educational experience fun and fruitful.

Support staff works to lead others, transport students to school, keep them safe, feed them nutritious meals, maintain clean and working facilities and make sure there are enough supplies to keep learning on track.

Each year, campuses and departments at Galveston Independent School District select their best employee to represent them as the teacher and employee of the year nominees. Four big winners are named in the following categories — elementary teacher of the year, secondary teacher of the year, professional of the year and paraprofessional of the year.

These individuals will be celebrated at the annual Teacher and Employee of the Year Awards at 5 p.m. May 22 at Scott Collegiate Academy, 4116 Ave. N 1/2, in Galveston. The event is free for staff, $5 for guests. Tickets are available at the GISD Support Center, Human Resources office, 3904 Ave. T in Galveston.

The district is seeking sponsors for the event. If you or your business would like to donate monetary gifts, gift certificates, prizes, coupons or other items to honor our winners, please contact com munications@gisd.org or 409-766-5145. Sponsors are thanked with several advertising opportunities at the district throughout the 2014-15 school year for their contributions.

The 2013 event attracted nearly 50 local sponsors that support the work these unsung educational heroes do to raise the next generation of productive citizens. Their donations went directly toward thanking these stars of the classroom for their efforts during the 2013-14 school year.

The district is pleased to announce the nominees for this year’s event. Congratulations to these fine examples of dedicated and compassionate workers in the field of education. We wholeheartedly appreciate your service to the children of Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula.

The nominees for teacher of the year are:

• Ball High — Charlie Boland

• AIM — Rodney Smith

• Austin — Primus Bela

• Central — Mary Mahoney

• Crenshaw — Michael Guss

• Scott — Justin Tucker

• DAEP — Estolfo Salinas

• Early Childhood University — Adriana Torres

• Morgan — Arriana Fuentes

• Oppe — Tammy Heffernan

• Parker — Cecilia Bolton

The nominees for employee of the year:

• Campus Administrator — Melvin Bouldin

• Campus Professional Support — Jessica Swenson

• Support Center — Esther Soto

• Campus Paraprofessional — Jennifer Alcocer

• Child Nutrition — Carol Garcia

• Maintenance & Operations — Ed O’Connor, Sr.

• Safety — Adan Gonzalez

• Transportation — Clara Lewis

Johnston Farrow is the communications specialist for Galveston ISD.

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