Spearman ISD's Above and Beyond Award December 2023

by Spearman ISD

Laura Cardenas has been teaching at Gus Birdwell Elementary for nine years. She taught kindergarten and started teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) this school year.

She has many responsibilities including teaching the newcomer program. Newcomers are new to the country and speak their native language. The goal of the program is to immerse the students in the English language and prepare them for their new learning in a second language. Fifteen students ranging from kindergarten through ninth grade have been attending the newcomer class. "She differentiates and meets the needs of all the students," stated Lizet Olmos, Gus Birdwell Elementary (GBE) principal. "She is intentional about building relationships with the families of the students and helps them in and out of school," added Olmos.

Due to the growth of the program, Mrs. Cardenas had to move to a different room. "We had to transition to a bigger classroom, "smiled Olmos. "She supports eighty-seven students on the campus, and does it with a smile!" shared Olmos.

Cardenas also manages an after-school homework program for Emergent Bilingual (EB) students and serves on the E-Club committee. E-Club is an after-school activity program that helps reach the EB students and their families. Olmos said, "She radiates positivity and is a great asset to GBE!"

Congratulations on a well-deserved award!

Christen Lozano is the special education teacher as well as being in charge of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Spearman Junior High. She coordinates the paraprofessional's schedules so that students receive the support needed. She teaches reading during 7th grade academy, and is also the cheerleader sponsor.

The newcomer program has grown this year and Lozano is greatly involved in making sure the students are successful. Craig Black, Spearman Junior High principal stated, "Spearman ISD has grown in the number of newcomer students within the district. When the school receives a newcomer, there is testing that must take place to determine the levels of the students." He continued, "Mrs. Lozano has been tasked with completing the testing for the students in junior high as well as high school. The test is time consuming and is above and beyond what a normal day would be for Mrs. Lozano."

"Spearman ISD and the Spearman Junior High are thankful to have a great teacher like Mrs. Lozano. She is a great communicator, organized, and puts our students needs first. She never complains about the extra tasks she has been given. She is a great teammate for Spearman ISD," pleasantly stated Black.

Congratulations on a well deserved award!