School celebrates faculty top honors

Ryah Hill

More stories from Ryah Hill

Rallying Raiders
September 1, 2021
photo credit: Ryah Hill
Señora surprises \\ Taking in her moment of joy, Spanish teacher and winner of teacher of the year accepts her new title and gifts from the school board and staff. “I am honored and overwhelmed with gratitude to be acknowledged as the Wylie East Teacher of the Year,” Mrs. Mathis said.

School board members, principals, and the superintendent crowd the hallway, holding balloons and flowers in each hand, shaking cowbells in the air, and hollering to celebrate and award the two new titles of “Paraprofessional of the Year” and “Teacher of the Year.”

Students pass by, confused, smiling, maybe even a little disrupted. Teachers gathered in front of their doors as the small parade marched to room 924  then 817. 

This year, these recipients were Spanish Teacher Mrs. Gricelda Mathis for teacher of the year and special education aide Mrs. Susie Miller for paraprofessional of the year.

Mrs. Mathis and Mrs. Miller were nominated by other teachers and were surprised to learn they had won these titles Jan. 30.

I was surprised, I was humbled. There are a lot of good teachers here.”

— Mrs. Susie Miller, paraprofessional of the year

“It felt wonderful,” Mrs. Miller said. “I was surprised, I was humbled. There are a lot of good teachers here. It is nice to be honored.”

After Mrs. Miller was surprised, the parade of teachers, staff and administration made their way to the foreign language hall to surprise the teacher of the year.

“My heart stopped for a second when so many people were suddenly in my room,” Mrs. Mathis said. “It took me a minute to process what was going on and then I teared up because I was overcome with emotion. It was a surreal moment that I will never forget.”

After the celebration in the classroom with family, friends and administration, a spirit walk complete with the Sapphires, cheerleaders and drumline took place through the school.            

“It’s really great that a LOTE teacher finally got recognized for her greatness,” Spanish teacher Mrs. Katharine Isbell said. “I hope she wins district.”

Even the students were honored to get to celebrate these two accolades. 

“Mrs. Mathis is a great teacher. She always cares for people and is always so so nice,” sophomore Jevon Harbert said. 

Not only did Mrs. Mathis have an impact on her students, but also the other staff members on campus.

“Everytime I run across her, she is nice and smiling,” custodian Gregory Fields said. “She’s one of the nicest teachers I know here. When I had my surgeries, she had Leo club raise money for me. I told her she didn’t have to, but she insisted.”