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Lancaster Education Foundation’s Annual Eye of the Tiger Event Celebrates District Students and Staff

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lancaster, TX/Lancaster ISD – The Lancaster Education Foundation (LEF), in partnership with the Lancaster Independent School District recently hosted the Eye of the Tiger Evening of Excellence. The sixth annual banquet-styled event was held on May 1 to celebrate district employees of the year, campus teachers of the year, campus students of the year, and teachers who have influenced the lives of Lancaster High School seniors.

Lancaster Education Foundation President Ellen Clark created the event as an avenue to promote and share the academic success stories within Lancaster ISD as well as publicly acknowledge Lancaster ISD teachers and students.

“It’s very important that we recognize the teachers and students who have worked hard throughout the year to make the district successful,” Clark said. We believe in honoring our own and simply saying, thank you.”

Each honoree is nominated and selected in mid-April by his or her department, campus colleagues or school principal. During the program, the honorees receive acknowledgement for their hard work in Lancaster ISD.

J. D. Hall Learning Center Teacher of the Year, Reginald Johnson is in his first year on the campus as a special education teacher. During the event, he became overwhelmed with emotion while listening to his campus principal speak about his positive impact on her campus.

“Hearing Mrs. Eleanor Webb speak positively about me during the program was awesome,” he said. “I knew at that very moment [that] the Lord put me in my teaching position for a reason. She is a mentor and a mother figure to me and I love her so much. I couldn’t ask for a better principal.”

The LEF believes in highlighting student excellence and celebrating achievements with the community and student families. Lancaster Engineering Academy Parent Geneva Brooks is grateful for the Education Foundation for creating an opportunity to praise students who consistently bring forth their best efforts and exemplify achievement through the student of the year award.

“I’m so excited and proud that my daughter is the Lancaster Engineering Academy student of the year,” Brooks said. “As a parent, you can see that the district and the Foundation are working hard to provide students with what they need. It makes me happy that my child is a part of this community.”

The Education Foundation also awards an employee from the district’s technology, custodial, maintenance, child nutrition and district police departments to highlight dedicated employees who work behind the scenes for the students of Lancaster ISD.

“We truly believe that many district employees go over and above the call of duty for our students,” Clark said. “Some of them remain behind the scenes and deserve to be recognized and honored. That’s why we do it, to publicly say, job well done and thank you.”

For the last two years, the LEF has partnered with the Texas Instruments Foundation to recognize Lancaster ISD STEM Teachers with the Innovation in STEM teaching award. Seven teachers were nominated for the award and one teacher was selected to win a $5,000 personal cash award and a $5,000 award that will go toward their school for classroom or professional development opportunities. George Washington Carver 6th Grade STEM Learning Center’s Synergistic Lab teacher Lisa Taylor was shocked and surprised when her name was called as the winner of award.

“So many great teachers were nominated and I was shocked when my name was called,” she said. “I am so thankful that my hard work of preparing myself to teach my students has paid off. I am forever grateful for this recognition.”

To close out the evening, Lancaster High School seniors were able to stand at the podium beside their most influential teacher and thank him/her for being an inspiration and mentor. Tears rolled down many faces as students described the impact certain teachers had in their lives.

“I felt blessed and honored to be publically thanked by one of my students. His speech reaffirmed my purpose for my profession.” LHS counselor, Takoya Mandigo said. “It was a pleasure to be in the presence of Lancaster ISD employees, students, parents and community partners and I thank the Lancaster Education Foundation for hosting such a wonderful event.”

The mission of the Lancaster Education Foundation, Inc. is to provide resources to support innovation, enrichment and equity in pursuit of academic excellence within the Lancaster Independent School District. Proceeds from the Eye of the Tiger event will help purchase school supplies for students within Lancaster ISD for the start of the 2017-2018 school year. If you would like to support the foundation’s fundraising efforts, please call Ms. Ellen Clark at 972-227-7010.