By KIMBERLY STRENK
LEEF Board Member
The Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation held its annual Student & Teacher Academic Recognition banquet on April 27 at Austin Baptist Church. Six LISD high schools selected outstanding high school seniors who in turn recognized the one educator who had the biggest impact on their educational journey during their time in Leander ISD.
From the Four Points community, Vandegrift High School’s principal Charlie Little was on hand to introduce the five outstanding seniors recognizing their educators:
- Sarah Beatty (University of Dallas) honoring Mee-A Pavey
- Elijah Kabigting (University of North Texas) honoring Carol Morris
- Shelby Kohn (SOKA University of America) honoring Renee Robinson
- Preston Mayo (University of Texas San Antonio) honoring Jonathan Jones
- Adrian Sherwood (Washington University, University of Texas at Austin or University of North Carolina) honoring Andrew Peterson
Although Vandegrift’s reputation for academic excellence and rigor is well known, a common thread among the students was to recognize that these educators also taught them that education is about much more than test scores and grades.
Sherwood’s comments exemplified this sentiment, “Mr. Peterson fostered an environment that promoted learning for the pursuit of knowledge, with little regard for other distractions. By the conclusion of his class, I possessed a radically different outlook on education as a whole. No longer was Vandegrift High School a stepping stone to college, but rather a place to widen my scope of knowledge, and for that I thank Mr. Peterson”.
Gloria Gonzales, LEEF executive director, said that LEEF’s STAR event is the foundation’s opportunity to celebrate students and educators throughout LISD in a meaningful way.
“Seeing these students get up in front of everyone and give a speech honoring an educator is incredible. It makes all of us (on the LEEF board) feel great about the work we do all year round to support the LISD community,” Gonzales said.
LEEF is a non-profit charity established in 2007 and dedicated to improving academic outcomes for all students in LISD. LEEF works to support students, families and teachers through three main program initiatives: early childhood literacy, enriching great teachers, and college ready, college bound. Find out how you can get involved at www.leeftx.org.