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2018 Teachers of the Year

Lake Dallas ISD is proud to announce the 2017-18 campus Teachers of the Year.  A prize patrol comprised of LDISD Administrators made the rounds to each campus on Friday morning, March 23, 2018, to surprise the following teachers with flowers in recognition of the honor.  Each year, LDISD campuses name a Teacher of the Year and then a district committee selects the District Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year to be announced later and represent the district at the regional level.

Suzanne Murray, Corinth Elementary

“Mrs. Murray impacts student learning through her relationships with each individual student,” Mr. Randall Caldwell, CE Principal said. “Mrs. Murray seeks to bring the best out in each child by designing lessons that are challenging and engaging in the classroom and in the after-school Gardening Club that she helps lead.  Mrs. Murray is a life-long learner and models this for her students each moment of the day.”

Katie Landaverde, Lake Dallas Elementary

“Ms. Landaverde exemplifies all things exceptional in the teaching profession,” Dr. Jennifer Perry, LDE Principal said. “She possesses the courage and initiative to create new and engaging learning opportunities for all students.  Her enthusiastic and innovative spirit is infectious!  Katie is a leader not only at Lake Dallas Elementary, but throughout our district and community.”

Kelsi Strong, Shady Shores Elementary

“With this being Kelsi Strong's 15th year of teaching, her enthusiasm has not waned,” Mrs. Vangee Deussen, SSE Principal said. “She continues to make certain every class has a stellar understanding of the curriculum while having a Kindergarten year of love and FUN that they never forget. She loves the Falcons and wants every student to know their Falcon Family will always be there for them.”

Katie Hall, Lake Dallas Middle School

“Katie is a fantastic teacher! She is always willing to try new ideas to integrate technology into her classroom. She is a fantastic resource for her colleagues, it is rare to see veteran teachers with decades of experience asking a young teacher how to do something, but this is the norm with Katie!” Mr. James Parker, Principal said. “She is such a happy person and always steps up to meet the needs of our campus, both in the classroom and on the field/court. LDMS is truly a better place because of Katie Hall!”

Amanda Young, Lake Dallas High School

“Amanda Young is an unsung hero who positively impacts almost every classroom daily on the high school campus,” Dr. Kristi Strickland, LDHS Principal said. “As a special educational facilitator, she has proven herself to be an invaluable resource to teachers and parents as they work with their students to accomplish their high school goals and prepare for their future endeavors and aspirations.  Her impact on the community and her influence in the Falcon Family is immeasurable. Amanda makes us proud every day, and we are all very excited that she has been named the Lake Dallas High School Teacher of the Year.” 

Meet each of these LDISD campus Teachers of the Year:

Suzanne Murray TOY Q & A with Suzanne Murray – Corinth Elementary Teacher of the Year

# of years at LDISD: 6


Positions held at LDISD: 1st grade bilingual teacher, 3rd grade bilingual teacher


Degrees/Colleges/Certifications: University of Oklahoma, bachelor's degree in Spanish, TWU - master of arts in teaching with an emphasis in bilingual education


Favorite thing about being a teacher . . .  Growing with my students.  Many have taught me about compassion, forgiveness, grit and the human condition - more than I thought there was to learn.  I sincerely hope they move on having learned as much from me as I have from them.  


Favorite thing about LDISD . . .  I feel like I can make a difference on my own doorstep.  Working at LDISD has provided me with the opportunity to occupy an important role of service in the community that I have chosen to make my home.


About receiving LD Campus Teacher of the Year . . .  I am truly honored to be recognized in this way.  There are so many deserving and amazing teachers at our campus.  We invest countless hours, resources, tears, and most importantly love in our jobs and our students.  To be counted among such dedicated educators is a source of pride and accomplishment for me.


Katie Landaverde TOY Q & A with Katie Landaverde – Lake Dallas Elementary Teacher of the Year

# of years at LDISD: 3


Positions held at LDISD: I worked in Special Education for one year, and I have been a Technology Integration Specialist for two years.


Degrees/Colleges/Certifications: I received my BA in 2010 from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL with degrees in History and Creative Writing. I hold certifications in Early Childhood-6th Grade General Education, ESL Education, and Special Education. I am currently a graduate student at UNT, and I will graduate with a masters in Educational Leadership later this year.


Favorite thing about being a teacher . . . It's tough to choose just one thing - I honestly love so much about my job! My favorite thing about being a teacher would have to be the relationships. Building relationships with students, parents, teachers, and community members is really what's at the heart of education. Relationships serve as the bedrock that fortifies students, staff, and community members for a lifetime. Once you foster a positive connection with a student, the impact you can make on their life is immeasurable.


Favorite thing about LDISD . . . The Lake Dallas ISD culture is that of support, respect, and family. There is a genuine spirit of compassion and altruistic collaboration that can be felt when you walk through the doors of any campus in the district. When you work in LDISD, it doesn’t take long to understand why the phrase “Falcon Family” was coined. It truly feels like a family when you work here. I love working in a place where teachers, parents, and community members collaborate and support each other in order to do what’s best for kids.


About receiving LD Campus Teacher of the Year . . . I am incredibly surprised, humbled, and honored by this recognition. I can honestly say that the receipt of this award is entirely due to my incredible colleagues. Everything positive that I have accomplished is due to the support, influence, and tireless work of the staff and teachers in LDISD. The collaboration, dedication, and encouragement of my LDE teammates motivates me in all that I do. I am also fortunate to work for campus and district administrators that encourage innovation and creative educational practices. I am surrounded each day by people with high expectations and a drive to do what’s best for students. This drive is what ultimately changes the lives of our students, influences society, and it is the heartbeat of education.


Kelsi Strong TOY Q & A with Kelsi Strong – Shady Shores Elementary Teacher of the Year

# of years at LDISD: 15


Positions held at LDISD: Kindergarten and First Grade teacher, High School Softball Coach, a mentor teacher and a master teacher. I am also a Book Keeping Guru!


Degrees/Colleges/Certifications: Bachelor of Science in Education with an Early-Childhood Specialization from Baylor University; Certification in Early Childhood-6


Favorite thing about being a teacher . . . My favorite thing about being a teacher is being a constant smile, support, and positive influence on a child. I take great pride in knowing that I am a part of the first step in a child's education. I want all children to succeed and I hope that I can provide a strong learning foundation for those children to build on in years to come. I also live for the "Ah Ha!" moments." Watching a child learn something new and to see the excitement on their face makes me truly happy.   


Favorite thing about LDISD . . . I love Lake Dallas ISD!  I am truly a Falcon for Life!!  I started my educational career in Kindergarten here at Lake Dallas Primary and stayed in Lake Dallas schools until graduation from Lake Dallas in 1998. Once I completed college, I came back "home." I was hired to teach Kindergarten at Lake Dallas Primary and was given the opportunity to also assist and coach the softball team at the High School. I don't know many other districts that allow an Elementary teacher the chance to assist and coach a sport at the high school level. I am so lucky to have found my dream job. I am also very lucky to have had such amazing influences in my education. Many of the teachers that I had growing up are now my mentors and colleagues.  My other favorite thing about LDISD is being able to be involved and follow my former students. Seeing kids that I taught in Kindergarten perform in the band, be on the field, be on the court and on stage gives me great pride!  


About receiving LD Campus Teacher of the Year . . . I think I am still in a state of shock!  I am honored, humbled, and blessed to be considered for this award. I teach with so many amazing coworkers at Shady Shores Elementary, working with them everyday makes me a better teacher and person. 


Katie Hall TOY Q & A with Katie Hall – Lake Dallas Middle School Teacher of the Year

# of years at LDISD: 5


Positions held at LDISD: 7th grade history teacher, coach, girl's athletic coordinator


Degrees/Colleges/Certifications: Bachelor of Science in Education, Master of Education, Texas Christian University 


Favorite thing about being a teacher . . . My favorite thing about being teacher is "difference." Every day is different. Every class is different. Every child is different. Every team is different. Every teacher is different. Every situation is different. I appreciate difference because it gives me a chance to grow, connect, learn, be patient, and love each and every day. I get to make a difference; how lucky am I?


Favorite thing about LDISD . . .  My favorite thing about LDISD is the people. My friends/colleagues believe in me, they support me, they teach me, and they help me when I ask. The parents and students are eager to learn, willing to be involved, and stay in touch long after their kids leave my courts or classroom. Lastly, I appreciate every day, the administration who took a chance on a kid right out of college. They gave me a chance to start a career I love so dearly. 


About receiving LD Campus Teacher of the Year . . . My favorite thing about being the Middle School Teacher of the Year is that it allows me the opportunity to represent my school district, my teammates, and my kids in a positive light. 


Amanda  Young TOY Q & A with Amanda Young – Lake Dallas High School Teacher of the Year

# of years at LDISD: ​ 13


Positions held at LDISD: ​ Transition Specialist/VAC Coordinator; ARD Facilitator ​


Degrees/Colleges/Certifications: ​ Bachelor of Science from Stephen F. Austin State University; Certification in Special Education Grades PK-12​ 


Favorite thing about being a teacher . . .​ ​The best thing about being a teacher is making a positive impact in the lives of our students.  There is nothing more rewarding than witnessing students reach their goals and experience success.  


Favorite thing about LDISD . . . ​ My favorite thing about LDISD is that it feels like family here.  I love the community support LDISD receives.  That is a big part of why I work here and why our boys go to school in Lake Dallas.  


About receiving LD Campus Teacher of the Year . . . ​ I am completely humbled and honored to receive this recognition from our administration.  I'm blessed to be able to work with a great team of professional educators at Lake Dallas High School. ​