Above and beyond for students

Lisa Browncrop


Part 2: A few questions with the teachers of the year

by A.C. Hall

The White Settlement Independent School District teachers of the year go above and beyond for the children of our community.  School may be out for the summer, but over the next several weeks we’ll get to know these honored teachers.
This week we’re talking with Lisa Brown, the teacher of the year from the Fine Arts Academy.      

Grizzly:  What was your reaction when you found out you’d been chosen as one of the teachers of the year?
When I was chosen for Teacher of the Year for my campus, the Fine Arts Academy (FAA), I felt very humbled and honored.  I have the privilege of working with exceptional teachers and staff, whom I call my “FAAmily away from family.”  Over the years, having worked with such extraordinary teachers, I have felt their continual love and support, so to be chosen as teacher of the year meant a lot to me both professionally and personally.

Grizzly:  What are some things you like to do when you’re not teaching?
When I am not teaching, I enjoy gardening, mostly fresh tomatoes, and just sitting outside, reading a good book.  We live out in the country, so it’s also nice being outdoors and spending time with my husband and two boys swimming and riding our go-cart.

Grizzly:  Please share one of your favorite memories from your time teaching in WSISD.
I have two favorite teaching moments that will always be memorable to me.  The first one, occurring over the course of my teaching career in special education, is witnessing first hand, students reaching goals, learning to read who’ve said, “but I can’t read,” and seeing their self-confidence shine as they begin to believe in themselves.  I believe all students can learn.
Secondly, piloting the “Operation Choose Kind Campaign” for the district will be a memory to last a lifetime.  This campaign was rewarding to me both professionally and personally.  From a professional standpoint, I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from district administrative personnel as well as all the campuses in our district.   They took my idea to help spread awareness for children with craniofacial differences as well as enhance our anti-bullying program and went above and beyond to make it come to fruition and create a climate of kindness and acceptance.
Personally, this experience was cathartic.  You see, my son Logan, is the one with the craniofacial difference called Apert Syndrome.  He has endured 11 surgeries in his life to build and correct his skull, hands and feet, and will need more surgeries as he grows.  But for this 13 year-old-boy who was entering middle school as a seventh grader this year, and was worried he would be made fun, stared at, or bombarded with questions of why he looks the way he does, was impacted by this campaign in such a positive way.  Logan is already very introverted, but very smart with a desire to just be accepted.  So when I asked Logan, how the Choose Kind campaign helped him this year, his response to me was, “now they all know, and I don’t have to worry about it.”
As Teacher of the Year, and a worried mom that her son wouldn’t be accepted and appreciated because of physical differences, I am forever grateful to everyone in the White Settlement District and community for supporting this cause.  And for a 13 year-old boy who just wants to be an ordinary kid, but with an extraordinary purpose: mission accomplished.  I hope that we can continue the tradition of Operation Choose Kind to impact all kids who see or deal with bullying.