Staff members from LISD gather for an assembly. The faculty has been working all month to prepare for the year.
Staff members from LISD gather for an assembly. The faculty has been working all month to prepare for the year.
Annie Evans

LISD Staff Attends Back to School Luncheon and Assembly

On August 18 and August 22 LISD hosted a back to school luncheon [Friday] and an assembly [Tuesday] for all staff members of the school district.

“I [was] very excited about the luncheon,” superintendent Stan Surratt said. “[It] is a great tradition that Lindale has where every employee in the school district gets together for a lunch. It’s sponsored by Texas Bank and Trust.”

Many staff members and educators were honored during the assembly for different accomplishments. The awards included secondary and elementary teacher of the year, the Tommy-Mallory award for the transportation department, the Willie Ruth Blue award and years of service awards sponsored by Walmart (see list of recipients below).

“We’ll be giving out the bus driver of the year,” Surratt said. “We do years of service where we recognize employees that have been with us 10 years, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. We celebrate whatever year they are on.”

Special speaker for the assembly was former resident of Lindale, La Donna Gatlin. Gatlin is an entertainer, singer and professional speaker. The message Gatlin wanted to convey to the staff was to “sing your own song.”

“I’m out there to try to lighten the load and encourage and motivate people,” Gatlin said. “The biggest joy for me was to see how much the school district exploded and is under great leadership. And to see this performing arts center and all that’s happened, I’m just thrilled for the city [and] for the people who get to work here and the students that get to go here.”


LISD Teacher of the Year (Region VII Nominees)

  • Elementary: Joanna Hacker (3rd grade teacher at College Street Elementary)
  • Secondary: Mindy Reed (7th grade science teacher)

Tommy Mallory Award

  • Troy Harris

Willie Ruth Blue Award

  • Staci Wood

Years of Service Awards

10 Years

  • Kevin Simmons
  • Brandi Harry
  • Kim White
  • Diane Gentry
  • Rudy Rodriguez
  • Larry Ward
  • Cookie Curry
  • DeLisa Riley
  • Aimee’ Ryzman
  • Joe Ryzman
  • Jamie Thorhill
  • Jason Flemming
  • Casey Johnson
  • Jennifer Dutton
  • Brandi James
  • Kristine Brown
  • Cindy Walton
  • Jennifer Bickerdike
  • Susan Trevarrow
  • Jason Lawless
  • Barbara Rodriquez
  • Irene Arzola

13 Years

  • Kim Highnote

15 Years

  • Jennifer Cook
  • Lynda Beck
  • Leanna Leach
  • Gretchen Nees
  • Karen Spence
  • Brent Berryman
  • Deborah Kellas
  • Nancy Hosid
  • Marry Bass
  • Pete Ridge

20 Years

  • Teresa Cannon
  • Whitney Crews
  • Pamela Price
  • Fay Johnson
  • Joe Hayley
  • Monte Shipman

25 Years

  • John Phillips
  • April Weeks
  • Deborah Prather
  • Sarah Griffin

30(+) Years

  • Teresa Malone (30)
  • Gina Jarman (31)
  • Teri Stripling (31)
  • Marcy Williamson (31)
  • Carolyn Philpot (42)
  • Tommy Mallory (45)
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