Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce recognizes its Teachers of the Year

The Greater East Dallas Chamber of Commerce recently honored its Teachers of the Year, including two from Dallas ISD: Loretta Smith from W.H. Gaston Middle School and Chris Evetts from Woodrow Wilson High School.

The Teachers of the Year were celebrated at a luncheon on Nov. 14. Here’s a little more information on these outstanding educators.

Chris Evetts

Chris Evetts

Chris Evetts receiving his Teacher of the Year Award.

Seven Woodrow students nominated Chris Evetts for teacher of the year. As director of the Woodrow Wilson High School band, he has built the band program from about 10 students to more than 100 students.

The Woodrow band plays everything from football games and homecoming parades to nursing homes and the Rec Center to entertain Hurricane Harvey evacuees. Evetts also leads an annual fundraiser at the Granada Theatre to raise money for the band.

Loretta Smith

Trustee Dan Micciche and Loretta Smith

Trustee Dan Micciche and Loretta Smith

Loretta Smith takes on a variety of tasks at W.H. Gaston Middle School. She participates in home visits with her students to address their needs; is a coach for Destination Imagination, UIL Academics and Pentathlon; leads professional development for the whole staff and serves as the campus TEI expert; and helped in implementing a restorative practices program at the school.

From her nomination: “Mrs. Smith can relate in ways many others can’t to our students, specifically the socioeconomically disadvantaged students, many of whom come from single parent or grandparent raised homes. She grew up with absent parents who ultimately gave up their legal rights as parents when she was three years old. Mrs. Smith is able to reach students who struggle the most to understand.”

Nominations and Applications now open for the third cohort of the Innovation in Teaching Fellowship

The Personalized Learning Department is now accepting nominations and applications for the Innovation in Teaching Fellowship.

The 10-month Fellowship, set to launch in February 2018, is designed to equip Dallas ISD teachers to grow in their understanding of and experience with Next Generation Instructional Models including Blended Learning and Project-Based Learning. Over the course of the Fellowship, participants will have access to workshops, on-demand professional development sessions, internal and external site visits, and coaching from the Dallas ISD central Personalized Learning team. The Fellowship will conclude with an opportunity for participants to share their learnings and ideas with the education community.

To nominate a teacher for the Fellowship, submit a nomination form here by Friday, December 8th.

To learn more or to apply for the Fellowship, click here. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 22nd.

Employees share why they support Dallas ISD’s United Way giving campaign

Dallas ISD’s United Way employee giving campaign is underway, and it’s a chance to support the many United Way programs that directly benefit district students and families.

Here are some thoughts from Dallas ISD employees on why they support the United Way employee giving campaign:

“I give to United Way because it has been such a big help to so many people. There have been children and teachers in my school who have received help from United Way.” — Alpher Garrett-Jones, principal of Charles Rice Learning Center

“I think the importance of giving to United Way is not measured by money or by a number, but it’s measured by the impact it has on somebody’s life.” — Raul Pena, executive director of Molina High School feeder pattern

“I feel like we are all connected together as a community and we do better as a whole if everybody is at their best. So, when somebody struggles, we all suffer, and it’s important to build everybody up and bring everybody together.” — Kristin Parr, GIS analyst

The Dallas ISD United Way employee giving campaign goal is $80,000. To learn how you can support the goal, contact your campus or department United Way coordinator, or visit the United Way webpage.

From soldier to teacher: Pershing instructor goes extra mile for students

Angel Sitiriche was a private lawyer and Army reservist in Puerto Rico when he was called to active duty after 9/11.

Angel Sitiriche

He was in charge of the multi-national division north operational for the Iraqi Police and Military Police Officers, overseeing 2,000 soldiers. During his service he received many commendations, including the Bronze Star, Humanitarian Service Award, and Army Achievement Medal.

Upon returning from Iraq, he decided to invest in the community and become a public school teacher. And for the past 12 years, Sitiriche has taught at John J. Pershing Elementary School. His outstanding contributions to education were recognized last month as he was named a Dallas ISD Campus Teacher of the Year.

“As a valued member of the Pershing family, Angel invests selflessly in the lives of the children and families that he serves. He contributes in so many ways,” Pershing Elementary Assistant Principal Mary Ramos said. “His service to his country has been impeccable and adds a varied experience that he shares with his students. His students see him as a role model and someone they admire.”

In addition teaching fifth-grade language arts and social studies, Sitiriche supports the campus in these ways:

  • Coaches soccer for the fifth-grade students on the weekend, donating his own money and time
  • Serving as a STEM First Lego League coach
  • Textbook coordinator
  • Grade level Chair

“We are proud to have Angel on our campus and to name him our Campus Teacher of the Year,” Ramos said. “He is a role model and inspiration to everyone here.”

Dallas ISD huddles up with United Way; $80K is the goal

When marching bands, drum lines and cheerleaders come out, you know something special is about to pop off, which was the case this morning at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas headquarters as Dallas ISD staff gathered to kick off its employee giving campaign.

The goal this year is $80,000, which goes to support the many United Way programs that directly benefit Dallas ISD students and families. These programs include: after-school, scouting, early childhood, parent education, college and career readiness, homeless education, summer camps, mentoring, STEM, tutoring and many more programs.

Go here to learn about Dallas ISD’s United Way employee giving campaign.

United Way Giving Campaign is off and running

The annual United Way Employee Giving Campaign officially kicks off today. If you see colleagues wearing sports jerseys, it likely signals their support for United Way.

Jeans days, department and campus fundraising events and individual giving are under way across the district to meet the 2017 campaign giving goal of $80,000. When you give, you help prepare kids to graduate ready to succeed, enable families to leave poverty behind, and make quality health care more accessible to those who need it. To learn how you can support the goal, contact your campus or department United Way coordinator, or visit the United Way webpage.

Dallas ISD invites staff to Education Summits

Dallas ISD is launching a strategic planning process to create a strategic and innovative vision for Dallas ISD learning, technology, and facilities design. To launch this process, the district is hosting four education summits and encourages all stakeholders to attend one of the summits.

Parents, students, district staff, business leaders and community members will have an opportunity to share their innovative vision of the future. Dates, times and locations are listed below*.

6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 7
W.T. White High School

6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 7
South Oak Cliff High School

6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9
Emmett J. Conrad High School

6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9
W.W. Samuell High School and Early College
(*Free childcare and refreshments will be provided at each location.)

During the summits, citizens will have the opportunity to learn more about the learning, technology and facilities planning process and hear from a student panel, as well as talk about their highest hopes and aspirations for their children. In an effort to develop an actionable and measurable vision, Dallas ISD encourages all community members to join this effort.

Additionally, community members can provide feedback through an online survey now through Friday, Nov. 10 here. The survey will also be posted on the district and campus websites. The district is also hosting a series of focus groups representing various stakeholder groups in October and early November.

Information, feedback and input gathered at the summits, focus groups and from the survey will be used by a design team comprised of citizens and district staff who will create a community-focused strategic direction for technology and facilities. This strategic direction will include a set of community beliefs, call to action, goals, action steps and a learner profile. Additionally, it will allow Dallas ISD to measure student learning and serve as a guide for the district as it makes future decisions regarding instruction, technology, budgeting, staffing and facility planning.

As the district embarks on this process, all summits, documents and resources will be posted online at for community members to stay informed. The district will provide updates throughout this process.

Dress up for a cause on Tuesday, Oct. 31

In support of the district’s annual United Way Campaign, employees are invited to dress up for Halloween in exchange for a $5 donation. There are three ways to pay:

Cash:      See your department’s United Way coordinator.

Check:    Pay to “United Way of Metropolitan Dallas” and submit to your United Way coordinator.

Oracle:   Starting Oct. 26, log in to Oracle and make a one-time donation to United Way.

Your contribution will be deducted from your next check. Click here for instructions.

Please note: Costumes must meet the district’s dress code standards; specifically:

•          No masks.

•          No inappropriate language, photos, or imagery.

•          Facial features cannot be disguised–

Face paint/body stickers are allowed on no more than 25% of the face.

•          Replicas of guns, knives, or other weapons are prohibited.