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Eagle Springs Elementary Teacher Darcy Petzold Named District and Elementary Teacher of the Year. Humble Middle School Teacher Lynsey Thrower Named Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Darcy Petzold, a second-grade teacher at Eagle Springs Elementary School, has been named the 2020-2021 District and Elementary Teacher of the Year. Lynsey Thrower, who teaches sixth grade social studies at Humble Middle School, was chosen as Secondary Teacher of the Year.
Mrs. Petzold has taught at Eagle Springs Elementary the past 13 years where she created innovative teaching strategies that immerse her students in the learning process. For example, during Hispanic Heritage Month, students cooked quesadillas, learned dance steps, read in Spanish and experienced a live mariachi band made up of Eagle Springs students. “I am energized when creating new, memorable learning experiences,” Ms. Petzold said. Many of Petzold's lessons guide students to appreciate others and become culturally aware global citizens. Eagle Springs Elementary Principal April Maldonado is proud of Mrs. Petzold’s accomplishments. “In her classroom, you will find that creative thinking, individuality, and connections to nature are valued,” Mrs. Maldonado said.
Over the years, Mrs. Petzold has turned her personal passion for nature and creativity into sponsoring several after-school clubs. These consist of a bird watching club, a nature photography club, a geocaching club, and a gardening club. In addition, she has sponsored Destination Imagination competition teams.
Mrs. Petzold received a $5,000 prize, sponsored by Robbins Chevrolet & Nissan.
“We really look for any opportunity we can to support Humble ISD,” Chelsea Robbins McGhinnis, Vice President, Robbins Chevrolet & Nissan, said. “My family is full of Humble ISD graduates and it’s a longstanding tradition for our family to be involved in the district. We love the Humble ISD Education Foundation and the grants they provide, so it only makes sense that we support the teachers that are making the most difference too.”
Lynsey Thrower was named Humble ISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. She has been a teacher for 12 years, having spent the last two in her current position at Humble Middle School. Drawing from her experiences during her first career in the Army National Guard, one of her favorite lessons involved challenging her students to search for ways to stay alive in the Amazon Rainforest. The project, titled “Surviving the Amazon,” was a 21-day survival project that involved students researching the effects of climate on the forest. “We transformed our classroom to create an atmosphere that takes students to another place where they can explore and bring different cultures within arm’s reach,” Ms. Thrower said. Ms. Thrower received a $2,500 prize from Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union.
“This is a great opportunity for Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union to participate in honoring Humble ISD’s teachers of the year,” Julia Arceneaux, Business Development Manager Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union, said. “Teachers have been working so hard trying to teach virtually, it’s difficult to even imagine what they’ve been going through. As a credit union, we are here to help in any way we can.”
Ms. Petzold and Ms. Thrower were chosen from 45 Campus Teachers of the Year. Humble ISD schools chose a Teacher of the Year for each campus in February. The 2020-2021 top 10 finalists and District Teachers of the Year were chosen by a district selection committee based upon essays and interviews.
The Top 10 Teacher of the Year finalists are:
Darcy Petzold - Eagle Springs Elementary, Second Grade
Keith Kitts - Humble Elementary, Instructional Technology
Autumn Jackson - Oaks Elementary, Art
Lynsy Curry - River Pines Elementary, Fourth Grade
Kasey Toensfeldt - Shadow Forest Elementary, Art
George Mayhall - Atascocita Middle School, S.T.E.M.
Lynsey Thrower - Humble Middle School, World Cultures
Saul Keene - Humble High School, English
Anisha Razo - Kingwood High School, Video Tech
Valerie Booth - Quest Early College High School, Pre-AP Chemistry