As part of Academy Sports + Outdoors campaign to recognize local educators, five #TeamVISD staff members were each rewarded an Academy Sports + Outdoors gift card with a balance of $300.
The recipients of the Academy Sports + Outdoors gift cards were:
Denise Moreno, STEM Middle School Principal
Jamie Sainz, Victoria East High School Visual Arts Teacher and Facilitator
Ashley Scott, VISD Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations
Destiny Ybarbo, Victoria East High School English Teacher
Sarah Young, Schorlemmer Elementary School PE teacher
VISD staff were encouraged to nominate a fellow staff member who they felt exhibited ‘Leading Towards Genius.’ Nominators provided specific examples of a time when the individual they nominated had demonstrated one of the values from the Victoria ISD Leading Towards Genius leadership definition. Each of our recipients embodied what we mean when we say, “Serves Students by modeling active involvement, visibility, and an unyielding commitment to support learning.”
Over the past year, Victoria ISD administration has been working with campus administration and teachers to develop the district leadership definition. Leading Towards Genius encompasses three main directives: Connecting To Genius, Growing In Genius, Reaching for Genius.
“In Reaching for Genius, Ms. Moreno is a rockstar,” said Shannon Sawyer, Assistant Principal of STEM Middle School. “Not once have I heard her say our students can't! She creates pathways for all - staff and students - by having high expectations for both! Teachers that have expressed interest in admin are encouraged to take on additional opportunities to grow. She speaks with students sincerely and honestly about goals and behavior - and specifically speaks to all about removing the barriers to reach those goals.”
“Jamie is a genius mentor to the art teachers of VISD,” said Annette Karm, Secretary of the Fine Arts Center. “She is giving of her time, experience, and passion to new and experienced staff, students, and teachers. One example is, Saturday before the start of school, she was on the Stroman MS campus helping, collaborating, and mentoring the two first year art teachers. Making sure other students and teachers will be successful here in VISD.”
“Ashley is a fast-forward thinker and is always looking for ways to provide clear communication to not only our staff, but to our community as well,” said Support Specialist Christy Cruz. “She does a lot of behind-the-scenes tasks that require a great attention to detail from the planning to the execution. Ashley is very hands on and leads by example. Whether Ashley is "Connecting To," "Growing In," and/or "Reaching For", she has inspired me in Leading Towards Genius!”
Jonathan Sixtos, English teacher at Victoria East High School, describes Destiny Ybaro’s ‘Genius,’ saying, “Her innovative approaches to online learning, hybrid learning, and remediation tutorials once we resumed in-person learning have contributed to the marked progress in our students' achievements. This past year Victoria East High School earned a letter grade B for growth in our English EOC results. Destiny continues to focus on the needs of our campus, taking on tutorials this year to ensure our students make up lost ground and achieve their academic potential. These are just a few of the many ways she inspires us all to be #VISDUnbreakable as we band together to overcome any challenges as we support our students. Destiny Ybarbo is truly Leading Toward Genius.
Karey Bland, instructional coach at Schorlemmer Elementary School, shared that Sarah Young showed Leading Towards Genius when she started the process of creating a cheer squad at Schorlemmer after learning that new students who were excited to cheer this year after making the cheer squad at their previous school wouldn’t be able to. “Sarah is putting the wheels in motion and giving these girls a chance to accomplish a goal that they thought they lost,” said Bland. “Not only is she helping this family adjust to a new school, but the creation of this team will influence, encourage, and provide a culture of family and create a pathway that gives all students a chance to cheer on our BEARS!”