Ham named a finalist for Frisco ISD Teacher of the Year


Screenshot image from Frisco ISD Facebook live stream (used with permission)

In the fall, 72 teachers were nominated by schools throughout the district with one teacher per school selected. On Thursday, FISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Waldrip honored all 72 and then named the final 10 candidates for T.O.Y. with biology teacher Chris Ham selected as a one of the final five finalists for secondary Teacher of the Year. The 2019-2020 elementary and secondary Teacher of the Year will be announced Thursday during another live Facebook stream.

Maddie Aronson, Managing Editor

Frisco ISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Waldrip announced the district’s top 10 finalists for FISD Teacher of the Year during a Facebook live stream Thursday evening. Among those making the cut, science teacher Chris Ham who was named one the final five candidates for secondary Teacher of the Year.

“I’m surprised and beyond honored,” Ham said via email. “We have a lot of amazing teachers across the district so I did not expect this at all. I think being named top 5 honors not just me, but everyone I work with, including Liberty’s science department, the administration, support staff, and the curriculum department, just to name a few. Being surrounded by amazing people enables me to be the best teacher I can be.”

Thursday’s announcement was originally scheduled to take place at the Omni Hotel, but the change to an online celebration was necessitated by Frisco’s stay-at-home orders.

“This spring has been unlike any other in the history of Frisco ISD,” Dr. Waldrip said via email. “While we would much rather have the opportunity to gather in person to celebrate and show our appreciation for each campus Teacher of the Year, announcing the District finalists and winners online allow us to continue to maintain this event and tradition to the greatest degree possible. All of these educators are deserving of recognition and our thanks, and we welcome the chance to shine a spotlight on them in a manner that is accessible to the entire community.”

The Top 5 Elementary Teacher of Year finalists are:

  •  Kacie Blough – Bright Academy, fourth grade teacher
  •  Kristina Knox – Sparks Elementary, fourth grade teacher
  •  Nicole Moreno – Scott Elementary, first grade teacher
  •  Melanie Rutter – Vaughn Elementary, fourth grade teacher
  •  Cassie Schneider – Shawnee Trail Elementary, special education teacher

The Top 5 Secondary Teacher of Year finalists are:

  •  Nancy Gardner – Lawler Middle School, sixth grade science teacher
  •  Chris Ham – Liberty High School, biology teacher
  •  Ashley Luhrs – Nelson Middle School, eighth grade ILA teacher
  •  Karen Morin – Pearson Middle School, eighth grade math teacher
  •  Sandy Sternitzke – Wakeland High School, chemistry teacher

The 2020 Frisco ISD Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year will be announced by Dr. Waldrip on Thursday at 6 p.m. on Facebook.