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Air Force Association honors 2 GISD teachers as Teachers of the Year!

Eric    Joel

Two GISD STEM teachers were notified this week that they have been named the AFA Chapter 416 Teachers of the Year for 2019! 


The purpose of the program is to recognize classroom teachers at the chapter and state level for their accomplishments and achievements in exciting K-12 students about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and preparing students to use and contribute to tomorrow’s technologies. This is a unique opportunity for chapters to recognize and reward outstanding teachers who are furthering excellence in making coming to class an adventure.


Chapter President Vance Clarke, VP of Community Partner Programs Terry Thomas and Superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins surprised Eric Norris and Joel Pitts in their classrooms to announce they were both named as the local chapter's Teachers of the Year.  


Eric Norris is a science teacher and STEM lead at Travis/Sixth Grade Center and has been with the district for eight years.  His gift for integrating specific goals into creative lesson plans is matched only by his gift for connecting with students. 


"As a science teacher and STEM educator, Mr. Norris is establishing himself as an advocate for students to learn about the great opportunities that STEM has to offer." wrote Vincent Dawes, SGC Prinicipal in his nomination letter for Mr. Norris.  "During a typical day in Mr. Norris' class it is not surprising to see hands-on experiments that challenge the thinking of his students to ensure deep understanding of science or STEM concepts."


Joel Pitts teaches electro mechanical engineering, electronics and Solar Car at Greenville High School.  He has been an excellent teacher and leader in GISD for 13 years. 


GHS Principal Heath Jarvis said this about Mr. Pitts in his nomination letter:


"He is focused on the forte and on goals that he sets for himself and his students. He inspires students to problem solve and to work as a team at a very high level.  Thanks to his quiet leadership and his knack for inspiring and supporting students, GHS has won four first-place honors at the national solar car championship.'


Both recipients will be honored by the AFA North East Texas Chapter 416 at a ceremony and dinner to be held Saturday, May 11. During the dinner, the AFA will announce a teacher to move on to the state level.