During their recent end-of-year celebration, Texarkana Independent School District named Cynthia E. Gauntt as Elementary Teacher of the Year and Franshicka Banks-Brown as Secondary Teacher of the Year. Both now move forward for consideration as Region VIII Teacher of the Year.
Gauntt, who has 23 years in education, serves as a 5th Grade Math Teacher at Nash Elementary School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University – Texarkana.
Gauntt is a dedicated believer that students are the future leaders of our nation and that every educator can instill the love of learning and leadership each and every day. Just like the Proverb says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. She is doing this constantly with differentiated and engaging lessons.
It is important to Gauntt that education transcends the classroom and she finds specific ways to connect the students to the real-world community. As an educator, she embraces the support of the surrounding community and parents to help impart the knowledge that is necessary to fulfill the dreams and aspirations of each individual student.
Gauntt’s ambition and goal is to express the sincere passion she has for teaching each day and to get students motivated and excited about learning. She wants her students to be life-long learners and to strive for that deeper knowledge to take them into a leadership capacity within the school and community.
Banks-Brown, TISD Secondary Teacher of the Year, is an 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher at Texas Middle School who has been in the field of education for 12 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction with Principal Certification from Texas A&M University – Texarkana.
Banks-Brown’s desire for education and love of teaching is deeply rooted in her childhood. Since she was a young child, she was taught the importance of an education. Her grandfather always said, “Get a good education. With it, you can be whatever you want to be. Once you have it, no one can take it away from you.” Banks-Brown’s grandfather, leaving school in his seventh grade year, stressed the importance of education.
Heeding his advice, she became the second in her family to graduate from college and the first to receive a Master’s degree. It was her grandfather’s constant talks that led to her ambition for higher education and it was her love for learning that led to her desire to become a teacher.
Banks-Brown sees teaching as an honor and a challenge. Teachers not only teach students, they also coach, mentor, counsel, nurse, protect, nurture and tutor them. With open arms, she accepts the challenges that come along with teaching. Banks-Brown loves teaching and feels blessed to have a career that allows her to do what she loves.