Holly Mooneyham, Texas High School Pre-Advanced Placement Ninth Grade English I Teacher, has been selected to represent Region VIII Education Service Center as the Secondary Teacher of the Year and will now move forward as a Finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year.
Since 1969, the Texas State Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program has honored excellence in classroom education and provided a forum to showcase many outstanding educators whose efforts and example have inspired their students, their colleagues and the communities they serve.
“Given her life experiences, Holly is a great role model for our students,” commented Paul Norton, TISD Superintendent of Schools. “She exemplifies not settling for what people may think you should be, but to be more. What better role model to have with our kids on a daily basis than one who thrives to excel.”
Mooneyham joined the Tiger Family in 2011 directly from college and student teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in English from Texas A&M University – Texarkana. Since 2012, Mooneyham has been a Tiger Mentor Teacher for all new ninth grade English teachers and during last year was a Collaborative Mentor Teacher working with TAMU-T student teachers.
According to Mooneyham, “high school was her refuge.” “It was an escape from the chaos of her home life and a stable environment of encouragement.”
While at school, she chose the rigorous path. She was privileged to have inspiring teachers who challenged her to be more. They helped her through the courses when no one else could. “It was these teachers who ignited a passion in me for learning and for knowledge. More specifically, they taught me to think and inspired me to become a teacher,” she continued.
“Teaching is a time consuming, stressful job, but I would not want it any other way,” said Mooneyham. “I have chosen a career where the rewards are numerous and great and I certainly do not feel like it is work.”
Mooneyham goes on to share that, “she is rewarded every day from teaching.” “Her biggest reward is when her students realize their potential. When they figure out that if they put their time and effort into their work, the outcome is magnificent.”
As the Region VIII ESC Secondary Teacher of the Year, Mooneyham will be recognized during the TEA State Board of Education Teacher of the Year Banquet in Austin in October. She will serve as a travelling ambassador for public education to speak for, motivate and exemplify the contributions of the teaching profession along with helping to identify and recruit teachers.