ABILENE – Abilene High School math teacher Angela Walker and Johnston Elementary School kindergarten teacher Megan Jimenez were honored Tuesday night as the Edwin and Agnes Jennings Teaching Excellence TLC Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, respectively, in the Abilene Independent School District.

The Abilene Education Foundation hosted its ninth annual Teacher in the Limelight Celebration at the Abilene Convention Center, recognizing teachers throughout the district for their work with the more than 15,500 students in the AISD.

Walker is a 10-year classroom veteran having spent 10 years at AHS. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education from Hardin-Simmons University and currently serves as a Technology Liaison for the AHS campus. She also helped charter the Abilene High Key Club, a student-led community service organization.

Angela is always at her door to greet students every day and every period with a smile,” AHS principal Michael Garcia said. “She goes out of her way to build relationships with students and her fellow teachers. When she teaches a lesson, she immediately evaluates it, and makes notes for next year based on what students struggled with this year. During a very trying year for teachers, Ms. Walker organized a way for remote learners to be able to check out calculators because she knew they would need one to be successful. She did this because she wanted every student to succeed; not just her own students. Whether it is academic or relational, Ms. Walker is dedicated to improving herself and those around her.”

Walker uses a highly customized approach to the curriculum, cultivating assignments and lessons to engage her students and meet them where they are in their process of learning. Every assignment is custom-made, tweaked and re-worked before being delivered to her classes.

Jimenez is a 2008 graduate of McMurry University who is in her 13th year with the AISD. She spent the first 11 years of her AISD career at Lee Elementary (2008-19) and is now in her second year at Johnston Elementary. During the COVID closure in the spring of 2020, Jimenez took it upon herself to create video lessons on YouTube for her students. Knowing some parents or guardians might know how to access online content she even created her own video instructions just for them. Her videos were shared by other teachers at Johnston and throughout the AISD.

Ms. Jimenez’s dedication is evident, her compassionately demanding spirit challenges all the learners in her classroom,” Johnston principal Jeff Brokovich said. “She engages in cross-curricular activities and encourages academic as well as personal growth in her students.”

Last December, Jimenez taught a unit titled “Christmas Around the World” where students with pretend passports boarded a pretend airplane and took flights all over the world learning about various cultures and Christmas traditions. Passports were stamped and the students had to write one fact they learned at each new destination, then write about their experiences both independently and in small groups.

Both Walker and Jimenez will now represent the Abilene ISD in the Texas Teacher of the Year competition. The first step in that is the Region XIV Teacher of the Year competition at both the elementary and secondary levels. A win there would send one or both on to the statewide competition.

The AISD has had the Region XIV Teachers of the Year at both the elementary and secondary levels each of the last two years with Elementary Teacher of the Year (Molly Harless, Lee Elementary School) and Secondary Teacher of the Year (Kathy Ellison, Abilene High) in 2018-19 and Chelsea Rico (Lee Elementary) and Jimmy Pogue (Cooper High School), respectively, in 2019-20.

There were other teachers honored Tuesday night, and here’s a list of those honorees:

Edwin and Agnes Jennings Teaching Excellence TLC Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year
• Elementary – Megan Jimenez (Johnston Elementary School)
• Secondary – Angela Walker (Abilene High School)

Future Shapers Award
Funded by Uniqu3 Solutions
• Reagan Elementary School – Caroline Huffines

TLC Science Teacher of the Year
Funded by Edwin and Agnes Jennings Teaching Excellence Endowment
• ATEMS – Tracy Long

TLC Math Teacher of the Year
Funded by Edwin and Agnes Jennings Teaching Excellence Endowment
• ATEMS – Stephanie Angell

Fine Arts Teacher of the Year
Funded by AEF & the Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra
• Jackson Elementary School –Michele Wilson

Campus Teacher Tributes
High School
• Abilene High School – Angela Walker
• Abilene High School – Wendy Weeks
• ATEMS – Jana Lindley
• Cooper High School – Karl Wilcox
• Cooper High School – Josh Alcorn
• Holland Medical High School – Trey Rogge

Middle School
• Clack Middle School – Lorry Spears
• Craig Middle School – Alyssa Wilke
• Madison Middle School – Jackee Hamp
• Mann Middle School – Sparkle Mitchell

Elementary School
• Austin Elementary School – Ann Reese
• Bassetti Elementary School – Ami Martinez
• Bonham Elementary School – Joy Beckett
• Bowie Elementary School – Kara Nestle
• Dyess Elementary School – Melissa Hendricks
• Jackson Elementary School – Lacretia Churchman
• Johnston Elementary School – Megan Jimenez
• Lee Elementary School – Christine Havens
• Martinez Elementary School – Jennifer Harrison
• Ortiz Elementary School – Laura Zamarron
• Reagan Elementary School – Caroline Huffines
• Taylor Elementary School – Anita Churchill
• Thomas Elementary School – Abby Alford
• Ward Elementary School – Allison Hefner
• Long Early Childhood – Lindsey Cromwell

Science Teacher Tributes
• ATEMS – Tracy Long
• ATEMS – Jana Lindley
• Cooper – Jessica Archuleta
• Cooper –  Jessica Sustaita

Math Teacher Tributes
• ATEMS – Stephanie Angell
• Cooper – Karl Wilcox
• Clack – Melanie Koen
• Craig – Shelly Brotherton