Campus Teachers of the Year Announced
April 1, 2021
Dripping Springs ISD announced the 2020-21 Campus Teachers of the Year on Thursday, April 1.
Teachers of the Year are: Laurie Burton (Dripping Springs Middle School, English Language Arts/English as a Second Language), Raquel Flores (Dripping Springs Elementary, bilingual first grade), Jennifer Franco (Walnut Springs Elementary, pre-K), Kristen Northrup (Rooster Springs Elementary, second grade), Tori Pattison (Sycamore Springs Elementary, first grade), Rebecca Smart (Sycamore Springs Middle School, eighth-grade Social Studies), and Micki Whitacre (Dripping Springs High School, Statistics/Algebra).
Campus winners were selected through a nomination and voting process of all staff at each school. The campus winners are now eligible for the DSISD Elementary Teacher of the Year and Secondary Teacher of the Year awards, which are chosen by a volunteer committee comprised of retired educators. The selection process is based on submitted essay responses and a virtual interview. The two winners will be announced at the May 24 Board of Trustees meeting, and will represent Dripping Springs ISD in the state Teacher of the Year contest.
The Dripping Springs ISD Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by Moody Orthodontics, in conjunction with the Dripping Springs Education Foundation.
Below is a brief career summary on each of the campus winners:
LAURIE BURTON: Dripping Springs Middle School teacher Laurie Burton is in her seventh year teaching and fifth year in Dripping Springs ISD. She teaches English Language Arts and English as a Second Language at DSMS. Prior to DSISD, Burton taught for one year at Lumberton ISD and one year at Hays CISD. She is certified in Generalist (4-8) and English as a Second Language (4-8). Burton received her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Stephen F. Austin State University.
RAQUEL FLORES: Dripping Springs Elementary teacher Raquel Flores is in her second year at DSISD and fourth year teaching. She is currently the bilingual first-grade teacher at DSE. Prior to her current stint, Flores spent two years teaching at Wimberley ISD. She is certified in Core Subjects (EC-6) and Bilingual Education Supplemental Spanish (EC-6). Flores graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
JENNIFER FRANCO: Walnut Springs Elementary pre-K teacher Jennifer Franco is in her 19th year teaching and 12th year at DSISD. Prior to arriving in Dripping Springs, Franco spent seven years teaching in Bastrop ISD. She is certified in Special Education (PK-6), English as a Second Language (PK-6), Elementary Early Childhood Education (PK-6), and Elementary Self-Contained (PK-6). Franco earned her bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of North Texas.
KRISTEN NORTHRUP: Rooster Springs Elementary second-grade teacher Kristen Northrup is in her 14th year with DSISD. Northrup has been teaching for 20 years, previously spending three years at Sullivan County School District and three years at Northeast School District in Pennsylvania. She is certified in Generalist (EC-4) and English as a Second Language (EC-4). Northrup received her bachelor’s degree in Education from Millersville University.
TORI PATTISON: Sycamore Springs Elementary teacher Tori Pattison is in her fourth year teaching at DSISD, currently at the first grade level. She has eight years of teaching experience, previously spending two years apiece at Jenks Public Schools and Norman Public Schools in Oklahoma. Pattison is certified in Core Subjects (EC-6) and English as a Second Language (EC-6). She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Oklahoma.
REBECCA SMART: Sycamore Springs Middle School teacher Rebecca Smart is in her fourth year with DSISD and 17th year overall. She is currently an eighth grade social studies teacher at SSMS and is certified in Secondary Social Studies Composite (6-12). Prior to DSISD, Smart taught six years at Round Rock ISD and seven years at Katy ISD. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Government.
MICKI WHITACRE: Dripping Springs High School teacher Micki Whitacre is in her fourth year at DSISD and 12th year teaching. She currently teaches UT OnRamps Statistics, AP Statistics, and Algebra 2 at DSHS. Prior to DSISD, Whitacre taught one year at Overton ISD and seven years in Hays CISD. She is certified in Mathematics (8-12). Whitacre graduated from Texas Christian University with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics.