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Ask Elsie -- February 7, 2019

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ask Elsie is a column where Chief Financial Officer Elsie Schiro tackles employee queries, or in areas outside her purview, asks other District leaders to answer them.

Dear Elsie,

Are there serious efforts in the works to move all field trip requests and approval processes to an online medium? The current process is quite archaic and incredibly time-consuming for everyone involved. Making the move to an online process could vastly improve many operations within the District. It could allow for automatic tracking, ensure there is no missed information, improve reporting, and would probably relieve the cramped hands of those that have to sign many at a time. It would also be in line with any green initiatives that we have in the District. The most important issue this could resolve is just how long it takes to communicate and complete from beginning to end. Is this something that District staff can look forward to in the future?


Nicolle Sartain

Dear Ms. Sartain,

Thank you for your question. This item is currently being discussed and researched by Dr. Scribner’s Leadership Team, and we hope to have a new process soon.

Thanks again for your question Ms. Sartain.


Dear Elsie,

Why are Teacher of the Year recipients chosen solely by other teachers? It tends to lead to a popularity contest where the most deserving teachers are passed over in favor of the “most popular” teachers.


Frustrated Educator

Dear Frustrated Educator,

Thank you for your question. I reached out to Peg Murphy, director of community and strategic partnerships, regarding your question and here’s the response: “Thank you for your question about the Campus Teacher of the Year Program. Campus Teachers of the Year have been nominated by and selected by their peers, to include all certified staff, as long as that staff member works with students at least four hours per day. Each campus principal can structure the election in the manner that best fits that campus. Many times a principal and/or assistant principal will participate in the voting, especially if the election is close. When previous teachers of the year have been interviewed, their responses have always indicated that to be selected by their peers is the highest honor. Those teachers are respected and admired because they obtain student growth, they collaborate with colleagues and share their expertise, and they tend to be well-liked because of these qualities. We know there are so many highly-qualified and deserving teachers for this honor, and we continuously evaluate the program so that those who go above and beyond for their students and their school communities are honored. Below is the list of general criteria for selection. Again, thank you for your question,

Eligibility Requirements:

Candidates should:

  • Have taught in the Fort Worth ISD for a minimum of three years
  • Have a total of five years minimum teaching experience overall
  • Be a full-time, certified, pre-kindergarten-12 Fort Worth ISD teacher in good standing. Good standing means that no disciplinary action, pending or completed, has been taken against the teacher during the year including and prior to application. Disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to, suspension without pay or other restrictive measures based on a violation of policy or law. Determination of good standing is at the sole discretion of the FWISD.
  • Plan to continue teaching in the Fort Worth ISD for the 2019 - 2020 school year
  • Lead students of all backgrounds to demonstrate learning
  • Collaborate with colleagues, students, and families to create a culture of respect and success
  • Engage in leadership opportunities that contribute to the work of the profession
  • Connect the classroom and key stakeholders to foster a strong community at large
  • Express themselves in an engaging and articulate way
  • Demonstrate leadership and innovation in and outside of the classroom walls that embodies lifelong learning
  • Communicate the District's vision and goals at all times”

Thanks again for your question Frustrated Educator and thank you Ms. Murphy for your response.


Direct your questions to and put the words "Ask Elsie" in the subject line. Please close your letter with your preferred signature as you wish it to appear in the column. When there are multiple queries on the same subject, we will select the one that is most representative of the subject. We will try to answer as many questions as possible.