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FWISD Teachers of the Year Dinner will Feature Keynote by Decorated Military Leader

General Lynch The annual Fort Worth ISD Teachers of the Year Dinner is a highly anticipated event, where the 10 District Teacher of the Year Finalists are recognized for their dedication to students and the winners of District Teacher of the Year are announced. This year’s awards dinner, hosted by Central Market H-E-B, will be held May 4 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. 

Attendees will include Superintendent of Schools Kent P. Scribner; Fort Worth ISD Board of Education trustees; and Stephen Butt, who is President of H-E-B/Central Market Division. The evening will feature student entertainment by Robert Nyul, jazz pianist from the Paschal High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Matthew Sawyer. He will play for attendees and guests before and during dinner. 

The evening promises to be inspiring and exciting, with the combination of the teacher awards and a keynote address by Lieutenant General Rick Lynch, U.S. Army (Ret.), a noted military strategist, public speaker, and education advocate. The focus of his presentation will be adaptive leadership.

LTG Lynch spent 35 years serving in the United States Army commanding troops all over the world, from Europe to Baghdad to Fort Hood, Texas. He commanded at all levels, from company (about 100 soldiers) to corps (about 65,000 soldiers). He ended his distinguished career by commanding all the installations in the US Army with an annual budget of $12 billion and a workforce of 120,000.

After retiring from the military, LTG Lynch began a coaching and consulting career, helping clients with strategic planning and leadership. He has written two books, “Adapt or Die:  Battle Tested Principles for Leaders” and “Work Hard Pray Hard:  The Power of Faith in Action.” 

LTG Lynch believes education can change lives. As a high school student without the funds to pursue higher education, he was accepted to and graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on robotics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The opportunity for a college education changed the course of his life forever. 

LTG Lynch’s personal story has convinced him that the two most important members of society are service members who protect our freedoms and our way of life and educators who guarantee our future.

“Transformational education can only happen if the organization has adaptive leaders at all levels,” he said. The focus of his keynote speech for the awards dinner will be on becoming a more adaptive leader and using those skills to develop other leaders.

The evening will culminate with the announcement of the District Secondary Teacher of the Year and the District Elementary Teacher of the Year.

2017 Secondary District Teacher of the Year Finalists are:


Keith Byrd

Science and Math

9th – 12th grades

Polytechnic High School


Veronica Canchola

Social Studies

6th and 9th grades

World Languages Institute


Cecilia N.Sanchez-Hill


10th grade

TCC South-FWISD Collegiate


Shantell Phelps


8th grade

William James Middle School


Chris Workman


9th-12th grades

Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School


2017 Elementary District Teacher of the Year Finalists are:

Julissa Gomez

All Subject Areas

2nd grade

J.T. White Elementary


Lindsay Laster

English Language Arts

4th grade

Meadowbrook Elementary


Rebecca Martin


K-5th grades

Carter Park Elementary


Jennifer Mitchell

Science and Math

5th grade

Westcliff Elementary


Tara Woods

All Subjects


J.T. Stevens Elementary




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