New Braunfels ISD hosted its third annual Excellence Awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 30. About 300 members of the NBISD community were in attendance at the McKenna Events Center, where they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, a “Blue” carpet, photo booths and more!

Balloons in all shades of blue were draped around the room. Dr. Laurelyn Arterbury, NBISD’s superintendent, handed awardee’s their trophies while NBISD Chief Communications and Technology Officer Matt Jones was the event’s MC. NBISD Director of Communications provided descriptions of the awards and invited supervisors and cabinet members up to announce the winners.

The Excellence Awards winners are based on nominations from fellow employees throughout the district. This year, there were nearly 250 nominations submitted. Awards that were announced during the ceremony included the Duane Trujillo Commitment to Children Award, the district Teachers of the Year and the first ever Rising Star Awards.

Duane Trujillo Commitment to Children Award

This year’s Trujillo award went to Maria Alcala who has served NBISD for the last 20 years as the homeless and foster liaison.

The Duane Trujillo Award is named after former Carl Schurz Principal Duane Trujillo, who passed away in 2022. Trujillo spent 17 years with NBISD, working at multiple campuses. Cynthia Trujillo, Duane’s wife, presented the award to Alcala.

Find out more about the Trujillo award and winner, here.

NBISD District Teachers of the Year

NBISD has selected Nikki Hutchison from Walnut Springs Elementary as District Elementary Teacher of the Year and Melissa Zúñiga as the District Secondary Teacher of the Year.

A selection committee selected these outstanding teachers for the district honors after judging their essay applications and conducting in-person interviews. Both recipients will compete at the regional level this summer with hopes of ultimately being named Texas Teacher of the Year.

A full story about the 2023-24 teachers of the year can be found here.

NBISD Rising Star Awards

A new award to NBISD this year is the elementary and secondary Rising Star awards. The rising Star awards recognize NBISD’s finest new teachers who already demonstrate excellent practices in their field. They are a model for other new teachers and provide outstanding contributions to their school community and their profession. New teachers who are still within their first 3 years of teaching were eligible to be nominated for this award.

The winners of the Rising Star awards were Ann Willard at elementary school level and Katelynn Wasson at the secondary level. Willard is a teacher at Seele Elementary, while Wasson teaches at Oak Run Middle School.

Other award winners from the evening included:

Substitute of the Year

Patrick Link

Counselor of the Year

Faride Nasser, New Braunfels High School

Nurse of the Year

Shaylyn Martinez, RN, Lamar Elementary

Instructional Aide of the Year

Krystal Gonzalez, Lone Star Early Childhood Center

Auxiliary Employee of the Year

Peter Girard, Transportation

Instructional Support Employee of the Year

Kelli Long, Technology

Administrative Support Employee of the Year

Gerard Sampson, Ninth Grade Center

Paraprofessional of the Year

Brittanie Case, New Braunfels Middle School

Fine Arts Employee of the Year

Kyle Day, New Braunfels High School/Long Creek High School

Coach of the Year

James Halatin, Oak Run Middle School

Bus Driver of the Year

Irais Fulgencio, Transportation

Assistant Principal of the Year

Sara Wiles, Lamar Elementary

Professional of the Year

Maria Alcala, Student Services

Principal of the Year

Greg Hughes, New Braunfels High School

Rising Star – Elementary

Ann Willard, Seele Elementary

Rising Star – Secondary

Katelynn Wasson, Oak Run Middle School

District Elementary Teacher of the Year

Nikki Hutchison, Walnut Springs Elementary

District Secondary Teacher of the Year

Melissa Zúñiga, New Braunfels High School

Duane Trujillo Commitment to Children Award

Maria Alcala

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