WACO. TX — On Friday, Waco ISD recognized first year and veteran educators in anticipation of Teacher Appreciation Week, which runs from May 5 to May 11.
Greg Oubre, a third grade teacher at Dean Highland Elementary School, won the Waco ISD Outstanding Elementary School of the Year award. Brittany Foster from Brazos High Recovery Center was named Outstanding Secondary Teacher of the Year award.
Raelynn Spicer from Cedar Ridge Elementary School and Brent Fudge from Lake Air Montessori Magnet school won the Virginia Dupuy First-Year Teacher of the Year.
Waco ISD administrators went to their campuses to surprise the nominated teachers. The distinction comes with a $1,000 donation sponsored by a private company.
For Oubre, who has been at that campus for six years, receiving the award made him emotional.
"It's surreal. Pinch me, I don't believe it. I feel great about it and there is a whole lot I can do. I'm ready to keep going," Oubre said.
Waco ISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Hazel Rowe recognized his work during the surprise ceremony.
"We visited his classroom a week or so ago and we were highly impressed with his students and your leadership and guidance in that classroom," Rowe said.
Oubre's student, Phoebe Bovee, never doubted his skills. The 9-year-old looks forward to going to school every day.
"He is the best," Bovee said. "I've learned fractions, multiplication, division and a lot about him, that he is a really nice guy."
Oubre's principal Thia Allen also praised his work.
"He is willing to do the extra work and really do the research and implement the plan to make it happen and he is great at that," Allen said.
His class won a National Math Championship two years in a row. He knows they can do much more.
"I never let them limit themselves. I tell them we can do whatever you put their minds to," Oubre said.
He will go on to compete to become the regional elementary school teacher of the year.
Businesses will also recognize educators during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Bubba's 33 will give back to a teacher nominated by members of the community. The winner will be given a 'Teacher of the Year' award and many other prizes. The teacher who won will be announced on Friday, May 31.