Dripping Springs Independent ISD announced the 2018 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year at the May 21 Board of Trustees meeting. The DSISD Elementary Teacher of the Year is Brandis Smoland, third grade teacher at Sycamore Springs Elementary, and the DSISD Secondary Teacher of the Year is Sara Freeman, AP Calculus/Pre-Cal teacher at Dripping Springs High School. These individuals now will represent Dripping Springs ISD in the 2018-19 Texas Teacher of the Year program.
Before joining the inaugural SSE staff, Smoland spent four years at Dripping Springs Elementary. Smoland brought 12 years of teaching experience with her to DSISD: four in Aiken County Schools (S.C.) and eight in Hutto ISD. In her career she has taught pre-K through third grade. In addition to her teaching certification, she also has her principal certification. Smoland earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin University.
Veteran teacher Sara Freeman is in her eighth year at Dripping Springs High School, after teaching 26 years at Plano High School. She teaches Calculus and Pre-Cal at the AP and GT levels. In addition to her math certification, Freeman also is certified to teach English at the secondary level. Freeman earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from Baylor University and a master’s degree in Teaching/Mathematical Sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas.
In addition to Smoland and Freeman, other Campus Teachers of the Year were:
Laura Black (Dripping Springs Middle School), Capri Heintz (Rooster Springs Elementary), Nicole McGilvray (Sycamore Springs Middle School), Reyna Sandoval (Dripping Springs Elementary), and Kris Schmidl (Walnut Springs Elementary).
Campus Teachers of the Year are selected by their school colleagues; the District Teachers of the Year are chosen following an interview with a selection committee.