Texas Teacher of the Year is the highest honor that the State of Texas can bestow upon a teacher. Two NCISD teachers will now participate in the regional round of the Texas State Teacher of the Year Program for 2021. This week, Kelly Smoot of Oakley Elementary School was named NCISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, and Hanna Hollohazy of Infinity Early College High School was named NCISD Secondary Teacher of the Year. Smoot, a second-grade teacher, has been with New Caney ISD for five years. Hollohazy, an English teacher, has been with the district for nine years.
Each official district Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year in Texas is eligible to advance to the regional and state levels. The regional selection process is conducted in June-July by the 20 Texas Regional Education Service Centers; each names a Regional Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year. The 40 Regional Teachers of the Year are considered for Texas Teacher of the Year in a selection process facilitated by Texas Association of School Administrators. When selecting the Texas Elementary and Texas Secondary Teachers of the Year, the judges designate one to serve as the official “Texas Teacher of the Year” — Texas’ nominee for National Teacher of the Year, a program conducted by the Council of Chief State School Officers. In January, a selection committee representing the major national education associations selects four finalists for National Teacher of the Year from the nominees submitted by the 50 states.