Return to Headlines

Teachers honored with Distinguished and Novice Educators of the Year

Every year, each Judson ISD campus chooses one educator who epitomizes what being a teacher is all about. This year, 62 teachers (novice and distinguished) were awarded the honor. They remind us how vital the profession is to the overall function of society.

Each honoree was invited to submit an application for Elementary and Secondary District Teacher of the Year. After reviewing the application, Hartman’s Ms. Staci Vargo and Judson High School’s Ms. Emily Peery were honored with the District’s Distinguished Educators of the Year and $1,000!

On February 3, 2023, they were surprised with the announcement.

“She is selfless,” Hartman’s Principal Monica Rodriguez said, as she preps the music to play and the confetti to pop when they enter her classroom. “She puts every student first, inside and outside her classroom.”

At Judson, Principal Richard Mendoza was quick with his praise.

“She epitomizes Rocket Pride,” Mendoza said, as he prepped the cheerleaders and drumline to enter Peery classroom. “She has grown so much since she was appointed Department Chair. She just… leads.”

Today's surprise, and with all 62 honorees, is a reminder of the pillar teachers play in society. They are not only teachers, but counselors, social workers, coaches, and more. They play one of society’s most important roles - developing good human beings to positively contribute to the community.

“I truly believe there is no greater satisfaction than being a teacher. It is the most rewarding thing I could possibly do,” Judson Middle School’s Ms. Tiffany Lopez said. “I’ve been an educator for 15 years. Seeing a child believe in themselves and gain confidence is remarkable. There is nothing like being a part of that process. I know, wholeheartedly, that teaching and coaching is my calling.”


Click here to view all 62 Distinguished and Novice Educators of the Year | Click here to view the District's Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year