Update for March 26, 2015

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Local grad is Boerne HS Teacher of the Year, notes HHS teacher provided inspiration

Tisha Pettibon, biology teacher and head volleyball coach at Boerne High School, has been named 2015 Boerne ISD Teacher of the Year. She now will represent the district in the area-wide competition for the Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching, awarded each spring by Trinity University.

Pettibon went to high school in Hondo and she holds her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Texas-Austin. She credits instructors at both school for influencing her decision to enter the education field.

“My Hondo High School calculus teacher, Cindy Jones, who is still teaching there, was a tremendous influence on me,” Pettibon says. “I’m not someone who enjoys math. But she came to class every day excited to be there. She knew her material. And she cared about us as students.”

Boerne ISD superintendent David Stelmazewski presented the Teacher of the Year award to Pettibon in front of one of her biology classes.

“What you are doing as a classroom teacher and what you are doing to help your colleagues grow as professionals is truly impressive,” Stelmazewski said in making the presentation. “You are a great representative for our district and we are proud of you.”

Pettibon, who came to Boerne in 2009, teaches pre-advanced placement Biology and is credited with creating successful tutorial sessions that are open not just to her students but to all biology students at the school.

“My students help make my classes better,” Pettibon said. “They have good ideas and they make class interesting.

“I love what I do. I love biology. I get to teach it every day. It is so relevant to our daily lives. When the Ebola outbreak was in the news, what do you think we were talking about in class? We were talking about the outbreak. That’s part of biology. It is current, it is exciting and I love teaching it.”

“Tisha is both a mentor and a model to teachers within the Science Department,” Farber said. “Her instructional practices challenge students to not only learn the material, but to apply that knowledge to everyday life.

“In order to improve scores and passing rates on the Biology End of Course Exam, Tisha implemented academic instructional sessions targeting specific areas of needed growth. These sessions were outside the regular school day and open to not just Tisha’s students, but to all students taking Biology. The sessions were very popular and very helpful.”

Boerne ISD athletic director Stan Leech says that Pettibon was a key hire as head volleyball coach in 2009.

“She brought instant respect and credibility for our program at Boerne High because of her coaching success,” Leech said. “We sought her out because she is a great teacher, but she also is a very successful coach. Her volleyball teams have gone to a regional finals and a regional semi-finals in the past three years. And she and Coach Ruede have taken their basketball teams to the regional finals the last two years.”





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