Hobby teacher is finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year

August 20, 2013

For the fifth year in a row, a finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year is from Northside ISD.

Christian DeBerry a Special Education teacher at Hobby Middle School, is one of six finalists for Texas Teacher of the Year, an annual competition organized by the Texas Association of School Administrators.

Superintendent Brian Woods made the surprise announcement at Northside’s first Convocation session, bringing DeBerry up onstage and revealing the news to the auditorium of over 1,000 educators, including DeBerry’s colleagues at Hobby.

DeBerry is among the three elementary and three secondary educators who were selected from the 40 regional Teachers of the Year from each of the state's 20 education service centers. The finalists will now vie for the honor of being named Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year and Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year, which will be announced in October. One of the winners will be selected to go forward and be considered for National Teacher of the Year.

DeBerry was honored in March as Northside’s Middle School Educator of the Year and earlier this month she was named Region 20 Secondary Teacher of the Year.

She has been teaching for five years, all in Northside. She didn’t plan to become a teacher. While in college studying for a Business degree, she took a part-time job as a nanny to a little girl with special needs.

“We all have a purpose and I have found mine,” DeBerry wrote in her Teacher of the Year application. “It is working with students with special needs. While I have people tell me all the time that they couldn’t do my job or wouldn’t want my job, my response to them is I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Recent honorees from Northside ISD include:

·        Maricela Alarcon, Burke Elementary School, 2010 Region 20 Elementary Teacher of the Year, 2010 state finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year.

·         Daniel Leija, Esparza Elementary School, 2011 Region 20 Elementary Teacher of the Year, 2011 Texas Teacher of the Year.

·         June Shanahan, Scobee Elementary School, 2012 Region 20 Elementary Teacher of the Year, 2011 Runner-Up Texas Teacher of the Year.

·         Theresa Heim, Connally Middle School, 2013 Region 20 Secondary Teacher of the Year, 2013 state finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year.

·         Barbara Purkhiser, Galm Elementary School, 2013 Region 20 Elementary Teacher of the Year.

NISD-TV visited her classroom and profiled DeBerry after her Educator of the Year win- watch here.