Texas country stars and other celebrities are trending with the hashtag, #clearthelist, to ensure educators are adequately prepared for the first day of school.
The Casey Donahew, Josh Abbott, Bart Crow and the Randy Rogers Bands have made headlines with their donations to teachers’ Amazon “wish list.”
After speaking with representatives with Ellis County school districts, most shared that teacher allowances are nonexistent, but instead, budgets are built-in for campuses or grade levels.
Ferris ISD elementary teacher do receive about $250 to $300 to order supplies after Sept. 1; meanwhile, those at the secondary level are allotted money by the department. New teachers in FISD receive a $50 gift certificate to Every Season Teacher Supply store.
Maypearl ISD superintendent Ritchie Bowling shared that each grade level has a budget to purchase items for the classroom that varies to $250 to $500 per teacher. He also noted that the town has done things to generate donations and funds to support local educators.
Ennis ISD provides campus and department annual budgets to address supply needs. “The budget is built and expended through the campus principal or department chair with teacher input within the budgeting and purchasing procedures,” stated an EISD spokesperson.
Midlothian ISD provides each campus a budget designated for teacher classroom supplies. Teachers may provide their supply list to the principal so the campus can order and purchase those items.
Waxahachie ISD principals have campus-level budgets that allocate various amounts of money to each teacher for classroom supplies.
The Daily Light posted on Facebook calling out all Ellis County public education teachers to comment with a link to their wish lists. The social media page received an overwhelming amount of responses with 262 comments and 75 shares.
Teachers not only posted their wish lists but their testimonies as well.
Jennifer Burkhalter-Hamby wrote, “I became a teacher to be able to give back to the same school district that raised me and to pass that love of education on to my students. I struggled in school, and I wanted the opportunity to help the kids who need that little extra care! I am so proud to teach at my Alma Mater - Waxahachie High School!”
Cassie Jo Adamson — https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1IFQYY83XI58C?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR3fRqct9XzgsHuzdRy9PSQKqvU5Gwr_jHsEZTo3dz6uOZjq0DFiYKdxqyY
Paula Guerro Gonzalez said she decided to become an educator because of her third and fifth-grade teachers Debbie Camarillo Gish and Amy McCuskey. Gonzalez wrote, “My love for reading began because of them and they always believed in me. They continued to support me even when I left their classroom. I teach 2nd-grade dual language and my classroom really would benefit from Spanish books. They’re almost double in price than the English ones and harder to find. I also would like to start flexible seating and update some needed things in our classroom. My goal is to support my students just as my former teachers did! Thank you!”
Amanda Sotelo Daughtry teaches kindergarten in Ennis ISD. The 13-year educator wrote, “I became a teacher because of the impact my teachers had on me, and I want to give that same support and dedication to all my kinder babies.”
Katie Gould Holiman teaches pre-kindergarten in Ennis ISD as well and wrote, “I became a teacher because I wanted to make a difference and help mold the next generation of little learners.”
Lori Ann Gunn also teaches pre-kindergarten, but in Waxahachie ISD and shared her testimony.
“ I became a teacher because I wanted to be "that" teacher that inspired a love for learning like a few of mine did in me. Shaping tomorrows leaders one sweet kiddo at a time.”
Lauren Nicole Fotheringham noted the most important items on her list are the dominos, cards and number line strips.
“They are manipulative that can be used for many lessons, and are helpful to students on every level! Also, there are some really fun and engaging games you can play using the dominos and cards that really give the kids a chance to think outside of the box!”
Joshua Perry became a teacher to help students have a better understanding and to ignite a passion for science.
He wrote, “My love of teaching is explaining chemistry in a way that all students can understand an oftentimes difficult and challenging subject. The items on my list are mostly all consumed or utilized by the students in my classroom.”
Jennifer Gonzales is a kindergarten teacher in Waxahachie ISD and wrote, “I became a teacher because I KNEW it was my calling. I love helping, teaching, and being an advocate for children. Books are always my most desired item but the flexible seating options would be grand!”
Lindsey McDowra said she became a teacher to make a difference.
“y son had an amazing second-grade teacher who changed his world! I want to be that. I want to take that kid and let them know they can do anything they set their mind too!”
Amber Davis became a teacher to ensure every student had a chance. “I love them first and teach them second. Kids are amazing and they deserve our best. Thank you for supporting teachers and students!”
Susan Sayen teaches eighth-grade at Coleman Junior High and said, “This will help the whole 8th-grade team with labs and essential equipment for safety. Thank you for helping with our lists. It truly makes a world of difference to the kids!”
Gaby Esparza Vasquez said, “I became an educator, specifically a bilingual educator to advocate for those kids that like me grow up in Spanish speaking homes.”
Sarah Williams teaches first-grade at Felty Elementary and wrote, “I’m a teacher because it was meant to be. I couldn’t not be a teacher. I love kids SO much. Teaching kids to read is pure MAGIC.”
Memory Scroggins Lawson became a teacher for one reason, to give back.
“I loved school when I was young and decided teaching was my passion. I now have four children, and my desire to be, to give, to love on kids in the classroom is that much stronger. Every child deserves a great teacher!”
Hannah Roberson is a first-year teacher and will start her career in education at Maypearl ISD.
“I became a teacher because my teachers met so many of my emotional needs growing up. They were always so encouraging and supportive, and I remember watching their love and kindness and wanting to be that to children someday. My teachers made me into the women I am today and taught me far more lessons than those covered by the TEKS. I am excited to be teaching in the district where I grew up among some of these men and women who inspired me and helped push me to pursue my dreams. Teachers are truly superheroes, and I cannot wait to love my students like my teachers loved me.”
Lindsey Crowell is a first-grade teacher at Milford and became an educator to make a difference in childrens’ lives.
Jessica Hinds teacher second-grade at Dunaway Elementary and became a teacher because it was something she always wanted to do.
Linda Nulisch wrote, “I decided to become a Bilingual Education teacher because I once was an English learner myself. I felt I could be a positive influence and encouragement for the children in my classroom.
Thank you so much for donating to our classrooms! We appreciate it so much!”
Vicki Jackson wrote, “I became a teacher because I had some amazing teachers growing up that set the bar high. They made such an impact that I wanted to do the same. Now I’m fortunate enough to work in the same district that I grew up in and with some of my teachers that were/are so special to me!”
Jennifer Valek Rucks wanted to be a teacher to make a difference.
Cheryl Bell wrote, “My reason for wanting to be a teacher has changed over the last several years. I started out wanting to be all things for all people. Today, I focus on my group for the year and pray, I can be what each kiddo needs.”
Lauren Burns Rodarte has been a paraprofessional for Waxahachie ISD for over four years and said her love for special education is strong.
“I firmly believe in the importance of the right placement and being the advocate for students and parents in Special Education!! I decided in 2017 to go back to college and finish what I started 12 years prior! I graduated this past May 2019 and landed my 1st teaching job at Life School Red Oak/Life Skills(dream job)! 1st-year teacher and anything is greatly appreciated!”
Nicole Jordan-Dunn is in her first year of teaching and is a single mother who teaches seventh-grade English language arts reading.
Ashley Forman became a teacher to motivate and inspire her students to be the best they can be each day.
“I want to motivate my students to be thinkers and leaders in society. I had amazing teachers at Red Oak ISD, and they inspired me to be the teacher I am today!”
John-Chrissy Stark Colwell is a fifth-grade teacher at Oliver E. Clift Elementary and wrote, “ I have always felt that teaching was my calling. I am starting my 33rd year, so I guess I was right. Thank you so much for helping the teachers across the county. That’s awesome!!!!”
Casey Smith Jacobs is a second-grade teacher who will begin her 11th year in education.
“ I decided to become a teacher after many positive role models I had at Red Oak ISD.”
Ami Mahone Stracener has been an educator for 22 years and wrote, “I became a teacher because I felt like all children can learn no matter what. I look forward to returning to the classroom this week and making a difference in my pre-k classroom.”
Astrid Maxon is a fifth-year educator and has taught third and second-grade.
Leslie Matthews is starting her 18th years of teaching fourth-grade math/science at Life School Red Oak Elementary.
“I wanted to become a teacher because of my 6th-grade teacher, Mrs. Qumbier, and my high school math teacher, Mr. Cahill. Both were huge influences in my life, and I wanted to make an impact in kids' lives like they did mine.”
Lauren Crawford teaches at Life School at Cedar Hill.
Kelly Luksa Ruiz teaches fourth-grade at Shackelford Elementary and wrote, “I always knew I wanted to be the kind of teacher that touches the hearts of their students and works hard to understand the unique qualities of all children. Over the last 16 years, I have realized I learn best when I am teaching others. I am blessed to be in a profession where I continue to learn and grow and hopefully bless others with a love for learning.”
Samantha Cervantes teaches inclusion at the kindergarten level in Ennis ISD and said her most important items are books because she loves to read to her students.
“I love to read, and I love to read to my babies,” Cervantes wrote.
This is Kristen Taylor’s fourth year to teach fourth grade at Shackelford Elementary and wrote, “I love teaching in the town I grew up in and graduated from. I became a teacher to make a difference and inspire the future generations of this great town.”
Tabitha Willborn teaches kindergarten at Maypearl Primary School and wrote, “There is nothing more rewarding than watching my kinder kiddos learn to read!”
Kareece Jett McKie will begin her 25th year as an educator and currently teaches third-grade at Felty Elementary. McKie knew immediately in the second-grade that she wanted to be a teacher.
“As a teacher, it’s my passion to encourage children to believe in themselves and to ignite a love for learning!”
She noted the two most important items on her list are the wireless microphone and the 18” stools for her guided reading table. The wireless microphone will be used to help present to the class, to answer questions and to lead discussions.
“Teaching in small groups helps me individualize my instruction and provides a place for students to take risks and grow,” McKie wrote. “Thank you for considering items from my list!”
Meloday Glass wrote, “My list is actually dwindling, thankfully, but the most important items are the learning games because they make a direct impact on students!”
Courtney Montelongo teaches prekindergarten special education inclusion at Ennis ISD. She wrote, “Some important items on my list include sensory toys used to help sometimes when my kiddos become overwhelmed or anxious. Thank you so much!”
Delta Morgan is in her 19th year at Milford ISD and has taught in the classroom for nine years. This year, she will teach kindergarten.
She wrote, “I became a teacher because I want to be a positive role model and be The Mrs. Jackson or Mrs. Little for those kiddos that need that someone to believe in them and push them to be the best they can be.”
Holly Hicks teaches at Coleman Junior High — https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1DKBE2WQITCTA?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR3AyXHrlz58CggY32AvwdEimFLj-iM8pPla2ZyQoCk3ftEzGUhNRo3OpTs
Shelbie Gilley Simon teaches English at Italy High and wrote, “I decided to become a teacher because I had several amazing teachers in high school who taught me the importance of life-long learning, and I want to inspire kids in the same way.”
Claudia Gutierrez is a bilingual teacher to inspire a love of learning in her students. She wrote, “I want to be a positive influence in their lives and help them believe they are capable of doing anything they set their mind on! Thank you for your support!”
Chelsea Colwell Lot teaches special education in all grade levels at Howard Junior High — https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/YNQ0IYZDHQ7Z?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR1XHCxoA_LVQaQRc2_a11cIiHILSpZkWKEa_PDgtE3oKYsYRTNjP5cKMoM
Heather McDonald said all she has ever wanted is to be a teacher.
She wrote, “I want to be a light to my students every day and show them the love that every child deserves. But truly they bless me more than I could ever bless them. Teaching is my heart! Any help with this wishlist would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!”
Kelsey Willingham Falls teaches kindergarten and prekindergarten in Ennis ISD. She wrote on her Amazon page, “I get to see EVERY Pre-K and Kinder student at our school and am fortunate that we have lots of fun things for our kids. These are a few extra items that we could also really use. If you would like to view the list and purchase something, it would be GREATLY appreciated by lots of sweet little faces and their teacher.”
Lisa Day Schriner — https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/34WTZAV0HE5BA?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR14LU4bTIZFoluaXxj7Tw5QCMcFGhiuKwTwsEgn4TQhmh1qDPcFdZ1eChY
Gena Rodriguez Lyon teaches second-grade and gifted and talented classes at Avalon ISD. She wrote, “My most important items on my list are the STEM and robotics! We are trying to bring in more technology and something new for our small school classrooms! Please help clear my list! THANKS!!!!”
Kim Kim became a teacher hoping to show children their worth and value and what love and care looks like.
Kim wrote, “I had some of the most influential teachers growing up, and they forever have been in my heart! I want to impress love and good in the hearts of the children I grow to love each year!”
Michelle Hatch teaches pre-kindergarten in Red Oak ISD, and is all about technology but also putting real authentic literature and tactical objects to manipulate and explore.
“They need social skills and exploration not something that is just going to keep them busy or quiet,” she wrote. “Technology is all good when it’s being used in the right way but my list is literature and things they can create with or physically use so anything would be a tremendous help.”
Jessica Chambliss is in her sixth year with Waxahachie ISD and was influenced by two teachers, and thanked them for getting her through adversity as a child. She wrote, “I wanted to pay that forward and help my students not only in math but to also help them in life and build character.”
Amanda Robertson Pierson is in her sixth year to teach first-grade and her third year teaching in Waxahachie ISD.
She wrote, “I became a teacher because of the amazing teachers I had in elementary school. I love teaching my sweet munchkins to read and to read for fun!”
Pierson noted the most important items on her list are zipper pencil bags and the magnetic number line.
Lindsay Savala teaches health sciences at Waxahachie High and became a teacher to give other students the opportunities that were graciously given to her and to provide a solid foundation for students to start a medical career.
Krystal Cortez is in her 14th year in education and currently teaches math enrichment at Finley Junior High. The items on her list will be utilized in small-group, hands-on instruction.
Paige Rogers is a content mastery paraprofessional with her own classroom in Red Oak ISD. She wrote, “Flexible seating options are huge for our special education students. I am lacking a few seat options from my list. Thank you SO much.”
Dawn Rickman is an 11th-year educator and teaches English and reading at Coleman Junior High. She wrote, “Education is a calling for me, specifically middle school kids. I love to share my passion for reading!”
Karen Bennett is a 24th-year teacher and currently teaches middle school science.
“As a single mom, things are always tight especially this year when my toddler starts daycare for the first time,” Bennett wrote. “I’ve had to change rooms and try to get a new room ready for my science students. I want them to feel welcome and make my room more inviting.”
Sabrina Swindle Callison is a self-contained special education behavior teacher for students in kindergarten through fifth-grade. This is her fifth year in Waxahachie, “and my umpteenth year as a teacher. A lot of students have experienced some sort of trauma in their young lives and need extra help dealing with it. I love all my students more than they will ever know!”
Lora Money Lockamy is in her sixth year teaching special education, and this will be her first time teaching special education at the prekindergarten level.
She wrote, “I am so excited to start this new year and the power of play and learning through play is so incredibly important for these littles!”
Whitney Wright Laza is a 14th-year educator and currently teaches kindergarten at Felty Elementary.
“I originally wanted to teach because of my love for those with special needs,” Laza wrote. “I teach kindergarten, and it is my passion! I’ve loved being able to meet every kiddo where THEY are, and what’s best is how much I have grown myself! There’s nothing like getting to teach in the town where you were born and raised! Thank you for supporting all of us teachers!!”
Megan Pcheco teaches third-grade at Dunaway Elementary, and wrote, “I chose to become an educator because children have always been my passion, and I want to make a difference in the lives of others!”
Terri Hill Morton is in her seventh year to teach first-grade, and wrote, “My most desired item would be the wireless doorbell or digital bookmark so that my kiddos can time their reading.”
Angela Thomas teaches at Red Oak High and shared that her student council officers especially want waffle irons to host monthly breakfasts for different student and teacher groups. Items on her list will contribute toward homecoming, special education students, veterans and teacher appreciation.
“I teach and work to build-up student leaders because I want to create a positive culture at our school in which students feel school spirit in the form of kindness from others and a true sense of empathy on our campus,” Thomas wrote.
Ivette Gdv moved to Texas from Puerto Rico seven years ago and has served as a bilingual teacher since then.
“It has been an honor served this community and help students to overcome any social and academic challenge is my goal,” Gdv wrote. “Teaching them how to embrace their culture and languages is a rewarding experience! Some of the items in my list will help my students develop their literacy and social skills. I would be grateful of any help you can provide us! Thanks!”
Abby Bradbury is in her fifth-year teaching kindergarten for Ennis ISD, and wrote, “ I became a teacher because I simply LOVE kids. Especially my kinder babies! I love having the opportunity to lay the beginning foundations for the rest of their education. The things that they learn academically, socially, emotionally, etc. in my classroom set them up for the rest of their educational experience! On top of it all it’s just so fun!!”
Amanda Stapp is in her eighth-year teaching and currently teaches prekindergarten in Palmer ISD.
Erin Davis Williams teaches fourth-grade in Waxahachie ISD and decided to be a teacher at a very young age. Williams always wanted to make a positive impact in the world, and becoming a teacher was perfect to do so.
“Teaching has been more magical and exciting than I EVER thought possible,” Williams wrote. “The students I have the privilege of teaching become my kids. Not just for one year, but forever. I believe building relationships with my kids helps them achieve their goals. It warms my heart when my kids come back year after year to visit.”
Trish Serna teacher first grade in Ennis ISD — https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1TQXSHL2YBEGB?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR0wMIanXLLv3VX5UIVE1eEiHDTQIfuKl2RFthUYNEwoC3BRnf6DG-dB2S0
April Velazquez teaches 4 and 5-year-olds in Red Oak at a private preschool.
“I didn't fall in love with education or even had any intentions of becoming a teacher until my oldest child started public school in 2012,” Velazquez explained. “I started out as Room Mom, then volunteering in the classroom, joined PTA, then became a substitute teacher in 2014. That year I also got my Paraprofessional certification.”
Kaile Rawls Lowery teaches biology at Waxahachie High and loves science and had the opportunity to study biomedicine across the globe.
“Because I’m a science teacher Lysol wipes and gloves are something we go through pretty quickly with the amount of labs that we do,” Lowery explained. “Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you for your support!!!!”
Julie Ballard will start her 26th year as a kindergarten teacher in Waxahachie ISD and said education was her calling.
“I don't remember a day of my life that I didn't know I'd be a teacher -- in fact, I always knew I was meant for kindergarten,” she wrote. “I can't describe how much it means to teach where I was born, raised, and went to school myself (and where my mother taught Freshman English)! The past 8 years I've been at Clift Elementary, and have been so blessed to work under such excellent leaders, and with such amazing kids and families! Best part is still teaching with the team I started with!!! I would love if someone could #clearthelist for me!! My kids deserve it!!! “
Khristy Rouw Hullettt became a teacher because she loves kids, theater, and helping students kind their place and passion. She wrote, “ I really need the pencil sharpener, the ceiling hooks, and the caddies. Thank you, Waxahachie Daily Light!!”
Chris Burkhalter teaches in Waxahachie ISD and became a teacher because he wanted to help his students learn to think for themselves.
Kelli Mack Whicker teaches third-grade in Rd Oak and wanted to be an educator since kindergarten.
Debbie Mathers teaches second-grade in Maypearl ISD and “became a teacher because I wanted to motivate and inspire my students! Not all students learn the same and I want to be that teacher that keeps encouraging them until they get it! The reward of seeing that moment is why I love teaching!”
Kim Abbey Evans is in her 23rd year as an educator and spent the past 19 in Milford ISD and currently teaches second-grade.
“I teach because I was called to do so, I'm in Milford because The Lord brought me here,” she wrote. “I teach for the AHA moment and to be a bright, loving light in a child's life each and every day. What I would like most of if my list now are the laminated sheet protectors or the light buzzers. But actually, anything off my list would be greatly appreciated!”
Jennifer Mullins teaches 600 fourth, fifth and sixth-grade music students at Lummus Intermediate.
“I became an educator so I can share the joy, relaxation, and many benefits of music to my students,” Mullins wrote. “I am particularly working in a goal of knowledge of the different genres (kinds) of music and music from around the world. I have added many books to the list that would greatly engage the students in learning more about these topics, but all items on the list would be appreciated greatly.”
Tracey Shortnacy McKee teaches fourth-grade at Vitovsky Elementary and wanted to be a teacher since she was in elementary school herself.
“But life (marriage and children) sent me down a different path,” McKee wrote. “I quit a 20-year career with the same company 2 yrs ago after working full time and going back to school to complete my degree. I am starting my 2nd year of teaching at the ripe age of 50!”
Raechelle Fuller Ivy teaches elementary self-contained special needs in Waxahachie and wrote, “Love my job! Hoping to have these amazing things to bless my angels! I have been a teacher for 25 years. I moved to special ed 6 years ago because God told me to get out of my comfort zone. My class motto is ALL JOY; ALL THE TIME.”
Kris Garrison “chose to be an educator because of my love for children and my love for being a positive influence in their lives.”
Angela Bixby “became a teacher to pay forward all the love and support I received as a kid. ‘Be the teacher you needed growing up.’”
Jennifer Clifton Morehouse is a special education prekindergarten teacher in Waxahachie. She wrote, “I absolutely love my job and working with the littles. I have found that all children can be successful; however, each child’s success is as unique as their DNA.”
Myranda Cope is in her 11th year in education and currently serves in special education in Waxahachie ISD with prekindergarten students.
“I believe in the power of INCLUSION! I believe in the magic of new discoveries, and I have seen first-hand the importance of early childhood education and early intervention,” Cope wrote. “For this reason, and so many more, I am a teacher...but my students teach me something new/raw/real about life every day! My items are listed in order of priority, but there are many items on my list for classroom management, sensory integration, fine motor development, and social skills training. I love tiny humans!!”
Lanie Montgomery is a prekindergarten ESL teacher in Ennis and noted she would love books or STEM building activities.
Anna Collett and her husband are both junior high teacher are currently taking foster-to-adopt classes. She wrote, “Every bit of our extra finances is going to get our home ready to help children in need, so any help would be appreciated!”
Kelsie Shelton is a special education teacher and is in her seventh year teaching. She wrote, “I’ve always wanted to have a career helping others and discovered a passion working with kids. I enjoy helping them see their success and build confidence in their abilities.”
Chelsea Lane said she had amazing teachers and great experiences all the way through school and wanted to make sure her students had the same awesome experience and love for education.
Items on Sueanna Adamcik will help her extend lessons in the gym.
Brittany Reid Hardwick is a third-grade teacher and is in her ninth year of teaching.
“I love to give my students hands-on experiences and let them learn through creativity and discovery, so I have several STEM- based activity items and books on my lists that my students will love,” Hardwick wrote.
Jennifer Doherty teaches students with Dyslexia for Ennis ISD, and wrote, “My passion is reading, and I want to help those that struggle with it. I would love to have my seating options cleared. Students who struggle tend to be anxious and having choices on where and how they learn creates a more positive environment.”
Erin Bray teaches third-grade and wrote, “I teach math, science and social studies and am trying to build my class library with books about math, science and famous people from history and the present.”
Jennifer Rust wrote, “I originally wanted to be a child social worker, but I realized I wouldn’t be able to deal with the heartbreak. While working part-time in Red Oak High School’s library, I realized teaching was my true passion. This school year will be my first year teaching, and I will be helping 7th graders learn Texas History. I am so excited!”
Romie Kelley lives in Waxahachie and is a sixth-grade science teacher at a title one school in Dallas.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I was helping out in the church nursery as a middle school student,” Kelley wrote. “Love kids and especially seeing their faces light up when they learn something new.”
Presley Wallace is in her second year teaching seventh and eighth-grade English language arts at Red Oak ISD. She is also planning a wedding for next month and said anything would help and has several items under $10.
Angie Johnson is in her fouth year teaching English at Red Oak High and wrote, “The Jenga on my list corresponds with a few class activities I do to help with comprehension and would be great replacements for what I’m working with now. The furniture/homey items will improve my flexible seating layout in my classroom. I’ve already scavenged and begged for the several pieces of furniture I have in there already. My students love being able to sit on a couch near a lamp and read or gather around a coffee table for group work. I teach because I believe it’s important for kids to grow up as critical thinkers and be compassionate to people from other experiences.”
Kara Jackson Hubbard is a first-grade teacher at Palmer Elementary and wrote, “ I became a teacher because my dyslexia teacher showed me I was not dumb and I could do anything. I want to pass this wonderful gift on to students!!! Thanks so much!”
Jennifer Deleon teaches first-grade at Northside Elementary and wrote, “I became a teacher 17 years ago because of my 3rd-grade teacher whom I will never forget. She was the best, and I wanted to be just like her. I hope to be that example to my students.”
Carla Sylvester Rhodes wrote, "I've always wanted to be a teacher from a very young age. I love kids, and the best thing is seeing the little light bulbs go off! I would love to get the headphones on my list!”
Tiffany Pearson Munoz is in her 10th year teaching and wrote, “I became a teacher because I had some amazing teachers and coaches that really went beyond the content and made an impact on my life. Teaching 2nd grade is my calling! (Fun fact: I teach in the same elementary school that I attended as a student!) I will use these materials to create fun and engaging lessons and transform my room. Who says rigorous learning can’t be fun?!?”
Breelyn Wright helps young people express themselves and is in her third year as an art teacher at Waxahachie High.
Brandi McCroskey Richeson is a 23-year educator and teaches fourth-grade math and science.
“ I got into teaching for the love of kids and because I had teachers, who to this day, are an inspiration to me. I love helping my student prepare for the real world while making learning fun!”
Nikki Furgerson teaches general employability skills for health science and became an educator because, “I want to help kids realize their potential and show them how impactful a career and or trade can be in their future.”
Rachel Lyon is in her first year teaching and will start with a third-grade classroom. She “became a teacher because I wanted to make an impact on them just as the teachers I had growing up in Waxahachie. My kindergarten teacher Mrs. Ray at Marvin had the biggest impact on my life, and I just want to pay it forward. She made learning fun, and I would like to do the same thing.”
Jarrica Rene Mills teaches kindergarten in Red Oak ISD and, “became a teacher to help kids learn to love learning. I had an amazing teacher that helped when I struggled and showed me so many different ways that would help my little dyslexic brain. I love seeing that light bulb moment.”
Myriam Cortez is starting her second year in education as a prekindergarten bilingual teacher.
“I was studying to become a nurse however, due to life circumstances, I had to change my plans. I wanted to work in an area where I could help others. I decided to become a teacher and absolutely love being one. I grew up in a bilingual household, therefore, I understand the importance of being able to learn in both languages, but I also know that was not always an option. I am so glad that I am able to help students regain confidence in themselves by teaching in a language that is familiar to them. I have had so many great teachers that helped me get to where I am now, and I am fortunate enough to be able to do the same for my students.”
Lindsey McDowra is a first-grade teacher and would love some flexible seating or the fat brain stem bin.
Kristy Farr is in her 15th year as an educator and currently serves as a kindergarten through fifth-grade special education teacher at Northside Elementary.
“I am trying to build a sensory room and increase my flexible seating options to give my students the best environment they can have,” Farr wrote. “So really, anything off the list would be fabulous! Thanks for all the support!!!! The kids deserve to have the best and with the community's help they will!”
Brianna Yrigoyen is a first-grade teacher and would love some flexible seating or stem bins.
Melissa Harwell teaches kindergarten in Waxahachie and wrote, “I don’t actually remember ‘deciding’ to become a teacher. I just always knew that I would, even way back when I was little, “playing school” with my younger nieces, using my blue Smurf chalkboard. Of course, I was always the teacher! My husband would tell you that it’s my “bossiness” that led me to teaching. My most desired things on my list would be wireless headphones or items for the homemade light table that my husband made for my classroom! If I were to dream really BIG, I would love to have the math stacker blocks at the very bottom of my list!”
Molly Hale is in her seventh year as an educator and is in her first year in Waxahachie. “I love teaching math because I can help students see that it's really not as scary as they think it is,” Hale wrote.
Kathleen Hoggatt lives in Ellis County and teaches in Lancaster and is in her 25th year teaching.
“I dreamed of being a teacher from an early age,” Hoggatt wrote. “It is my passion and mission to love on my babies from pre-k to 5th grade and grow tech savvy and safe children. My most desired items would be the coding bots so we can learn coding in a fun way.”
Sarah Melissa Hagemann is a first-year middle school teacher and became a math teacher because “I had an amazing math teacher who made math ‘click’ for me. I want to pass that on.”
Liz McCullough teaches fifth-grade math and science at Marvin Elementary and, “became a teacher to share my LOVE of math. Math can be so much fun when you understand the WHY things work and can become flexible with numbers. Everyone thinks math is so black and white -solve to get an answer. But there are so many ways to get there and its so fun to hear all the different ways.”
Kristen Sweeney is a fifth-grade teacher at Vitovsky Elementary.
Amy McCleskey is in her 17th year as an educator and “wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. I played school all the time at home. I love my job and find it very rewarding!” She added, “ Some things on my list I really need are the soon mind building system, kinetic sand, squigz by far brain toys and magnetic tiles. My students would use these in STEAM stations daily. Any help in purchasing things for my classroom would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your help!”
Monica Espedal is a speech-language pathologist and, “ love helping children develop their communication skills! I have always wanted to work with children and am so lucky to work with both elementary and junior high students!”
Amy Williams McChesney teaches first-grade and has dreamed of being a teacher since she was in elementary. “I would come home from school and teach my little sister (by only a year) everything I had learned that day. I fell in love with sharing knowledge,” McChesney wrote.
Camille Tuttle wrote, “I think I just always wanted to be a teacher. I said it as a little girl when my dad became a teacher, and I stuck with it. Now I get to teach with my dad. I put lots of things on my list for when we are stuck indoors for recess!”
Mark Slider is a music teacher and needs help sharing his love for music.
Jada Garrett Farmer is a speech pathologist and “ works with children teaching them to communicate and learn to comprehend language, especially through books and literacy. Please help add books and supplies for my classroom.”
Leigha Taylor teaches to change lives.
Anna Melton wanted to be a history teacher since she watched her father teach eighth-grade. Melton wrote, “Follow this up with a high school history teacher who challenged me, and I was made for teaching! I enjoy giving my students the opportunity to teach themselves and each other, letting them be them to help them learn!”
Elizabeth Shurtleff is a fourth-grade math and science teacher in Waxahachie and is going into her 15th year in education.
Kimberly Barela has taught middle school science for five years and is constantly learning new and innovative teaching styles.
“I am one that is constantly thinking outside the box and wanting to make my classroom somewhere every student feels safe and is always looking forward to coming to class,” Barela wrote. “I always try to keep the question, "Would I want to be a student in my classroom?" in mind while planning and getting things ready for the new school year. I would love any help or donations for the items on my Amazon wishlist.”
Natalie Lonon will be in her fifth-year teaching first-grade in Ennis.
“I love children and reading,” Lonon wrote. “I have always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. The items still on my list are items that I need and would help implement learning stations in my classroom. I have already spent too much money on my classroom this month to buy anything else.”
Lindsey Camacho is in her seventh year teaching fifth-grade in Waxahachie and became a teacher because of her amazing elementary teachers.
“Those teachers believed in me, encouraged me, and made me feel like I could be anything I wanted to be or do anything I wanted to do,” Camacho elaborated. “I want my students to feel the way those teachers made me feel.”
Allison Daniel is in her third year teaching fourth-grade and wrote, “I teach because there is nothing better than seeing the look on a child’s face when they grasp a new concept, and know for sure that someone believes in them. My most needed item is glue sticks and highlighters.”
Anna Vo Le is a third-grade teacher and is in her 11th year in education.
“Please consider donating some books or supplies to my classroom (especially paper). We had a paper shortage last year and would appreciate all your help,” Le elaborated.
Amparito Ramirez is in her first year teaching and gave a shout out to “All of the Teachers who have impacted my life taught me more than the subject of their class. I learned patience, kindness, how to lead and how to follow when needed. All this and more is the reason I decided to become a teacher. To teach students how to be themselves and have confidence.”
Nikki Thompson is in her 10th year of education and, “I became a teacher because of the teachers I had in my life. They taught me so much more than just their subject, and they continue to invest in my life! I want to be that kinda teacher for my students.”
Donna Tabor Freeman is an eighth-grade science teacher at Howard Junior High and went into education to make a difference.
“I had multiple teachers in the family and thought why not,” she wrote. “I have taught many years and each year I adjust for the new students. The items on my list will help run a smooth, interactive and interesting class.”
Kristen Hughes is a dual language kindergarten teacher and teaches to make a positive difference in the community.
“I love helping kids love learning and building relationships with students and their families,” Hughes wrote. “The chart stand is my most important item on my list because it will help me interact and share stories with my students. Thank you for the opportunity to share my list!”
Robert Kaylee Ensor wrote, “I am creating this list for my students. This year's students, next year's students, and so on. I plan on ordering items regularly from my own list as presents throughout the year for my students. If I receive a gift, I will wait and let them open it with me. Each year, I will also allow my students to help build the list.”
Leslie Moon wrote, “The most important items on my list are the food-related items and books. I work at a Title 1 school and therefore, our students come with little! These items will help them be more successful humans in life.”
Holly Hix has just a few more items on her list.
Kourtney Rainey is in her 13th year teaching first-grade and is excited to be joining Felty Elementary.
Jenny Chadwick — https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/WC372EJ94RXY?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR2a-BmGwJlHN2p7jCcmoSkDuEbIiEIqkSeHtiQ1MXPRySKtt0wkqQkqSgQ
Aziza Hammad is in her first year teaching and wanted to become an educator to inspire the future generations of America.
“I believe teaching is one of the professions that help shape the future of our world,” Hammad wrote. “Our kids need love, knowledge, support, and motivation to become all that I know they can be. I will be teaching at a Title I campus, and 90% of our students are kiddos from poverty. My students and I will appreciate any contribution coming our way. Please help me make this year amazing for my soon to be third graders!!!”
Haleigh Araujo “wanted to become a teacher to make a difference in the lives of students! It’s not just about math and science, but molding productive citizens who are prepared to enter the real world!”
Lexi Taylor — https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1S1W5R1FZ9UZF?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR0umBHvbc9UiYpXeVmgFAXrJSoorwkFd_wkbvLWdFsMyWcosRHn7AFbu2E
Angie McClain is starting her 14th year as a kindergarten through fifth-grade technology teacher in Waxahachie ISD. “I became a teacher to help kids learn to love learning and Technology. Please consider helping #clearmylist.”
Christina Carpenter became a teacher because she wanted to work with kids and knew becoming a special education teacher was her calling.
Tamara Quintana Garcia is a pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade special ESL teacher in Mesquite and is in her sixth year. “I love helping students in all elementary grades be successful wherever they currently are at linguistically and academically. Every day is different, and it is an exciting challenging role. I love what I do!”
Hannah Galbreath is in her ninth year teaching middle school science, two STEM classes and is a Science Olympiad coach. “I became a teacher because I can't imagine doing anything else. I have the greatest job in the world.”
Sarah Manning Riffle is going into her fourth year teaching prekindergarten. “I just want to give my kids the best start to their educational career and provide a safe environment to learn,” she wrote.
Sarah Heugatter is a second-grade teacher in Midlothian. “I became a teacher out of my love for kids and some amazing teachers I had that made me want to make a difference. I appreciate any help in making this year the best for my future second graders!”
Colby Harris is a junior high special education teacher in Waxahachie and would love any resources to help students have items needed for school.
Lindsey Crowell is a first-grade teacher at Milford ISD.
Kim Abbey Evans is a second-grade teacher at Milford ISD.
Rebecca Simmons King is a first-year teacher and just got an elementary life skills class in Waxahachie.
Alicia Timberman Baggett is a seventh-grade reading and English teacher at Ennis Junior High. “ At a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Growing up, I had many teachers that positively influenced my life and inspired me daily to be the best that I could be. I wanted to be able to do the same! I am passionate about what I do, and I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to teach and make an impact on the youth of my beloved community.”
Mischa Wadsworth is a fifth-grade teacher in Midlothian and, “I became an educator because of my Art teacher, she noticed I was struggling with some things and told me to turn the ugly into something beautiful on paper. I can only hope that I am able to influence a child as she did me.”
Shareena Pena teaches kindergarten and is ready for a new school year.
Stacy Keyte wrote, “I started my journey as an educator later in life. God had plans for me to do other things before teaching, and everything fell perfectly into place when I was blessed to begin my teaching career and find myself at Longbranch in Midlothian. I want to make a difference to not only the kids that I work with but all of those that I interact with. I love what I do. I am happy with anything on my list or a similar item if a better deal is found.”
Kristin Grace is a high school science and CTE teacher at Waxahachie High. “I teach because I love to make learning fun and as relevant as possible for students. I love seeing kids who once believed they couldn’t do something excelling in class and being invested in the learning. Having a student tell you ‘the test was hard, but I kept hearing your voice in my head’ keeps me going. I heart my students.”
Vanesa Saravia Mora is a mother of four and is in her 13th year of education with this being her fifth as a two-way dual language kindergarten teacher.
“I believe that a strong educational foundation would help children love school and be confident in their own learning. I would love to incorporate legos and technology to allow ALL children the opportunity to create projects thru playing and building and to teach how we can use ChatterKid and green screen with iPads. Thank you for your love, support and prayers. Love living in Waxahachie!!”
Stephanie Spriggs Rieper is an algebra, geometry teacher with Waxahachie ISD and is a fourth-generation educator.
“I love the moment when my belief in a student becomes their belief in themselves. I work each year to help students discover abilities and experience successes that many have decided will never be their own. I also love the relationships that I build and how those relationships have a way of showing up years after they started. I'm Mama R to so many that just fill my heart. I am also incredibly proud to serve at my Alma Mater.”
Miranda Janssen teaches eighth-grade and “became a teacher because I had teachers who were there for me when I was a kid. Another person besides my mom to give me life advice. I want to be there for kids when they need or want it. My greatest need on my list is the group folders. The group folder is to be able to put work aside for pulling groups and working with students.”
Susan Sayen teaches eighth-grades at Coleman Junior High and will contribute her list for the eighth-grade science team.
“We would love to be able to do labs daily, but they tend to get rather expensive. Hayley Newsom and I work very hard to make science fun and safe. The list consists of many items for labs as well as safety goggles and aprons. Thank you for you support!!!”
Rebecca Simmons King is a first-year teacher at Life Skills in elementary and said the most important items on her list are “ lined paper, pencils, and highlighters to help our young ones learn to correctly write letters and numbers. Thank you for your help.”
Hollie Robinson is an English teacher at Midlothian Heritage High and wrote, “We lack contemporary books that students can actually relate to. The most important items on my list are the novels. I hope to give students some choice in their reading rather than forcing the same old stuff on them over and over again. My objective is to start book clubs in my classes.”
Lindsay Rogers Hardee is a life skills teacher and wrote, “Each day I not only teach these beautiful mind, but they teach me something as well! There are so many things we need to keep our students engaged and excited about learning. One of the things we need most is sensory items such as squishy balls, to fidget items and more. I hope to have a great school year with teachers and paraprofessionals I love!”
Dusti McNew Stewart teaches practical writing, “which is a remediation class for students that need support to pass the EOC exams, and my kids use their journals to collect, organize, and practice literary skills and strategies necessary to pass those exams. However, I lose a lot of time the first month of school trying to get lessons started while I wait for students to all get their notebooks, so having them at the beginning of the year would be amazing!!”
Lindsey McDowra would love some extra books and snacks for her classroom.
Julie Naizer is a first-grade teacher and, “I would like wobble stools to help the kids have a choice of different seating options. I would love to be blessed with new things and supplies for my classroom. Please help me clear my list!”
Myranda Cope has taught in Waxahachie for eight years and wrote, “I became a teacher because I saw the importance of early intervention in my nephew’s life, and I wanted to share that with others. The most important items on my list are my sensory items because they allow my students to learn how to calm down when they are upset and self-regulate.”
Alma Briseno Valle has always wanted to be a teacher and decided to be a bilingual teacher to help students connect with what they learn.
Rae Kinsala Whitehead teaches art at Coleman Junior High and is in her 13th year in education. “I love sharing my passion for art with my students, and showing them that even if they feel like they “can’t draw well,” there are so many ways that they can create meaningful art and feel good about what they can accomplish,” she wrote.
Amanda Wright Grammer — https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/9IGCAXNXDDDM?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR14LU4bTIZFoluaXxj7Tw5QCMcFGhiuKwTwsEgn4TQhmh1qDPcFdZ1eChY