Recognizing 30 and 35 Year Service Honorees
The Coppell ISD Board of Trustees recognized the district’s 30 and 35 year service award recipients at the June 22 Board Meeting.
Teachers Cyndi Carlton (Mockingbird), Tammy Mandel (Denton Creek) and Bill Parker (CHS), as well as Alex Zuniga (Service Center) were honored for 30 years of service to CISD. CHS Principal Laura Springer was honored for 35 years of service to the district.
Carlton teaches Kindergarten at Mockingbird Elementary. She says when she was hired to teach at the original Richard J. Lee Elementary, then Superintendent Buddy Echols took all the new hires around town in his Suburban to show them the schools and to meet the administrators.
“We were a tight group, who grew up together,” she says.
For Ms. Carlton, authentic relationships are the backbone of her teaching philosophy. Once a child is in her class family, they will always be a part of her life. She has been to weddings, births, graduations and, unfortunately, even funerals.
“Every student I teach has impacted me as much as I have impacted them. I want my students to always remember their kindergarten teacher, as one who loved them, taught them, had fun with them, and knew who they were inside and out,” Carlton says. “I also want them to remember my smile and my positivity.”
Trustee David Caviness said during the meeting, “Ms. Carlton, we all will remember your smile and positivity, as well as your love for your students, your fellow teachers and your CISD family. We are so grateful that you have chosen CISD as your teaching home for the past 30 years.”
Mandel teaches Kindergarten at Denton Creek Elementary. She says CISD has been a right fit for her for 30 years, because the district puts taking care of children first. Mandel began her CISD teaching career at Austin Elementary before becoming a founding teacher at Denton Creek Elementary when it opened 23 years ago.
She says that CISD has grown and changed a lot in her 30 years. Yet, what has remained the same is that the district is one big family, where once you meet someone, there is a connection, which lasts a lifetime.
Mandel loves her students and enjoys inspiring them and being inspired herself. She shares that years ago, when she assigned students to draw a picture of their hero, a student named Samantha drew a picture of Mandel. Samantha said Mrs. Mandel was her hero because she worked hard to help Samantha learn.
Mandel kept that picture, and it hangs in her classroom to this day to remind her that she may be someone else's hero. Samantha is currently a Sergeant in the U.S. Army serving our country, as well as being a mother to her own child. Mandel says, “Now, Samantha is my hero.”
Trustee Manish Sethi said at the meeting, “Mrs. Mandel, I want to thank you for being a hero to your students and part of the CISD family for the past 30 years.”
Bill Parker teaches Outdoor Education and physical education at Coppell High School and was its “Teacher of the Year” for the 2017-2018 school year.
According to Parker, Coppell ISD chose him to teach here 30 years ago, and he is sure glad that the district did. He says working in CISD means working in a safe environment, where kids can learn and flourish. Moving from teaching woodshop to teaching outdoor adventures and physical education, his goal is to make education fun, while also imparting wisdom and learning more about who his students are today, and who they want to be tomorrow.
His greatest joy in teaching is to encounter former students who thank him for being their teacher and helping them be successful in life.
Board Secretary, Trustee Nichole Bentley said at the meeting, “Mr. Parker, I want to join in this expression of gratitude and thank you for being a teacher in CISD for 30 years and helping our students learn, grow and thrive.”
Alex Zuniga serves as a Groundskeeper Lead at the CISD Service Center.
Zuniga has enjoyed working for the district and the community of Coppell for three decades. He says he has gotten to know many very good people and has made lots of friends along the way. Zuniga is most proud of his role in maintaining and taking care of our district's athletic fields and facilities.
Zuniga is extremely dedicated to taking care of these fields all year-round and holds himself and his team to a high standard of excellence. He says what he enjoys most about his job is working with his co-workers, our coaches and watching our students compete in all types of sports on the fields he works so hard to make and keep safe for them.
Zuniga says he loves working in Coppell ISD and hopes to continue to work here for many years to come.
Board President Trustee Thom Hulme said at the meeting, “Alex, I want to thank you for 30 years of hard work in Coppell ISD and share that we appreciate all the work you do for us. Thank you and congratulations.”
Coppell High School Principal Laura Springer has served CISD for 35 years.
Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt said at the June 22 meeting, “Whether it is as a coach, teacher, assistant principal or principal, or friend, colleague, supervisor, or mentor, we all know that no matter the title, Laura Springer has a huge heart for kids. She is their biggest fan, toughest critic, tireless champion and loudest advocate for helping our children become the best they can be.”
This video from Principal Springer was shared at the Board Meeting: go.coppellisd.com/Springer35.
Dr. Hunt said, “Laura Springer, it is my and our Board’s extreme honor and privilege to recognize and thank you for 35 years of dedicated service to CISD. I know that there are so many of our children who are now adults who are still here, thriving and being successful in their lives because of you and the love you gave them. Thank you and congratulations for 35 years at CISD.”