2021 Appreciated Teacher Award Nominations


2021 Appreciated Teacher Awards

As a teacher’s credit union, one of the many ways we demonstrate our support and gratitude for educators is through our Appreciated Teacher Awards. This is a recognition program that commends outstanding teachers within our field of membership, which now includes all districts and accredited schools in Texas. For our 2021 Appreciated Teacher Awards, we received 1,300 nominations from over 167 different school districts across the state of Texas. A committee composed of credit union management team members selected five finalists from all the nominations received, who are listed below.

The finalist with the most votes will be awarded the title of Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union’s 2021 Appreciated Teacher of the Year and receive a $2,500 grand prize. The remaining finalists will receive a $500 honorarium. The 2021 Appreciated Teacher of the Year will be announced the week of May 17, 2021.

2021 Appreciated Teacher Award Finalists

1. Margaret Olivarez- Pflugerville ISD

Mrs. Olivarez is a 3rd Bilingual teacher at Copperfield Elementary. In her time as an educator for Pflugerville ISD, Ms. Olivarez has initiated many programs that have benefited her campus and students greatly. Here is what one of her colleagues had to say, “I am so grateful for the opportunity to nominate Mrs. Margaret Olivarez as GCEFCU’s 2021 Appreciated Teacher Award. Mrs. Olivarez has touched the lives of not only our students but our faculty and community as well. Mrs. Olivarez initiated many programs designed to encourage and inspire students to Dream Big!” If you think Ms. Olivarez should be this year’s Appreciated Teacher of the Year, be sure to click on her name below and vote for her today.

2. Arlevia Davis- Mansfield ISD

Mrs. Davis is a Science teacher at Legacy High School. She is well-known for her ability to create songs that aid her students in learning new material. Additionally, she has a YouTube channel that has allowed her to accumulate over 1k subscribers. We received 5 different nominations for her. Here is what one of her colleagues had to say, “Mrs. Davis sparks life into her freshman biology classes. She shows her passion not just for teaching, but also for learning, in the way she pours herself into her work. She is thinking beyond upcoming tests. She is pushing her students to be prepared for college exams, for assignments and projects at work, for any challenge in life that will require thought, work, and good old trial and error.” If you want to help Mrs. Davis win, click on her name down below and vote for her today.

3. Terri Pitts- North East ISD

Ms. Pitts is currently the PE teacher at Colonial Hills Elementary. During her time as an educator, she has accomplished several wonderful things for her campus such as: implementing and coordinating school health, starting a community garden, a Kids School Health Advisory Council, and an action-based learning lab. She is always seeking ways to help her students and campus and it is evident through her actions. Here is what one of her colleagues had to say about her, “Terri Pitts is a great educator!  She teaches K-5th PE/Health at our school.  She has never missed a day of school this past year.  She has stepped up in so many ways to make our campus and community better. When she is not busy teaching students all day and then going home and doing virtual teaching, she uses her conference time to tutor struggling students.” To help Ms. Pitts win, click on her name below and vote for her today.

4. Akash Patel- Dallas ISD

Mr. Patel teaches Spanish/World Languages and is the LPAC Chair at Ignite Middle School. He is a well-traveled Spanish teacher. Recognized by the State Department of Education & the Multicultural Education Institute as the Teacher of the Month and the Multicultural Teacher of the year. He also created a Global Connect database – Happy World Foundation – a nonprofit he founded. He was featured on International Literacy Association’s 30 under 30 list and also World’s top 50 teachers and shortlisted as a finalist for the $1 million Global Teacher Prize. It is apparent that through all of his accomplishments Mr. Patel strives to be an exceptional teacher and mentor for his students. To help Mr. Patel win, click on his name down below and vote for him today.

5. Cathy Knauff- Klein ISD

Mrs. Knauff is the CTE – Engineering, Electronics, Video Game Design teacher at Klein Cain High School. She heads the Klein Cain Family Services in addition to helping students find vocational jobs. She was nominated for the Presidential Award for excellence in mathematics and science and although she was unable to complete the process, she is so deserving of this recognition for all her efforts in aiding her students. Here is what one of her colleagues had to say, “She loves to teach those children who may be the “hardest to reach” by building relationships with them ensuring they know their worth and value in life. She works closely with all the Cainselors at Klein Cain to help students with their credit recovery to be successful and sets expectations and goals with them so that they WILL graduate.” Mrs. Knauff is a dedicated and selfless educator that is always going above and beyond for her students. If you want to help Mrs. Knauff win, click on her name down below and vote for her today.