Congratulations to Teacher of the Year Kate Kairies Schenck '97 and Susie Murray, this year's Hal and Joann Tehan Award recipient.
The prestigious awards were presented at Ursuline's annual end-of-year luncheon.
The Teacher of the Year is a peer-nominated award for someone who serves as a role model for students and models 21st century learning skills and teaching tools.
Schenck just completed her first year as Ursuline's English Department Chair. She cares deeply for her students and puts her "heart and soul in her teaching."
"I love watching my students grow as writers and as people," said Schenck, who celebrated her third year at Ursuline and 10th year teaching overall. "I'm only as good as my students. They are all driven, thoughtful, funny, confident, and very creative."
Schenck, who taught English III and Creative Writing this school year, charted student growth through writer portfolios. A portfolio presentation, which focused on writer identity, acted as each student's final exam.
"I really wanted the portfolios to show their growth," she said. "Each portfolio is representative of all the work they've done, which includes many revisions and reflections."
When Schenck isn't teaching, she's gardening and cooking with her husband. They're currently growing summer vegetables in their backyard. She also likes yoga and walking her dog, Gus.
The Tehan Award was established by Hal Tehan to honor a teacher whose life and work demonstrates strong integration of the Ursuline mission.
Murray, who just completed her 11th year at Ursuline, fills the role of school nurse with a "servant's heart." Students regularly come to her clinic for mints or cough drops.
"Ursuline is a very supportive place," Murray said. "Everyone pulls together for the students. I always want the students to feel comfortable talking to me."
Prior to joining Ursuline, Murray was a longtime nurse. She worked in Parkland's Thoracic Intensive Care Unit and Baylor's Women's Oncology Unit. She also conducted cardiology research at UT Southwestern's Medical School.
Murray's two daughters, Jordan and Shannon, graduated from Ursuline in 2005 and 2008, respectively.
Ursuline also recognized employees who reached milestones at the school. Below are the Service Awards presented:
Stephen da Silva
Jo Carol Mason