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District staff honorees

Employee Recognition video
Staff recognition video



May 20, 2021 – Pflugerville ISD has selected its 2020-21 district staff award winners.

Earlier this semester, administrators and faculty at PfISD schools named their campus Humanitarians, Teachers of the Year and Rookie Teachers of the Year for the 2020-21 school year. District winners are later chosen from the pool of campus award winners.  

“Our Pflugerville ISD teachers and staff have shown they are an outstanding bunch, time and time again,” said PfISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Killian. “So, to stand out from among this crowd, that’s really saying something. Congratulations to our wonderful award winners.”

Via video on Tuesday, the district named Valerie Starnes of Mott Elementary the PfISD Elementary Teacher of the Year, while Lisa Samuels of Cele Middle School was honored as PfISD Secondary Teacher of the Year.

Casey Helms (Caldwell Elementary) and Kim Quarles (Spring Hill Elementary) had earlier been nominated as finalists for the district Elementary Teacher of the Year award, along with Starnes. Jean Gifford of Weiss High School and Robin Sheport of Hendrickson High School were also finalists for the Secondary Teacher of the Year award.

Also announced Tuesday were the district Elementary Rookie Teacher of the Year (Victoria Chen of Pflugerville Elementary), Secondary Rookie Teacher of the Year (Ainsley Benton, Hendrickson High School), Elementary Humanitarian of the Year (Kate Shaum, Windermere Elementary) and Secondary Humanitarian of the Year (Krystal Bellamy, Dessau Middle School), as well as Support Staff award winners and years of service honorees.

Humanitarians of the Year are defined as staff members who represent the district in positive manners through interactions with parents, students and PfISD employees. 

Connally High School assistant football coach Todd Schonhar, who passed away in January, was among those named campus Humanitarian of the Year.

Support Staff award winners were:

  • Yunuen Rodriguez, Aramark Employee of the Year, Northwest Leadership Academy
  • Gelasio Morales Ortiz, Custodial Employee of the Year, Timmerman Elementary
  • Dan Rabe, Maintenance Employee of the Year
  • Joel Quirindongo, Grounds Employee of the Year
  • Israel Ball, Transportation Employee of the Year
  • Tylene Cunning, Technology Employee of the Year

Years of service honorees spotlighted were employees who have worked for the district from 10 to 35 years, including Elizabeth Kelso of Park Crest Middle School (35 years) and Belva Sheport of Hendrickson High School (35 years). 

Below is the complete list of campus award winners in their respective categories: 

            Campus Name

  Teacher of the Year

Humanitarian of the Year

  Rookie Teacher of Year

Barron Elementary

Zack Wilborn

Jesse Ortega

Beatriz Valdez

Brookhollow Elementary

Suzanne Murphy

Amy Pullin

Manuel Duarte

Caldwell Elementary

Casey Helms

Teri Smith

Morgan George

Copperfield Elementary

Martha Gonzalez

Margaret Olivarez

Rachel Hartz

Dearing Elementary

Morgan Oberrender

Linda Ables

D'Jon Pitchford

Delco Elementary

Beth Chambers

Rosalia Johnson

Ashley Marcinkus

Dessau Elementary

Irma Jaimes

MarKus Haley

Halley Frasch

Highland Park Elementary

Ashley Lane

Christina Henderson

Sophie Solomonson

Northwest Leadership Academy

Brytish Jordan

Laurie Landers

Kimberly Bussell

Mott Elementary

Valerie Starnes

Caitrina Drago


Murchison Elementary

Stephanie Mendoza

Kim Torres

Abigail Flax

Parmer Lane Elementary

Elena Bessire

Nadia Ramirez


Pflugerville Elementary

Ashley Rodriguez

Julie Nguyen

Victoria Chen

Riojas Elementary

Desiree Casazza

David Reid Jones

Lauree Strong

River Oaks Elementary

Angelica Martinez

Emily Arbesu


Rowe Lane Elementary

Sarah Riman

Kim Storm-Vorndran


Spring Hill Elementary

Kim Quarles

Teresa Mahn


Timmerman Elementary

Whitney Carter

Tia Birt

Abigail Luna

Wieland Elementary

An Nguyen

Emily Boyd

Wesley Huey

Windermere Elementary

Lily Cuchapin

Kate Shaum

Faith Rodriguez





Cele Middle

Lisa Samuels

Rachel Blust

Donna Benedict

Dessau Middle

Jessica Holtz

Krystal Bellamy

Lissette Browning

Kelly Lane Middle

Kendra Towery

Dina Schaefer

Brianna Pannone

Park Crest Middle

Thomas Cutter

Pamela Christian

David Quinton

Pflugerville Middle

Kelly Shaw

Kathleen Nebeker


Westview Middle

Andrea Alvarado

Shirley Cannon

Kevin Vences





Connally High 

Meaghan Regier

Todd Schonhar

Josie Perez

Hendrickson High

Robin Sheport

Eula West

Ainsley Benton


Elizabeth Horstman

Mandy Porter

Landon Hill

Pflugerville High

Allie Stevenson

Sarah Cable

Andrew Smith

Provan Opportunity Center

Kylie Knight

Alexandria Anderson


Weiss High

Jean Gifford

Laura Brown

Michael Bowens