November Cougar Excellence Awards

Crosby, TX (November 14, 2022) - Each month, the Crosby ISD Board of Trustees recognizes Students of the Month, Teachers of the Month, a Paraprofessional of the month, and Community Members of the Month. Here are the recipients of the Cougar Excellence awards for November.


Kase Ballard from Crosby Kindergarten Center. Principal Minor says Kase is a Kindergarten student who is a born Cougar Leader and a great member of the Class of 2035. You can see him being a "buddy" as he helps others make good choices at CKC. At any given time, he is respectful, responsible, forgiving, and so very kindhearted toward others. He has a fun sense of humor, and his smile will melt your heart. CKC is proud to have Kase represent us this month!

From Newport Elementary, 4th grader Eden Hassan. Principal Price says Eden is a wonderful young lady. She is smart, creative, and always respectful. Though she is quiet and kind of shy, she leaves a great impression in every room she enters. As a member of the newspaper club, she can be seen throughout the halls taking photographs or conducting hard-hitting interviews. Though she is a great journalist, in the classroom is where she shines the brightest. Eden is helpful, attentive, and eager to learn. She is simply a model student, and Principal Price is glad to know her. So are all of us. Congrats.

From Barrett Elementary, 3rd grader Ruben De Anda. Principal Ornelas says Ruben is one of the hardest-working students in the dual language program. He is a very kind, humble student who is always helpful and respectful to his teachers and his classmates. Ruben enters our school with a bright smile every day, ready and eager to learn. He is a joy to have at Barrett Elementary. He will accomplish great things in the future.  We are so proud of you, Ruben! 

From Crosby Elementary, 4th grader Marlee Booth. Principal Kratky-Fox says Marlee is always asking her teachers how she can help, and she is constantly showing kindness to others.  She has an extremely positive attitude when a curve ball is thrown her way. She has a major injury due to softball, but when she goes to PE, she asks Coach what activity/game they are playing so they can brainstorm ways Marlee can still be engaged.  Marlee is a member of the C-E-S Cougar Council and demonstrates leadership. Despite her injury, she showed up and showed out at the annual CES Trunk or Treat.  She helped put the games together, passed out candy, helped little kids play the games and gave positive encouragement.  She always has a smile on her face.   

From Drew Elementary, 3rd grader Leah Shelton. Principal Tisdom says Leah brings such a bubbly, warm, charismatic personality to Drew. Every morning, no matter the circumstances, she has a happy smile and waves hello to all students and staff members. If you ask any of her teachers, Leah leaves a memorable imprint on everyone’s hearts. She loves to talk and give out hugs! We cannot wait to see what the future has in store for Leah. Congrats.

From Crosby Middle School, 7th grader Lauryn Cannonier. The administration team at CMS says Lauryn is described as an amazing student and an even better person overall. She is soft-spoken but very respectful. She makes sure to take care of her business while actively choosing to do the right thing, even if it is not the popular thing to do among her peers. Lauryn is a hardworking student who consistently exceeds the expectations of the quality of her work.  She always exhibits a positive attitude and is a joy to have in class. Way to go Lauryn!

From Crosby High School, a proud member of the Class of 2023, senior Sean Bazmore. Principal Davila says Sean sets the example for other students. He leads through his actions in the classroom and on the baseball field.  He has excelled academically and has already secured a scholarship to play baseball at the next level at Angelina College. He was part of National Signing Day just last week. He is a kind young man who treats everyone with respect and knows how to accomplish his goals.  We are truly lucky to have such a fine young man at Crosby High School. 


From Crosby Kindergarten Center, Ms. Cherie Pannell. Principal Minor says Ms. Pannell is one of the most special teachers at CKC. She began her first year of teaching 23 years ago, at the same time as the campus opened its doors in the "new" building. She can tell you stories of the architects and the visions they had when designing the campus. She has a heart of gold and is one of the most compassionate teachers we know. After 23 years, she is one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave campus. Her dedication shines day in and day out as she cares for and educates our youngest cougars to learn how to thrive in a school environment. Her willingness to help even when she needs help and ability to smile while holding back tears because of the day's demands makes her a true leader and an excellent mentor. Crosby Kindergarten Center is proud to have Ms. Pannell on the team!

From Newport Elementary, Ms. Silvia Salazar. Principal Price shared one word about Ms. Salazar - She is a jewel! Ms. Salazar is always smiling. Principal Price says -quote “She is simply one of the sweetest people I know, not to mention one of the best bilingual teachers I’ve ever met. When you walk in her classroom you can feel the love and adoration that she has for her students, and it is evident that they feel the same way about her. One of Mrs. Salazar’s gifts is being able to cultivate a family amongst her students and her peers. Her kind demeanor often serves as a bridge for everyone around her, and as a seasoned teacher she often helps to ensure that her peers have everything they need to be successful.” end quote. NES and all of Crosby ISD is truly blessed with the best! 

From Barrett Elementary, Ms. Wendy Hamilton-Thompson. Principal Ornelas says Ms. Hamilton-Thompson is a teacher who has made a significant impact on the lives of BES students and the school as a whole. She continuously sets high expectations for students and encourages them to excel each day by providing challenging instruction that is relevant and memorable. She has a natural ability to create an environment where kids thrive and learn.  In addition to her work with students, Ms. Hamilton-Thompson also provides her grade level team with the leadership they need to succeed. She recently began working with her teammates on incorporating Kagan structures into their instruction to increase student engagement. She is committed to helping her team grow and learn. We are so grateful to Ms. Thompson for the contributions she makes to the success of our school. Thank you for your commitment to Barrett, Ms. Thompson! 

From Crosby Elementary, 5th grade teacher Ms. Brittney Edwards. Principal Kratky-Fox says not only is Ms. Edwards  an amazing 5th grade Math teacher with creative and fun ideas. She is a strong 5th grade Team Lead for her partner teachers.  Her calm and patient demeanor keeps students striving to perform their best.  She builds lasting relationships with her students by genuinely caring for each one of them.  Although Ms. Edwards is soft spoken; her work ethic speaks volumes. Ms. Edwards would burn the midnight oil if we allowed her to stay after the custodians left the building each night.  Her team looks to her for guidance and she has always been willing to do whatever it takes for her students to be successful.  Ms. Edwards contributes in a BIG way to a positive culture at CES.

From Drew Elementary, Mr. Kevin Fontenot. Principal Tisdom says Mr. Fontenot has been an exceptional example of a team player and educator. He consistently demonstrates a growth mindset for his students and goes above and beyond to ensure they learn. He is responsive to parent needs and forms a partnership with them to reach the whole child. 

From Crosby Middle School, ESL Teacher Ms. Laura Wilson. The CHS administration team says Ms. Wilson has been a true asset to CMS for the last 3 years. Her hard work as the Emergent Bilingual Teacher/Coordinator has allowed her to support the progress and growth of every E-B student on the CMS campus. She creates an engaging and visual classroom with hands-on activities that allow students to move and see while they work, making real connections as they go. She proudly displays their work and art in her classroom and hallways as a way to encourage students to be proud of all their hard work. Mrs. Wilson also does a wonderful job of supporting the core subject areas by assisting teachers with interactive ways for them to engage every student with English. We are proud to call Mrs. Wilson a CMS Cougar. 

From Crosby High School, Coach Melynda McGregor. Principal Davila says Ms. McGregor is a wonderful teacher and leader who goes above and beyond the call of duty.  She truly brings her best effort, and it shows in the classroom and on the court.  She has made a positive impact on the school and our students this school year.  If you get a chance to meet Ms. McGregor, you will feel her energy and passion for education right away.  We are truly grateful to have a leader like her!  


We also want to honor a paraprofessional who is another veteran at Crosby Kindergarten Center. Ms. Tanya - as she is affectionately known - is the head custodian at CKC. She has more than 20 years of experience on campus. Principal Minor says Ms. Tanya takes pride in CKC, keeping the campus looking impeccable. Ms. Tanya doesn't hesitate to take students to their class in the mornings if they need an extra hand. She is loved and her work is appreciated at Crosby Kindergarten Center!


The Board also recognized our Community Members for November. Business and organization partners that are taking two student-run businesses and our students to the next level. They’re in the business of flowers and fur, and as you’re about to see, Crosby ISD students reap all the benefits. 

Thank you to Sterling-White Funeral Home and Cemetery, Managing Partner Bella Dion.

Thank you to the Empty Shelter Project, Director Miller Friedman and lead veterinarian, Dr. Amanda Hanna. Also, thank you to Crosby Veterinarian Clinic, Baytown Animal Hospital, and the Vet Tech Institute for allowing our students the opportunity to receive real-world training.


Finally, the Board recognized a bittersweet moment. The November 14th meeting was the last regularly-scheduled meeting for two of the distinguished members of the Board of Trustees.

Trustee Christina Castillo has represented Position 4 for the last two years. She was first elected in November 2020. Ms. Castillo is a lifelong educator and a familiar face in Crosby ISD. She is a fierce advocate for education, our students, and our staff members. We thank her for her service.

Vice President John Swinney ends his tenure as the longest-serving current board member. He has held the At-Large seat for the last 8 years. Mr. Swinney has served two terms, after first being elected in 2014. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He first moved to Crosby in 1992 after falling in love with his wife Tammie. He has been a North Star during some tumultuous times, but he has always put the success of our kids, our staff, and our communities first. We will miss you, Mr. Swinney. Crosby ISD will always be grateful for your service.

Newly-elected Board members will be sworn in during the regularly-scheduled meeting on December 12, 2022.