HOUSTON - June 18, 2013 - Spring ISD’s 2013 teachers of the year exemplify the district’s belief that the primary customers of schools are the students. 2013 Spring ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Francis Bugarin, Ginger McNabb Elementary School, and 2013 Spring ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Christina MacLaughlin, Dr. Edward Roberson Middle School - better-known to their students as Mr. B and Ms. Mac – both seek to identify their students’ individual talents and engage them in learning that is relevant.
Christina MacLaughlin teaches Principles of Art, AV and Communications at Roberson, a nontraditional middle school of choice that focuses on math, science and fine arts.
Roberson Principal Thad Gittens said MacLaughlin is transforming the animation and audio-visual pathway into a highlight of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at Roberson by helping students develop a love for animation and cultivating their technological skills.
“When I interviewed Ms. MacLaughlin for her position, I knew that, if I hired her, the animation and AV strand would ‘pop’ and ‘sizzle,’ and she hasn’t proven me wrong. As good as the work has been that she has helped her students produce, she always says, ‘This is just the beginning.’ With everything I’ve seen from her thus far, I have every reason to believe her,” Gittens said.
MacLaughlin believes every child has talent and that it is her job as a teacher to find that talent and help the student “escalate that into a viable career path.”
“My accomplishments are my students, and they will speak for themselves,” MacLaughlin said. “I try to help every student recognize that they have a voice, and it deserves to be heard. I enable my students through technology; I teach them to see beyond their block, their neighborhood and their city. I teach them to think globally and show them that they can reach a global audience now, not just when they grow up,” MacLaughlin said.
She has taken that concept further by collaborating with international contacts to establish communications between her students and students in classrooms worldwide.
MacLaughlin is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals and the Adobe Education Exchange and is founder and a member of the Houston Photoshop Meetup.
Francis Bugarin was pursuing a career in medicine, because he believed that vocation would be the best way to serve the most people, when he had the opportunity to spend time student teaching, an experience that changed the course of his life.
“Growing up in a poverty-stricken country like the Philippines, I have seen and experienced how education can become a powerful tool in improving one’s future and how a nurturing teacher can have a lasting impression on his students,” Bugarin said.
Bugarin teaches first-grade math and science at McNabb Elementary School where he designs his classroom to be student-centered, keeping students’ safety in mind while creating an inviting, welcoming and engaging atmosphere where students can invest in their own learning, practice respect for personal space and learn to appreciate their work and the work of others.
“Francis Bugarin is one of the most caring teachers I have ever met,” said Pam Dettwiler, McNabb principal. “He believes his greatest responsibility is to provide a nurturing environment where children can learn and achieve their potential. Mr. Bugarin builds strong, long-lasting relationships with his students and their parents. He is a role model to his peers and compels each of us, by his example, to be better teachers and human beings.”
Bugarin earned a Bachelor of Secondary Education degree in biology and a Master of Science degree in biological education from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines where he also served nine years as an assistant professor. He is a member of the Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics and has served as a facilitator of numerous staff development activities at McNabb. MacLaughlin and Bugarin were selected as district teachers of the year from highly-qualified teachers representing every campus in the district. The Spring ISD 2013 Campus Teachers of the Year are Amanda Janczak, Anderson Elementary School; Natasha Jernagin, Bammel Elementary School; Ken Sides, Beneke Elementary School; Heriberto Rodriguez, Booker Elementary School; Jackie Whipple, Burchett Elementary School; Candace Welch, Clark Primary School; Brandon V. Jackson, Clark Intermediate School; Michelle Owen, Cooper Elementary School; Jackie Garza, Eickenroht Elementary School; Carmen Sidel, Heritage Elementary School; Aracely Torres Ramirez, Hirsch Elementary School; Terra Almogabar-Lozano, Hoyland Elementary School; Crystal Capuchino Martínez, Jenkins Elementary School; Seba Houston, Lewis Elementary School; Joshua Westbrooks, Link Elementary School; Jada Dyson, Major Elementary School; Tonya Richardson, Marshall Elementary School; Francis L. Bugarin, McNabb Elementary School; Mireya Mares-Torres, Meyer Elementary School; Alida Hudson, Northgate Crossing Elementary School; Megan Peppers, Ponderosa Elementary School; Vickie Bacon, Reynolds Elementary School; Susie Degutis, Salyers Elementary School; Krista McKinley, Smith Elementary School; Alvin Mitchell, Thompson Elementary School; and Corey Elizabeth Scott, Winship Elementary; Alison Pohlkotte, Bailey Middle School; Lesley Helen Dunleavy, Bammel Middle School; Tania Smith, Claughton Middle School; Monte Reed, Dueitt Middle School; Christina MacLaughlin, Roberson Middle School; Steven Morris, Twin Creeks Middle School; Venitra Jewel Brisby, Wells Middle School; Shukella Price, Dekaney High School; Cassie L. Landrew, Early College Academy at Southridge; Akira Maria LeBlanc, Spring High School; Cecily Parker, Virtual School; Bruno Onwumere, Westfield High School; and Tameka Atlee, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School.