Brenda Burks, Stephenville High School teacher and Amber Monk, pre-K teacher at Central Elementary were awarded Secondary and Elementary Teacher of the Year during the Stephenville ISD board of trustees meeting Monday evening.


Burks first began her career with Stephenville ISD in 1978 and just completed her 33rd year with the district.


"I just want to make a difference in kids’ lives and sometimes you don’t know you’re making that difference," Burks told the E-T. "You’re planting seeds and sometimes they grow and prosper and sometimes they don’t. I feel like I’ve had good relationships with kids through the years. I’m teaching second generation and in fact, there is a SHS student that I taught her grandmother and I had her mother, so the third generation is here."


Burks teaches Practicum in Marketing; Principles of Business, Marketing and Finance; and Accounting. She is also a DECA advisor and was a UIL coach for many years.


"I have made plenty of memories throughout my time at the high school, but there are some that have stuck with me," she said. "Those trips to ICDC (International Career Development Conference) with DECA are standouts as well as UIL. In 2001 I had the state 4A speller, Katie Weckwerth; she was a junior. So those are moments that stand out because not all teachers who are UIL coaches get the distinction of being the coach of a state winner."


Burks has coordinated Stephenville High School graduation activities since 2004. She works "behind the scenes" to make sure that baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies are great memories for the seniors.


"I am honored to be selected as Secondary Teacher of the Year," she said. "It is the pinnacle of my teaching career. Stephenville High School, Henderson Junior High and Gilbert Intermediate have many outstanding, deserving teachers."


Monk has been a teacher at Central Elementary for three years.


"I love the opportunity to build relationships and help start building a foundation for a lifelong love for education," she said. "As a Pre-K Teacher, they may not always remember me when they get big, but I am thankful for the opportunity to plant seeds in them and make their first experience in public education a great one."


Monk feels "incredibly proud" to have earned the title of Elementary Teacher of the Year.


"I always hope that my love for what I do shines through to not only my students but also my coworkers and community members," she said. "I am thankful to know that I have peers and administrators who view me as someone worthy of such an award."