Teachers of the Year

BISD Names Teachers of the Year 2023-2024
Posted on 05/12/2023
This is the image for the news article titled BISD Names Teachers of the Year 2023-2024The process for choosing Brazosport ISD 2023-24 Teachers of the Year began in March with the selection of 19 teachers, one from each campus, to represent their school in the district-wide contest. A panel of judges read their applications and essays from each representative without knowing the candidate’s name or campus. Through a scoring rubric, the judges narrowed the field to five elementary and five secondary teachers. The finalists were then interviewed by the panel of judges and an Elementary Teacher of the Year and a Secondary Teacher of the Year was selected. The winners were announced last week, May 3, at the Annual BISD Staff Recognition Dinner.

The two selected teachers, Mandee Lower Elementary Teacher of the Year and Darren Ingram, Secondary Teacher of the year will represent BISD in the Texas Region IV Teacher of the Year processes.

Mandee Lower
Mandee Lower, BISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year, is a 4th grade teacher at Glady Polk Elementary School, and she has been teaching English Language Arts for the past three years.  Mandee has been team lead for the past 2 years and serves on CEIC and other committee’s. She received her Alternative Certification and SPED certification from Region 4 in 2014 after moving from Ohio. She obtained her ESL certification in 2022.

Mandee Lower graduated from The Ohio State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She began her career working as an Area Director for Young Life.  Her job was training and leader development of freshman at Ohio State and connecting college students with 3 area high schools to mentor students. After moving to Texas, she began her teaching career as a SPED Aide at Ney Elementary for one year. Mandee went on to teach Kindergarten and first grade at Ney before moving to Polk.

Mandee has been married to Chad Lower for 24 years and they have 3 children, Ethan, Jack and Geralda. Ethan will be graduating from Brazoswood and attending A&M, Jack and Geralda are currently sophomores. The Lower kids are active in water polo and Brazospoint Fellowship.  Chad and Mandee volunteer and lead the student leadership team at Brazospoint. The Lowers enjoy staying active outside hiking, running and traveling. They also have a passion for the country of Haiti.

Darren Ingram
Darren Ingram, BISD’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, currently teaches 7th grade history at Freeport Intermediate School. Darren is a product of BISD schools and after graduating from Brazoswood High School, he was awarded one of the original “Grow Your Own” Teacher Scholarships through the BISD Education Foundations Project Teach Scholarship to become a teacher. Ingram earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Sam Houston State University. Ingram is a second generation Brazosport ISD alumnus, and is proud to return to be an educator in a district that prioritizes educational excellence.

After earning his teacher certification, Ingram received a position in the district behavior program for students with emotional disturbances. He spent four years at three campuses in this program. He helped build successful interpersonal relationships with students to equip them with positive social skills. Ingram also developed professional relationships with the faculty.

Seeing that Freeport Intermediate was a place that believed every child could catch their dreams, he pivoted into a math co-teach role working with 7th and 8th special education students. When a position opened in a general education history classroom, he was able to move to a position that was also his passion. Darren continues to reach many students in this role. Ingram creates positive interpersonal relationships with, and between students, while providing an inclusive environment for educational discourse, to bring awareness of history and different cultures. Ingram works to make a lasting impact on his community, state and nation.

Both Mandee Lower and Darren Ingram are outstanding representatives of all BISD teachers, Setting the Standard in Education across the State and will represent Brazosport ISD at the Regional Level Competition. (Region IV - Houston and Greater Houston)

BISD Campus Teachers of the Year:
Megan Smith Stephen F Austin Elementary
Rachelle Gillig AP Beutel Elementary
Melissa Tiller Bess Brannen Elementary
Mindi Moreno Freeport Elementary
Bianca Duarte Madge Griffith Elementary
Tessa Rhyne Elisabet Ney Elementary
Karlee Garsee TW Ogg Elementary
Mandee Lower Gladys Polk Elementary, Elementary Teachers of the Year
Lindsey Alexander OM Roberts Elementary
Jessica Navarro Velasco Elementary
Brooke Weddle Lanier Middle School
Aubrey Berrio Grady Rasco Middle School
Kara Edwards Clute Intermediate School
Darren Ingram Freeport Intermediate School, Secondary Teachers of the Year
Amy Laney Lake Jackson Intermediate School
Brandy Barrett Brazosport High School
Jeanene Hudec Brazoswood High School
Robert Lawrence Brazos Success Academy
Karen Ramirez Lighthouse Learning Center
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