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Borger ISD Announces Root-Gillespie Teacher of the Year The Velma Freeman Gillespie and Zelma Freeman Root Foundation was established in 1995 by Mrs. Gillespie’s family to honor a deserving  Borger ISD teacher at the end of each school year.  Velma Freeman Gillespie and Zelma Freeman Root were twin sisters who both taught in the BISD system for over twenty-five years each.  Mrs. Root came to Borger in 1944. Mrs. Gillespie came to visit her from Arkansas in 1946 and never went back. Mrs. Gillespie taught in Borger Junior High School for 25 years.  Mrs. Root taught at Borger High School for 26 years.  Both retired in 1971.  After retiring from BISD, Zelma Root taught at Frank Phillips Junior College for five years.  Mrs. Gillespie had two sons, Dr. Hamp Gillespie and Dr. Mike Gillespie, who both graduated from Borger Independent School District.  After Velma Gillespie passed away in October 1994, her sons wanted to honor their mother and aunt by establishing the foundation.   The award is given to a deserving teacher in the academic field who possesses the following:  A concern for students and the capability to inspire them. The ability and willingness to work cooperatively with colleagues. A drive to initiate activities that improve instruction for students. An ability to work effectively with different groups in the community. The desire to stay informed of current educational theories and practices” An ability and willingness to make meaningful contributions to education.  Examples of innovations started in the nominees’ classrooms.  Campus nominees included Laura Stark, Kindergarten instructor at Paul Belton Elementary; Elizabeth Forrest, 1st Grade Bilingual instructor at Gateway Elementary; Nicole Segovia, Fourth-grade instructor at Davy Crockett Elementary; Donna Hertel, 5th-grade math instructor at Borger Intermediate School; Tina Sims, P.E., Athletics, Athletics Coordinator at Borger Middle School, and Cody Duncan,   Speech/Theatre/Drama/Debate instructor at Borger High School.    This year, the Root-Gillespie award went to Elizabeth Forrest Mrs. Forest was recognized at the Borger ISD Convocation. She will receive $750 to spend in her classroom. Each campus nominee will receive $250 for their classroom.   Mrs. Forrest has taught at multiple campuses in Borger, both elementary and secondary.  At each campus, she has been an exemplary model of wisdom, honor, and sincere love for all students. Her desire to grow as an educator is second to none.  Mrs. Forrest can be found on summer vacation with the latest educational book in hand.  She seeks out professional development throughout the school year, as well as during to the summer to continue to grow as an educator.  She is always willing to share her newly gained knowledge with her colleagues. Gateway principal, Teresa Bodey states, “ Elizabeth Forrest embodies the essence of a true Velma Zelma teacher.  Mrs. Forrest’s love for her first-grade students is shown through the innovative special programs she has created for her class.  One example is her Bilingual Family Book Club.  She purchased chapter books for each of her students and created a reading schedule for them and their families to read throughout the spring.  Activities in the classroom were built around the book.  She also hosted evening book club meetings with the families to share their love of reading and enrich their understanding of the book.  It is an honor to work alongside such an amazing educator.”                   Ms. Bodey and Mrs. Forrest                  Mrs. Forrest with Superintendent Welch Nominees Laura Stark, Elizabeth Forrest, Nicole Segovia, Donna Hertel, Tina Sims,  Cody Duncan and Superintendent Chance Welch  
Posted by rebecca.calder  On Aug 16, 2019 at 4:00 PM