One teacher from a local school was among the 12 finalists recently announced as candidates to be named Houston ISD’s 2020-2021 Elementary and Secondary teachers of the year, while another was recognized as one of the district’s brightest newcomers.

Barbara Smith of Sinclair Elementary has been selected as one of six finalists for the elementary Teacher of the Year award. The two Teacher of the Year winners will go on to represent the district in Region IV, according to a news release from HISD.

Additionally, the district said Heights High School’s Christen Smajstria was one of three educators to be recognized as Beginning Teachers of the Year.

The 12 finalists were selected from all 280 schools based on performance data and other criteria, HISD said. Finalists will be recognized, along with Beginning Teachers of the Year, Librarian of the Year, Instructional Coaches of the Year and several other employee recognitions at the annual Educators of the Year event on June 15.

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