Region 7 teachers of the year

Sarah Nixon from Hallsville ISD, left, and Johna Tritt from Kilgore ISD

Teachers from Hallsville and Kilgore school districts were named Region 7 Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, Region 7 Education Service Center announced Tuesday.

Sarah Nixon from Hallsville ISD and Johna Tritt from Kilgore ISD will represent Region 7 as semifinalists in the 2021 Texas Teacher of the Year.

Nixon and Tritt were nominated by their local school districts for dedication to their students, colleagues, education and their communities, Region 7 said in a written statement.

In 2008, Nixon earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California and later received a California teaching credential at California State University Stanislaus. After teaching in Colorado, Nixon moved to Texas in 2013 where she teaches third grade at Hallsville North Elementary. She obtained gifted and talented certification and English as a second language certification through Region 7.

She is involved in coaching second grade chess for University Interscholastic League competitions, youth softball and youth basketball.

Nixon is also a technology integration leader at North Elementary and has a passion for bringing in new, innovative ways to reach the kids in her class and her school, according to the statement.

Tritt earned a bachelor’s in language and composition and secondary education from the University of North Texas in 1993 and later earned a master’s degree in educational leadership degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. Tritt spent 13 years as a campus principal and instructional leader in several East Texas school districts, including Chapel Hill, Sabine, Gilmer, Arp, Henderson and Marshall. In 2017, she returned to teaching in the classroom at Kilgore.

Her love for her students and her determination to show them that they can achieve more than they ever thought they could is truly exemplary,” according to Kilgore ISD Superintendent Andy Baker.

In September, Nixon and Tritt will compete against the 38 other regional teachers of the year. Six finalists will be chosen and winners will be announced later that month at the Virtual Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards convention.

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Courtney Stern is a public safety reporter covering a wide range of topics. She grew up in Baltimore and later earned a journalism degree from the University of Miami. Stern moved to East Texas from Iowa with her husband and two dogs, Pebbles and Bam Bam.