At the end of each school year, the BISD school district recognizes certain teachers for outstanding work in and out of their classrooms. This year, the secondary teacher of the year was awarded to English teacher Lisa Prejean.
“She was chosen because she’s a natural leader on campus,” principal Lane Buban said. “She’s always willing to mentor new teachers, she’s always here, she’s very reliable. The BHS administration felt like she needed to be recognized.”
Prejean is also the English Department head and serves as an example to those she works with.
“Her classroom isn’t just about grades and assignments,” journalism teacher Rebecca Dominy said. “It’s also about the student and who they are and what they need as an individual. Mrs. Prejean views building relationships with her students as a top priority in making sure they learn.”
Senior Claire Vilas has been in Prejean’s IB English class for Claire’s junior and senior year and recognizes the work that Prejean puts into her classes.
“I think she won because she has a true passion for teaching.” Vilas said. “She cares about her students and is engaged in our activities and our lives in a way that most teachers don’t.”
Prejean has overcome many challenges this past school year and is grateful for the recognition.
“Winning teacher of the year validated my dedication to my school and my students,” Prejean said. “We have many committed teachers in BISD, so I felt honored to be selected to represent the secondary teachers.”
While maintaining a successful classroom, Prejean does what she can to lend a helping hand.
“She is one of those teachers that goes above and beyond what you ask for in a teacher.” Buban said. “I don’t have to worry about her being here doing her job, she actually helps me run the campus.”
Prejean has been in education for nearly 30 years and has touched countless lives during that time.
“I even believe that her example and many years of experience have altered the meaning of the education profession itself,” former student Trey Weltens said. “I’m incredibly proud to have been a student of Mrs. Prejean. Being in her class has changed the trajectory of my life.”
She has also inspired other former students to enter the teaching profession where they plan to use things they learned from her in their future classrooms.
“When I think about what kind of teacher I want to be like, I am always reminded of the way Mrs. Prejean led her classroom, “former student Robert Morgan said. “She cared for us and continues to care for us even well after our time at her practice, and spent long hours doing this often-thankless work.”
Parents echo the sentiments of students in that they appreciate the way she connects with students.
“My favorite aspect of Lisa’s teaching is the personal connection she makes with her students,” parent Debbie Perterson said. “she knows my kids, not only what they are doing in class, but also what they are passionate about, what their goals are, and what they value.”
Colleagues also value Prejean’s dedication to students and the efforts she put into her work.
“Sometimes Mrs. Prejean brings up the idea of retirement just to make me squirm,” Dominy said. “My daughter is currently in the 8th grade and I really want Mrs. Prejean to teach her. I also don’t want to face coming to school each day knowing she’s not here because she’s the person I turn to when things get rough at school and is a great person to bounce ideas around with.”
Due to COVID-19, Prejean and all other teachers were forced to adapt to online learning for both students engaged and connected.
“Learning has changed more over the last six months than it has over the span of my teaching career,” Prejean said. “Adapting to online learning was a struggle at first, but I am comfortable using technology, and our district has done an amazing job equipping both students and teachers to face these new learning challenges.”
Prejean is always willing to go the extra mile, which administration cites as a key reason as to why she earned this accomplishment.
“She is just an outstanding individual and a great human being.” Buban said. “She loves kids and cares about her job and does her best every single day, and that’s another reason why she was chosen as teacher of the year.”