Westlake Academy celebrated the end of the school year by honoring one individual with the first Teacher of the Year award.
Last year marked Westlake Academy's 10th anniversary and to celebrate it, the Campus Leadership Team kicked off the yearlong search that ended in May, crowning fourth-grade teacher Kat Calzini with the title. Calzini was also given a plaque and $1,500 for personal or professional use from the parent-teacher organization.
The CLT, comprised of students, teachers, administration and community members, took nominations from the public and Academy staff, and then used particular criteria to narrow down the list to four nominees.
CLT team member Len Avecilla said the group considered International Baccalaureate values, teaching style and the level of knowledge the teacher held in their respective field.
"This is absolutely unbelievable and exciting," Calzini said in a town press release. "We have an insanely talented group of educators on this campus. It is truly an honor."
A part of the selection process required candidates to answer questions about commitment levels, vision and philosophy. To evaluate the answers, the CLT invited individuals such as the senior associate dean of the College of Education at the University of North Texas, an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University Simmons School of Education and the chief executive officer at Destination Imagination.