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Lancaster ISD Celebrates Staff of the Year Honorees

Lancaster ISD is proud to announce the 2021-2022 Staff Members of the Year. Not only does the district employ the best educators in the Best Southwest, but the teachers and staff bring diverse talents, skill sets, and perspectives to the learning community. 

Congratulations to these outstanding Lancaster ISD employees:


Department of the Year

Instructional Services

The Instructional Services Department is the foundation of all learning within Lancaster ISD. This year, the department has revitalized teaching and curriculum across the district and provides continued support to all teachers. They work to ensure all teachers have the necessary content, strategies, and assessments to determine the best approach to teaching each student. The department is quick to offer support and has remained flexible to the needs of each campus. Instructional Services works hard to train and prepare educators for the changing assessment landscapes. 

instructional services








Employee of the Year

Dr. Tonia Howard, Chief of School Leadership

Dr. Tonia Howard currently serves as the Chief of School Leadership in Lancaster ISD. Dr. Howard is an asset to the district leadership team and provides tremendous support to elementary school principals. Dr. Howard is a visible presence in Lancaster ISD hallways and classrooms. She is a hands-on leader who is excited and passionate about her work, and it shows in everything she does. 

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Principal of the Year

Yvonne Thornton, Rosa Parks/Millbrook Elementary School

Mrs. Thornton is an exemplary principal who consistently communicates with staff, students and families. Her passion for learning is contagious with everyone she encounters. She is strong in her instructional leadership and creates activities that allow students to enjoy learning in unique ways. Mrs. Thornton encourages her campus team to take ownership while instructing their students. She also believes in them taking on leadership roles on the campus. We have some of the best principals in Lancaster ISD, and this year, we are proud to celebrate Mrs. Thornton as the Lancaster ISD Principal of the Year!

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Secondary Teacher of the Year

Greg Williams, Lancaster High School

History Teacher/ Boys Track & Field Head Coach

Greg Williams has been teaching in Lancaster ISD for 34 years. He is well-known throughout the community as a great history teacher, an excellent track and field coach, and mentor. He has inspired thousands of Lancaster High School graduates throughout his years as an educator in Lancaster ISD. When the history department was unexpectedly short-staffed, Mr. Williams volunteered to take over and teach the advanced placement classes. Mr. Williams has also served as the mentor teacher to the history department, ensuring new teachers have a smooth transition, learn the Lancaster ISD culture, and understand how to be a great teacher. His main goal is to motivate and educate students to know how vital each class is to their development process. In addition, he’s led the Boys Track & Field team to countless state championship victories and has created a winning culture in and outside of the classroom. 

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Elementary Teacher of the Year

Kimberly Ballard, West Main Elementary

Art Teacher

Kimberly Ballard teaches with a focus on bridging the gap between core subjects and fine arts. She has implemented math and science into her art lessons, serves as a campus mentor for new art teachers in Lancaster ISD, and is the Lead Elementary Art teacher at West Main Elementary. Mrs. Ballard is a ​​Certified Arts Integration Specialist, has presented Art Integrated lessons for the Education Service Center Region 10, and has introduced a program with coding in art. Mrs. Ballard is always finding creative ways to challenge students to build their critical thinking skills. She uplifts the students and brings smiles to their faces when they see their art displayed in school. Mrs. Ballard is also a proud graduate of the LHS class of 1999.  

mrs. ballard












New Teacher of the Year

Lindsey Cullum, Belt Line Elementary 

As a first-year teacher, Lindsey Cullum has brought joy and passion into her classroom. She started in Lancaster ISD as a substitute teacher, then moved to a paraprofessional, and now she is in her first year of teaching at Belt Line Elementary. Every step of the way, she’s shown how much she loves teaching and supporting students as they learn. Ms. Cullum never stops learning and is always improving her skills. She proactively meets challenges and actively pursues and explores new ideas. Ms. Cullum demonstrates the love she has for her students and her passion for teaching every day, and this year, it has paid off as she celebrates being named the new teacher of the year in Lancaster ISD.

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Lancaster ISD is proud to recognize our phenomenal staff. The district could not function without their hard work, dedication, and commitment to our students. 

Travel gift cards have been provided courtesy of Southwest Airlines, and Studio Movie Grill has also provided movie passes, so our staff can enjoy a night out. In addition, the Lancaster ISD Board of Trustees will recognize each staff member of the year during the April board of trustees meeting on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.