If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that educators are underappreciated. Dallas ISD hopes to remedy some of that this year by awarding some of Dallas’ best principals and educators at the inaugural Educator of the Year Awards this week. 

Four finalists from Preston Hollow attended the event, and two Preston Hollow educators were awarded this year: Michael Jackson and Aaronda Smith. 

Michael Jackson, this year’s Principal of the Year in the Choice/Magnet Category, has served as the founding principal of Sudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy (or Sudie TAG) for the last four years, though he has been an educator for 22 years. In that time, Jackson has held nearly every position in a school you can think of, including teacher, teacher mentor, basketball coach, grade-level chair, campus instructional coach, AVID coordinator, assistant principal, and principal. 

Aaronda Smith, this year’s Teacher of the Year in the Choice/Magnet Category, is a Reading Language Arts Honors 8th grade teacher at George Bannerman Dealey Montessori and Vanguard Academy. She’s been a teacher for 16 years, and has covered a variety of disciplines, including reading, debate, strategies for success, literary genres, and creative writing.

Both educators, in addition to the rest of the winners, received $5,000 and were presented with awards at this week’s event.

“The fact that we get to celebrate these outstanding educators in person is incredible,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa during his remarks. “I want to thank you for your outstanding work, especially over these past two years.”


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