Educators From Oakforest And Lanier Named HISD’s Teachers Of The Year

May 12, 2009

Tiffany Janish and Dennis Huffman were named the Houston Independent School District’s Teachers of the Year during the district’s 34rd annual Teacher Recognition Banquet. In front of a crowd at the George R. Brown Convention Center, both received $5,000 grand prizes after being selected from among nearly 300 teachers nominated for the awards. Janish and Huffman will go on to participate in the state’s regional competition. 


Dennis Huffman – Secondary Teacher of the Year – Lanier Middle School


Teaching runs in Dennis Huffman’s family. His father became a high-school art teacher when Huffman was 5-years-old, his mother later became a kindergarten teacher, and his sister joined an elementary-school faculty right after graduating from college. Huffman first entered the teaching ranks as a camp counselor and lab assistant in college. After doing his student teaching in Lubbock, he joined the HISD family in 1989. He first taught science at Jackson Middle School, and since 1994 he has been teaching science, integrated physics and chemistry at Lanier Middle School, where he is its current Teacher of the Year. One of 10 American teachers selected to work with teachers in Russia on international curriculum and technology, Huffman says he strives to make learning relevant and long-lasting by connecting new knowledge to things students already know.


Tiffany Janish – Elementary Teacher of the Year – Oak Forest Elementary School


When Tiffany Janish began her freshman year in college, she had no idea what her major would be. But a few months later, when she took a part-time assistant teaching job in a Montessori school, she says she knew from “day one” what she wanted to spend her life doing. Janish joined the education profession three years ago teaching kindergarten Vanguard at Oak Forest Elementary, where she is the current Teacher of the Year. Janish helps her coworkers when they have technology questions regarding computers and SMART Boards.


InstantNewsWestu Staff

View more articles Subscribe