"Teaching is a calling that God put on my heart at a very early age. As a result, as Erma Bombeck says, 'When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'."
"Don't focus on the results, focus on the process. If you perfect the process, the results will come."
"'What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.' - Nelson Mandela"
"Show the world you are not here to just pass through. Leave great footprints wherever you pass and be remembered for the change you initiated."
"My joy is defined by helping students find their joy in education, no matter the challenges. We also share in our curiosity, celebrate our differences, and build community within our school. Learning is more than academic; it is full circle and it is pure JOY!"
"My joy is Melissa. We tell our story of who we are and what we believe through the eyes of our students. You do not have to look far to be grateful for our students, teachers, parents, community, and city. Melissa is a place like no other."
"I want my kids to walk out of my math class at the end of the year knowing that while math is important, they are more important to me."
"My joy is building relationships with my students so they will know how much I care about them. I want them to always know I am in their corner, encouraging them and cheering them on. Once those relationships are built and that trust is in place, there is nothing better than watching them make academic connections because they know they are in a space where it's safe to take chances and think outside the box. That's where the best learning happens."
"Education is autocatalytic!"
"To me, a Difference Maker means to bring joy to our students and to be there for them not only academically, but emotionally as well. We're often the light of their day, and it means the world to me to be sure we shine as bright as we can for them while instilling in them the knowledge they need to be successful Cardinals."
"Being a Difference Maker means every day bringing a relentless drive to move the students of Melissa ISD forward. It means putting others’ needs above your own and always striving to be better today than you were yesterday."
Dr. Hillary Croissant
"'Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.' - Brene Brown" Ornament designed by Weston Croissant.
"I find the utmost joy in the opportunity I've been given to connect with the students and families of Melissa Schools through our districtwide strategic communication initiatives and public relations efforts. I love showcasing our Cardinals' achievements in a variety of ways, while also working to reach our stakeholders with factual, transparent, and timely school-related information. I believe that a Difference Maker at their core is someone who is a self-starter and a go-getter, who is committed to Team Melissa, passionate about the position they are in, and cares deeply about the success and well-being of all students. I am honored and humbled to have been named a Difference Maker and I know I am in excellent company."
"Being a Difference Maker for me is realizing each day is a gift, and trying to look for ways to be a positive force and a blessing to others with a lot of humor along the way."
"It feels so good to work alongside such a supportive staff and great kids every day. I am continually excited and optimistic to contribute to the MISD culture in some small way."
"My joy is helping kids 'get it', building relationships, and supporting kids both in the classroom and outside of it. I've always loved this quote by Winston Churchill: 'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.'"
"To me being a Difference Maker means treating others the way you want to be treated. It means thinking about others before yourself and craving their success. My daily goal is that my students and coworkers know how valued they are and realize they have the potential to achieve great things!"
"To me a strong Difference Maker will 'Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.' - Philippians 2:3-4"
"It always seemed Difference Makers were people that had been with the district for many years, everyone knew them, and they had made a positive mark across the district in innumerable ways. I never expected to be chosen for this award. To think that the administration feels that I have affected the district in such a way, humbles and honors me. I am so happy to be part of Melissa ISD and I look forward to the years to come."
"I love whenever kids compete successfully, from working hard and putting in the time and effort to reach that success they desired from the beginning. I'm just thankful I was a small part of it."
"'Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.' - Anonymous"
"'I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.' - Mother Teresa"
"I wake up every morning excited to go to work. Melissa students have made a huge difference in my life. I am honored to be a Cardinal."
"Knowing my work enables thousands of minds to grow and learn is my joy and my honor."
"'Be who you needed when you were younger.' - Ayesha Siddiqi"
"Being a Difference Maker to me means bringing positivity to students, colleagues and friends. It means not being afraid to get out of my comfort zone, willing to take risks and also realizing failure is an option. Failure means trying which then leads to repetition which will then hopefully lead to success. Repetition to improve brings me which in turn helps me make a difference to people every day."
"Our purpose here at Melissa ISD to provide students the greatest opportunity to grow in knowledge and become great people in their future. It gives me great joy to see our students excelling in every opportunity they are presented with."
"If it cost you your integrity, you paid too much."
"'Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.' My joy and my desire as a Difference Maker is to be the teacher who not only delivers lessons, but ignites a passion for learning in students. Seeing students excited about learning new things is the most amazing feeling as a teacher. Seeing those light bulb moments as they begin to understand what was so confusing before energizes and inspires me."
"It is a real joy for me to see students become "next-level ready." To see elementary students become middle school ready, middle school students become high school ready, and high school students become college ready, and to know I had a part in their success means the world to me."
"My joy comes from our Melissa families, students and all our staff. To support and work alongside all those that inspire, lead and make a difference for our kids, brings me joy everyday!"
"'Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.' - Maya Angelou"
Rafael Loya Sr.
"I’m so honored and blessed to receive the Difference Maker award. Melissa ISD has given me the tools and passion to be a Difference Maker for my students, parents, staff and community. My goal is to always have passion and compassion for others. Thank you, Melissa ISD for being a part of my life. 'Whatever you are, be a good one.' - Abraham Lincoln"
"It has been my honor to serve Melissa ISD as a school board trustee for the past 15+ years. Our staff and students are the very best and continue to make us proud! I began serving as a way to give back to our community but have received so much in return that I think I am the primary beneficiary."
"My joy is to see the look on a child’s face when they truly understand what I’ve taught them and knowing that I have made a real difference in their life."
"Connecting kids with good books is imprinting the soul for a lifetime of unforgettable journeys."
"To me, being a Difference Maker means doing everything I possibly can each and every day to make sure that our students and staff are successful. I am forever thankful to be part of an amazing team of educators and being able to see firsthand the impact they make on the lives of our children. I am proud to be part of Team Melissa."
"I get joy from watching kids smile and seeing our people work together with selfless hearts. I love to see the great things that happen when we crave the success of others. I am honored to be a Difference Maker in the lives of our students and staff."
"I truly believe these two things about teaching: a child does not care how much you know until they know how much you care (love them), and a child will probably not remember everything you said, but they will always remember the way you made them feel (be kind)."
"'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' - Ghandi"
"To create change that lasts, we need to know what we stand for." - Simon Sinek
"My joy is to see our staff and students succeed...we make a difference when we share and promote our passion."
"I love being able to make financial decisions with our team that impact all stakeholders across the district and community for the future of Melissa Schools. I'm truly humbled by this recognition and to be alongside the names associated with this honor."
I enjoy what I do tremendously. I get to play a pivotal role in the lives of my students at a time where they are the perfect balance of strength and unfiltered raw vulnerability. For that reason, every day is an opportunity to know something about my students. I genuinely believe they learn about me as much as I learn about them."
Dr. Robert Rich
"One of the most enduring joys of my life has been the opportunity to be a small part of Melissa Schools during this special time and in such a special place."
"Being a Difference Maker as a school nurse isn't just about ice packs and band-aids. It's about building relationships with your staff, students, parents, and community. A positive attitude, having trust, and showing compassion is infectious and allows the smallest things to make a big impact. Making a difference and changing lives is one moment, one smile, one hug, one word of encouragement at a time."
"I experience each joy each day as I serve alongside my teammates. It brings me great joy to see my students' faces light up as they reach their goals and begin their journey as life-long readers and learners. To me, a Difference Maker is someone who invests in the lives of their students, co-workers and the families they serve. A difference maker is committed to the success and growth or their team and students and is invested in pursuing every possible avenue to achieve their success."
"Lane Kiffen says, 'To do the IMPOSSIBLE, you must see the INVISIBLE.'"
"My joy is found in both witnessing the bright light as it shines from each student, yet also being privileged to hold space for them in their darkest moments. They are the true difference makers in my life."
"Receiving the Difference Maker award is such a tremendous honor. Giving time and energy to student athletes in Melissa gives me joy and makes me want to come to work every day."
"Getting messy while making art is my true passion and what a blessing it is to be able to share this passion with my students! I hope that in creating art, my students are not just learning, they are also making memories."
Ornament designed by Harrison Strickland.
"Be your best. Give of your best. Live your best life and leave with no 'what ifs'."
"It's a good day for a good day!"
"I am so fortunate to be able to work with our young Cardinals! To me, a Difference Maker strives to make an impact on the lives of their students. They work towards providing their students with positive learning experiences that they can hold onto for years to come! Ultimately, I am here not just to teach, but to make students think and allow them to discover. That brings me great joy!"
"Build a fire of passion and compassion!"
"'Never let the truth, get in the way of a good story.' - Mark Twain"
"I find joy in doing life with my MHS family as we serve our students, parents and the community of Melissa. 'Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving'. - Colossians 3:23-24"
"To me, a Difference Maker is relentless in their pursuit of excellence for themselves and others they support and serve. I also believe Difference Makers find joy in the little things as they know the little things are what matter the most."
"'The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.' - Eleanor Roosevelt"
"Run Your Race!"