Tyler ISD gave two teachers top honors at their annual Teachers of the Year banquet on Tuesday.
Griffin Elementary's Kimberly Whaley was named elementary teacher of the year. Robert E. Lee High School's Elgin Johnson was named secondary teacher of the year.
Johnson has been teaching biology at Robert E. Lee since he graduated college 15 years ago. For him, he's just doing what he loves.
"It can be very hard, but it can also be one the most rewarding things you do as a person," Johnson said. "Seeing young kids grow and develop and become successful young men and women is really rewarding."
Tyler ISD employs 1,285 teachers. Of those, 29 were nominated as individual campus teachers of the year. Johnson is just one of two nominated as a district teacher of the year, which means he'll be competing at the regional level this summer.
To be considered for the top teaching honor, a candidate must have been a teacher in the district for three years, play an active role in the community, be committed to the teaching profession, and create creative lesson plans that inspire and engage students to learn more.
"I try to make it relevant to them," Johnson said. "I try to make it real world by making some analogies. I try to invest everybody into the things that they're learning and I try to spark that inquisitive nature that makes them go out and learn more about the subject than in the classroom."
Johnson also dedicates his time outside of the classroom. He is a football coach, as well as the head track coach.
"It's what I enjoy doing," he said. "It's what God has in store for me. That's all I can say. God has blessed me so much in my life and continues to bless me."