Sixth grade science teacher Donna Ashley was awarded the Lamar Medal as part of Open House activities at Blanco Middle School on the evening of Tuesday, March 8.
Guy Anderson, representing Blanco Masonic Lodge #216, presented the award to Mrs. Ashley. The following is a text of his remarks:
"This year’s Lamar medal presentation is going to a teacher who has worked for Blanco ISD for eleven years, and all years being at Blanco Middle School.
"This year’s medal recipient graduated from Anderson High School in Austin, Texas. After high school she received her Bachelor’s Degree from Texas Tech University, and a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas in social welfare. She worked as a social worker and counselor prior to becoming a teacher.
"This teacher was selected for this award because of her dedication to her students. She is a teacher that is driven to see students succeed at all times. She is described by some of her colleagues as a person who is truly compassionate about students and who is committed towards student success.
"She works tirelessly in making her classroom engaging and each lesson precise. She sets high goals for her students and is committed to helping them achieve them.
"She is a true exemplar teacher for Blanco ISD.
"It is with great pride that Blanco Masonic Lodge #216 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons recognizes Mrs. Donna Ashley with this year’s Mirabeau B. Lamar Medal."
Blanco Elementary teacher Collin Gaskamp was awarded with the Lamar Medal by Blanco Masonic Lodge #216 in ceremonies held on March 10 at the Blanco Elementary library.
"I am very honored to receive this distinguished award," said Gaskamp. "I accept this award on behalf of all of the excellent teachers at Blanco Elementary that go above and beyond the call of duty each day. I would like to thank the Masons for continuing to provide support and recognition to all public schools across Texas."
Bill Rife, representing the Blanco Masonic Lodge, highlighted some of the attributes of the honoree. "She contributes to the campus in many ways. Not only is she the school’s Instructional Technologist, but she keeps the system running campus-wide. She maintains multiple data bases, and keeps the school connected to all necessary websites day in and day out."
"She tutors kindergarten students in Reading during the day and third grade students after school. She compiles reports, and presents them in order to help students, teachers, the principal, and central office strive to reach the goal of excellence at Blanco Elementary."
"She has a weekly photo column in The Bell, and helps with GIST, administering tests, and filling in when needed."
"Collin Gaskamp is an outstanding member of the BES faculty."
Gaskamp began working at Blanco Elementary in 2000 as a Pre-K teacher. In 2004, she began teaching kindergarten, and in 2008 she became the campus Instructional Technologist.