Merriman Park's Brenda Marr, center, is surprised by the RISD STAR teacher presentation. Photo by Tori Cohorn.

Like the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol, Richardson ISD administrators surprised some hard-working, high-achieving LH-area educators recently with classroom visits to honor them as STARS (Superior Teaching Achievements in RISD). Of 10 STARS in RISD, 3 teach LH students.

Tracey Bishkin challenges her LHHS AP World History, Psychology and Economics students like a grain of sand in an oyster – she pokes and prods and irritates them until they open their minds and produce pearls of effort and insight in her classroom.

Brenda Marr, an LHHS graduate, is the Campus Reading Specialist at Merriman Park Elementary. While a Wildcat, Brenda spent time as a cheerleader and a Highlandette, and she enjoys teaching little-girl cheer camps over summer break.

Alicia Arruda is the much-beloved music teacher at Thurgood Marshall Elementary who can find talent and grow passion in even the most musically ungifted.

RISD’s Excellence in Education Foundation, which selected the STARS, presented them with flowers, balloons and $1,000. Winners were nominated by their schools and will be recognized at the RISD Board of Trustees Banquet May 19.

You can see the entire list of honorees here.