An educator known for putting student learning at the forefront of her efforts and a technician who makes the athletics department hum are this month’s Killeen ISD STEEL Award winners.
Willow Springs Elementary School Assistant Principal Regina Beard and Athletics Technician Kristie Yonker earned the district’s monthly staff award for March – the STEEL Award.
Superintendent John Craft and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources David Manley joined athletics department staff and communications in surprising Yonker with the honor.
The 23-year KISD employee is credited for keeping the district’s expanding athletics department running.
“Kristie has answered every call that we have asked for her,” Craft said during the presentation in the athletics department office.
“As the Athletics Technician, Kristie is involved in every aspect of athletics,” Director of Athletics Micah Wells said in nominating her. “Every coach in KISD would agree that the daily operations of our teams and athletes would not be successful without her hard work.”
Regina Beard distinguished herself as a first-rate teacher and this year, she began a new role as assistant principal at Willow Springs Elementary School.
Deputy Superintendent Megan Bradley joined other district leaders, Willow Springs staff members and the communications staff in honoring Beard.
Principal Jessica Hicks said Beard surpasses all expectations to help teachers be more effective.
“Regina goes above and beyond in everything she does,” Hicks said in nominating the assistant principal.
“She meets with teachers before school, during school, after school, and on the weekends. She is intentional and answers teachers’ texts and calls for support whenever and wherever she is. She is always there for the teachers and students.”
Upon receiving the surprise award, Beard said it’s still the students that motivate her to go to work each day.
Hicks said, “Ms. Beard is a great leader and role model; she is so appreciated!”
Killeen ISD Executive Director for Elementary Campuses Iris Felder was also part of the award presentation.
She was the principal at Brookhaven Elementary when Beard was a teacher there.
“Regina Beard is an internally driven energizer bunny,” Felder said. “She is a true servant leader that strives for the success of everyone, not just the students. She’s a continuous learner, tech savvy, and maintains a bubbly, positive spirit at all times—no matter how hard it gets.”
The district honors two staff members a month, based on employee nominations, for a STEEL Award.
STEEL means Supporting the Education and Empowerment of Learners. The award is made of steel and is a product of the district’s Career Center.