Orsak Honored as 2013 Teacher of the Year

Kara Orsak

Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: January 31, 2014

Kara Orsak, special needs teacher and Special Education graduate from Texas A&M University, was recently named 2013 Spot Light Teacher of the Year at Copeland Elementary in Cypress-Fairbanks I.S.D.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD annually selects what is a known as a Spot Light Teacher of the Year. To be chosen as a Spot Light Teacher, the individual must demonstrate that he or she is capable of acting and working as an Instructional Strategist, a creator of a student-centered environment, a positive role model, a lifelong learner, and a team player. Once candidates are nominated, the teaching staff from Cypress votes for the teacher they find best represents a Spot Light Teacher. The administration selects the winner for Teacher of the Year.

Kara feels extremely honored to receive the award. “For me, being a teacher means living to find a way to make each day better, and it is my job to create a classroom that is welcoming, challenging, and full of fun. The students in my life skills classroom face bigger obstacles each day than I can relate to in an entire lifetime,” said Orsak. “I encourage a lot of independence in my classroom, because I have found that my students show more interest in activities if they have a vital role in the process.”

Kara says the best aspect of her classroom is that she is able to use a variety of teaching techniques in her day-to-day lessons due to her intelligent, imaginative, and diverse students who thrive with hands-on learning. Kara’s passion for teaching connects with her experience working with a young man in high school with Prader Willie Syndrome. Kara said the young man opened her eyes to being a special education teacher, and that continues to motivate her to make a difference in her classroom every day.

“Kara is a wonderful reflection of the hard work and dedication that is put into the undergraduate program by the students on campus,” stated Leigh Ann Eisterhold Frew, Orsak’s student teacher coordinator. “She is a dedicated, hard-working, and innovative teacher, and it's pleasing that she has been recognized for this honor.”

Today, Kara continues to bring light into her classroom by striving each day to find an even better method to help a special needs student succeed at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.