Abilene Regional Medical Center and the Wylie Bulldogs Education Foundation joined forces in August to welcome Wylie’s 38 new teachers with a new teacher luncheon.
Teachers received gifts from both the hospital and the foundation. The hospital has long been a major supporter of the Wylie district. The Wylie Bulldogs Education Foundation raises money through at its annual We Are Wylie Dinner to help fund teacher grants and student scholarships.
Among Wylie’s 38 new teachers are nine who graduated from Wylie and now are returning home as teachers. Let’s meet Wylie’s new teachers:
Early Childhood Center
Robin Ricker teaches kindergarten. A 2010 Wylie graduate, Robin graduated from ACU in 2014 and taught kindergarten in Vernon for two years before coming home. “Teaching has been my passion and dream since I was young, and I am so happy to be a Wylie Bulldog again,” she said.
Brittany Wright teaches 1st grade. She is a Wylie grad who got her degree from Texas State University a year ago in May. Last year, she was an aide in a pre-k classroom at Wylie ECC. She also just married her high school sweetheart in June. “I am so happy to be a Wylie Bulldog again,” she said.
Ashley Anderson teaches 1st grade. She is a 2005 Texas Tech graduate and taught in Kansas, the Frisco ISD and the AISD before coming to Wylie. She and her husband have three sons, ages 6, 3, and five months. “I am passionate about building relationships with each student to help them grow into life-long learners,” she said. “I am excited to be a part of the Wylie family.”
Elizabeth Conyer is a speech therapist at the Elementary. She was in speech therapy at Hendrick Rehab Center for 2 ½ years before coming to Wylie. She loves the Texas A&M Aggies and the Texas Rangers and has two fur babies – Macy, a Yorkie and Maddie, a Mini Schnauzer. She is a graduate of HSU, where she was a four-year member of the Spurs Dance Team before attending grad school at West Texas A&M.
Caroline Sanford is the nurse at the Elementary. She comes to Wylie from Hermleigh. She has three children and enjoys spending time with her family doing anything from sports to hunting and fishing. “I am excited to take care of the students at Wylie Elementary,” she said.
Kelsey Halfmann teaches 3rd grade special education. She is a 2012 Wylie graduate and was a substitute teacher before taking the fulltime job. “I am very excited to join the Wylie family as a teacher,” she said.
Amy Wallenborn teaches 3rd grade math. She is from San Antonio and just graduated from ACU. “I am very excited to be a brand new Wylie Bulldog,” she said. “I have a passion for meeting every child where they are at and providing them with the resources they need to succeed.”
Allison Walker teaches 4th-grade reading and social studies. She grew up in Abilene, graduated from HSU and has been married to her high school sweetheart for three years.
Juleigh Stickney teaches 4th-grade writing and science. She is new to 4th grade but not to the Intermediate. Last year, she was the computer teacher. She has been married for 14 years and has two children. “I am so excited to be teaching,” she said. “I guarantee we will have lots of fun in my class.”
Jonnie Taylor teaches 3rd-grade language arts, science and social studies. She is originally from Abilene and is retired from the Air Force. She is married to William Taylor and has four children, two boys (ages 23, 20) and two daughters (ages 17, 20).
Katie Lankford teaches the visually impaired at the Intermediate. She was previously an instructional aide in San Angelo. She said she comes from a large family and loves playing board games and sports with her family. “I am very excited to start working as a teacher of the visually impaired,” she said. “I am looking forward to this school year.”
Laura Langford is a speech therapist at the Intermediate. She is a Wylie graduate who previously worked at Home Health Speech Therapy. “I am very excited about returning to the district to serve all the kiddos and their parents,” she said.
Abby Frymire teaches 3rd grade math. She graduated from Wylie in 2012 and went to HSU, where she just graduated in December. “I’m so excited to be back at Wylie to start my teaching career,” she said. “It’s great to be a Wylie Bulldog.”
Brack Jones teaches 5th-grade music and 6th-grade social studies. He previously taught at Merkel. His wife, Lillian, is also a new teacher at Wylie this year, and their son, Logan, will be in 4th grade and their daughter Brooke will be a freshman.
Lillian Jones teaches 6th-grade social studies and language arts. She and her husband, Brack, and children, Logan (4th grade) and Brooke (freshman) enjoy showing market lambs.
Danlee Rich teaches 6th-grade language arts. She has taught for 8 years, previously at Craig Middle School in the AISD. She and her husband, Colden, have two daughters, Ella and Medelyn. “I am excited to start teaching at Wylie Middle School,” she said.
Erin McInroy teaches 5th-grade math and science. She taught pre-K and directed preschools and childcare centers for the past 20 years. She is originally from Rochester, New York, but she and her husband were most recently in Hawaii before moving to Abilene in November with the Air Force.
Julie Stewart teaches 5th grade language arts. She taught at Wylie for five years before leaving to teach in Colorado for a year. She and her husband love to hike and play sports. “We are so happy to be back in Abilene,” she said. “I love this district.”
Michael Eames is a behavior coach for the Intermediate and Junior High. He previously was with the Dickinson ISD, but came to Abilene so his wife could work at HSU. Their daughter is a student at HSU, and their son is in the Army in Georgia.
Kristian Rains teaches 7th-grade science. She is a 2010 Wylie graduate and a 2014 graduate of Texas A&M. She most recently worked at the West Texas Rehab Center. “My dream is to be a constant reminder to every child that they matter and have great worth,” she said.
Stormy Burns teaches special education math at the Junior High. She has a degree in psychology from Baylor University and most recently was an instructional aide in the AISD. Her husband is a youth minister.
Bethany Gonzalez teaches Life Skills (special ed). She graduated from Texas A&M and previously taught in Keller. She plays the ukulele and loves to use it in her class. “I love music and love to sing and be goofy with songs,” she said. “I want my students with disabilities to be able to function in society and to be successful in their own way.”
Tim Maskill teaches 8th-grade English. He previously taught in Amarillo. “I’m a graduate of HSU, where I was able to play football with the purple and gold,” he said. “I am excited to put some purple and gold back on as a Wylie Bulldog.”
Ricky Ramos teaches 8th-grade history. He previously taught in Clyde. He has taught for 14 years and is married with two daughters, ages 3 and 9. He said he enjoys spending time with his family.
Rusti Blount teaches special ed and English. She has taught for 7 years. She is a graduate of Wayland Baptist University and has been married for 16 years. She and her husband have four amazing kids.
Amy Grimland teaches 7th &8th-grade science. She has been in education since 2000, previously teaching at Madison Middle School in the AISD. “I am very excited to teach at Wylie Junior High,” she said.
Hollie Garza teaches Junior High art. She graduated from McMurry University and has two children, ages 2 and 5. “I am passionate about the arts and sharing my passion with my students,” she said.
Macy Ivey teaches 8th-grade math. She graduated from Texas A&M in December. “Family is my number one priority,” she said. “And I am very excited to be here at Wylie.”
Jessica Watkins joins the Pure Gold after directing the band in Anson. She is from Bowie, Texas, and graduated from McMurry in 2012. She has three cats named Bob, Stu and Agnes.
Joshua Howeth grew up in Abilene and just graduated from McMurry. He also is a Green Bay Packers fan. “Being a Bulldog is extremely exciting, and I am looking forward to a great year,” he said.
Colton Rockett just graduated from HSU. He grew up in the country with his parents and brother and enjoys hunting, camping and being in the outdoors. “I like to be a mentor to my students and encourage them to take ownership of what they learn,” he said.
Wylie High School
Grace Campbell teaches Spanish 1 & Spanish 2. She just graduated from HSU and did her student teaching at Wylie. She is originally from Allen, Texas, and got married this summer to Michael Campbell, who is starting his career in the AISD. “I love to read fiction books and hike/explore national parks,” she said.
Carlie Fehl teaches English I and English II and EOC Remediation. She graduated from Wylie in 2009 and played volleyball at McMurry. She graduated in 2013 and taught and coached at Abilene High for three years.
Melanie Morris teaches Algebra I and Geometry. She is a Wylie graduate and taught at Wylie before staying home with her three young children, who are now at the elementary and ECC campuses. “I am excited to be teaching math here for the second time,” she said. “Go Bulldogs.”
Courtney Freeman teaches biology and coaches the JV cheerleaders. She taught in Denton for 8 years before coming here. She is the mother of four girls and moved to Abilene to be closer to family. “We are a family that loves the outdoors, hunting, hiking, fishing and doing water sports.”
Cynthia Cumby teaches physics and college algebra. She previously taught at Merkel and is the mother of two. “I believe all children can learn, and it’s my responsibility to find the way to help them learn,” she said.
Holly Kirby teaches English III and AP English III. She has taught in Texas schools for 12 years and in Oklahoma for three years. “I believe my first task is to connect with my students through relevant lessons and genuine interactions, which will lead to successes in the classroom.”