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Diana Gafford Celebrated as the 2024 Ted Barnes Award Recipient

Diana Gafford-Ted Barnes

The Lewisville ISD Education Foundation is proud to announce Diana Gafford as the recipient of the 2024 Ted Barnes LHS Award of Excellence. With over two decades of dedicated service to Lewisville Independent School District, Mrs. Gafford's unwavering commitment to education and her students has left a lasting mark on the community.

The Ted Barnes LHS Award of Excellence was established in memory of Ted Barnes, a former teacher and coach for more than 25 years at Lewisville High School, to be given to a LHS teacher demonstrating outstanding educational service, preferably for at least 10 years. Having served for 22 years within Lewisville ISD, Mrs. Gafford's journey in education exemplifies perseverance, passion, and excellence.

A Lewisville High School alumni herself, she has dedicated the past twelve years to Lewisville High School - Killough, where she currently serves as an MTSS specialist. Her tenure includes a decade at Lewisville High School - Main, where she taught Spanish and held many leadership roles.

"I have had the privilege to work in many different roles, meet many different people, and have had many different experiences that have helped shape the person I am today," Mrs. Gafford shares.

 Her multifaceted contributions extend beyond the classroom, as she played pivotal roles in revitalizing the Spanish club, contributing to various committees, and championing initiatives promoting a safe and inclusive school environment. In her current role as an MTSS specialist, Mrs. Gafford's dedication shines through her collaborative approach for students facing academic and behavioral challenges.

"We are a segway for teachers and administrators/counselors to work together to help fill in the gaps with any student concerns," she explains "I have had the opportunity to work with many students on campus, and I am hoping to continue to help them be the best version of themselves they can be."

The impact she has made on her students is obvious, who regard her with admiration and gratitude.

"Through the year, it’s been a bumpy road for me but with Mrs. Gafford, it felt like everything wasn’t so bad because I had someone that understood what I was going through without judging,” one student expressed.

Mrs. Gafford’s philosophy on education is that students can succeed at anything if they work hard enough and have faith to achieve it. She believes in always giving students her best because that is what they deserve, and she asks them for the same in return.

“They can take responsibility for their learning, and it is profound when they realize what they can do,” she reflects. “Each student is different in their own way, yet they are all still very similar.  Students want to know that they matter.”

Her colleagues also rave about Mrs. Gafford's collaborative spirit, knowing her ability to build great relationships with students is the foundation of success for many LHS Killough students.

"She has played a key role in developing the MTSS classroom in which our students can come and get academic help, as well as behavioral supports and collaborates with other teachers to create a positive learning culture for our campus,” reflects Killough principal, Stephanie Gore.

In honoring Diana Gafford with the Ted Barnes LHS Award of Excellence, LEF celebrates an educator whose unwavering commitment to student success embody the true spirit of excellence in education. The 2024 award includes a $1,000 cash prize.

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