Hardy Wins Jostens National Teacher Award


Myranda Salinas

Choir director Carla Hardy was awarded the Jostens National Teacher of the Year Award.

Cara Wimberley, Editor

Carla Hardy, choir director and Renaissance instructor, won not only the Teacher of the Year award for Chisholm Trail and EMS-ISD but Josten’s National Teacher of the Year Award as well.  

“After meeting so many Renaissance teachers from all over the country, I truly don’t think I do anything better than them,” she said. “The heart of Renaissance is to try to see and celebrate students.” 

Hardy’s road to Renaissance started with Chisholm’s previous principal.

“Dr. Barnes introduced me to [renaissance] two years ago. She invited us to the national conference to present,” Hardy said. “It’s like, when you finally meet a group of people who just get you, that’s how I felt at the Renaissance conference. We had a very like-minded and like-hearted belief that students need to be recognized.” 

Hardy’s students say they’ve learned a lot from Hardy and her dedication to working hard. 

“She taught me to be more of a leader and showed a lot of excitement and passion about everything, and I really wanted to follow her footsteps,” junior Mara Dijamco said. 

Mara isn’t alone in her praise of Hardy and her love of Hardy’s passion in what she does. 

“[Hardy’s] passion helps you want to be there,” junior Tori Carroll said. “It makes me want to be like them. They make it feel like a fun activity, not a job.”

Hardy’s students say she is involved in any and every student’s life who she can get close to. Hardy said that involvement brings her great joy. 

“The best part of this is getting to be a part of so many kids’ stories,” Hardy said. “Whether they sing every day, whether they never sing again, or even if they just sing a little louder in the car, it’s a blessing to be a blip on the radar of their lives.” 

Choir director Sarah Dehondt said that Hardy is successful and an award-winning Renaissance instructor because of her dedication to the success of students. Dehondt says the students aren’t the only ones learning from Hardy. 

“I have learned how to celebrate every student,” Dehondt said. “I’ve learned the importance of kindness. How to properly allocate my time. I’ve learned so, so much.” 

Hardy said the reason for her success in Renaissance is her dear friend, Justin Ray, and his dedication to “shouting the name of our Renaissance to anyone who would listen at the national level.” 

“That’s what’s so cool about Renaissance,” Hardy said. “The heart of Renaissance is that it happens everywhere, not just during the class period that Renaissance takes place in. It helps bring awareness to us to just notice people. That’s why I love Renaissance. Students need to know they matter here.”