Rockwall High School Culinary Arts Chef-Instructor Cody Hayes was honored at the State of Texas Teacher of the Year Luncheon on Friday, October 19, in Austin. Chef Hayes was one of three secondary teachers who were honored as state finalists in the Teacher of the Year program sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators. Other secondary honorees included Theresa Heim of Northside ISD and Jeremy Wagner of Frenship ISD. Mr. Wagner was ultimately selected as the state’s Secondary Teacher of the Year and will represent Texas at the national level.
Chef Hayes was chosen in May as the Rockwall ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year and then selected in August as the Region 10 Secondary Teacher of the Year. Subsequently, he was named a state finalist and travelled to Austin for a personal interview with the selection panel.
The Texas Teacher of the Year luncheon was held at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum and honored all elementary and secondary regional Teacher of the Year winners as well as the three elementary and three secondary state finalists. The six state finalists were honored with individual recognitions including the playing of a short video highlighting their teaching style and their students.
“As a district, we are so proud of Chef Hayes and his accomplishments,” said Rockwall ISD Superintendent of Schools Jeff Bailey, who attended the luncheon. “It is obvious that he truly connects with students and teaches them far more than just culinary skills. The life lessons they learn in his class will impact them for years to come.”