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Paris ISD Names Teachers of the Year

Posted Date: 04/26/2024

Paris ISD Names Teachers of the Year

Lisa Prihoda was named Elementary Teacher of the Year and Arielle Chastain was named Secondary Teacher of the Year for the Paris Independent School District at a dinner recently honoring teaching excellence. Both will represent Paris ISD in the 2025 Region VIII Education Service Center Teacher of the Year competition. 

Prihoda holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with a certification in Early Childhood – sixth grade from Winona State University in Winona, MN. She started her journey in education with Paris ISD in 2017 and is presently a Second Grade teacher at Justiss Elementary. In 1997 Prihoda became a Texas transplant, after some time spent working in her own business and the corporate world, she had an empty feeling that she knew could only be filled by her first love…. The love of teaching. She began to ask people she knew in Paris, Texas, “Which school would be the best place to apply?” The answer was nearly unanimous…”You need to apply at Paris ISD, Justiss Elementary School, because  that district and school are all about the students.” So, Prihoda dug in and received her Texas Educator Certification for grades EC-6 while working as a long term substitute, and a few months later as a special education aide at Justiss Elementary School.  In 2017, Prihoda received a full time position as a third grade teacher at Justiss Elementary and later moved to her current position as a second grade teacher where she has been the past four years. Prihoda greets her students with a smile, a hug, and an “I love you. I’m so glad you’re here today.” She shares that smile, a special gift, a beautiful thing that keeps on giving.

Chastain holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, OK. She started her journey with Paris ISD in 2022 as a seventh grade Reading and Language Arts (RLA) teacher at Paris Junior High School. Chastain finds fulfillment in witnessing her students' growth through the beauty of reading and writing, with the hopes of instilling in them a lifelong love for literacy. Most importantly, Chastain aims to support her students in finding who they are as individuals, and how their unique gifts can be used effectively in this world. Chastain cherishes the support and unity of her team at Paris Junior High, whose camaraderie makes each day a little sweeter.  Teaching has always been Chastain's calling, a vocation she feels deeply thankful to fulfill in the community of Paris. Chastain spends the remainder of her time serving with her husband in their church's student ministry; where her passion for students continues to grow. For Chastain, serving her students in the classroom and in church is truly one of life's kindest gifts. Additionally, Chastain serves with Lamar County YoungLives, is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor, and coaches UIL. Guided by her dedication, and fueled by her love for her students and her community, Chastain hopes to continue to inspire young minds inside and outside of the classroom.

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Paris ISD
1920 Clarksville St
Paris, Texas 75460
Phone: 903-737-7473
Fax: 903-737-7484

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Quick Tip is a support system that allows students to communicate with school administrators. While the district already has many programs to help students deal with challenges such as bullying behaviors, stress, peer pressure, and family problems, Quick Tip helps break the code of silence often experienced by students because it allows them to report concerns to administrators anonymously.

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