Baptist Educators Serving Texans (B.E.S.T.)

2021 Educator of the Year Award Recipients

Bobbette Bell

Bobbette Bell

Bobbette Bell, a graduate of Howard Payne University, serves as the librarian at Salado ISD. She has served as a Texas educator for thirty-four years, and she reflects Christ in her work every day. Bell attends First Baptist Church of Salado. She currently serves as the Church Clerk and has previously served as the chair of the Personnel Committee, a member of the Finance Committee and a Youth Sunday School teacher.

Jennifer Carlile

Jennifer Carlile

Jennifer Carlile, a second-grade teacher at Bullard Primary School and a graduate of East Texas Baptist University (ETBU), has served as a Texas educator for 12 years, planting seeds in students’ lives each year. She and her family are active members of South Spring Baptist Church in Tyler are a part of the local soccer club where she gets to work with young soccer players and their families.

Dolores Jean Kemp

Dolores Jean Kemp

Dolores Jean Kemp, a retired teacher and graduate of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB), served as a Texas educator for fifty-nine years, living for Christ every day in the classroom. Kemp is an active member at First Baptist Church in Belton. She has also been active in the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas over the years.

Hector Marquez

Hector Marquez

Hector Marquez, a ninth-grade science teacher and graduate of Baptist University of the Americas (BUA), has served as a Texas educator for two years, living out his faith daily among his students. Marquez attends Alliance Baptist Church in Lubbock. He also volunteers at Mosaic Church in Lamesa, where he serves on the praise team.

Ashley Minton

Ashley Minton

Ashley Minton, a principal in Coppell Independent School District (ISD) and a graduate of Baylor University (BU), has served as a Texas educator for thirteen years, reflecting Christ in the classroom. Minton is an active member at her church in Dallas. She is a co-leader of her community group and serves on a volunteer team for the women's ministry.

Jonathan Powell

Jonathan Powell

Jonathan Powell, a principal in New Caney Independent School District (ISD) and a graduate of Houston Baptist University (HBU), has served as a Texas educator for thirteen years, living out his faith in his everyday life. Powell is also an active member of First Baptist Conroe. He leads an adult life group and serves as a deacon in the church.

Daisy Sanchez

Daisy Sanchez

Daisy Sanchez, PreK-12 School Counselor and graduate of Hardin Simmons University (HSU), has served as a Texas educator for 35 years, living out her faith daily among her students. She currently serves as a PreK-12 School Counselor and the ESL director and teacher in Bronte ISD. Sanchez is also an active member at Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo.

Cynthia Spencer

Cynthia Spencer

Cynthia Spencer, a fifth-grade mathematics teacher and a graduate of Dallas Baptist University (DBU), has served as a Texas educator for seven years, living out her faith daily among her students. She was awarded the Heart of a Teacher Award at Red Oak ISD in 2017. Spencer is an active member of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Cedar Hill.

Rodney Wallace

Rodney Wallace

Rodney Wallace, a Plainview ISD principal and graduate of Wayland Baptist University, has served as a Texas educator for 25 years, living out his faith daily among his students. Wallace is also an active member at Happy Union Baptist Church. He has served as the Youth Pastor and he currently serves as the Associate Pastor.

Why are we presenting these awards?

Since 1886, Texas Baptists have been strong supporters of university education in Texas. The B.E.S.T. Awards (Baptist Educators Serving Texans) will be given annually in order to:

  1. Recognize the value and the positive contribution our Texas Baptists universities are making to our public school systems in Texas.
  2. Identify and celebrate individual Texas public school educators who, every day in their classrooms, live out their faith to the students they serve.
  3. Encourage Texas Baptists (BGCT) churches to remember that their mission gifts through the Cooperative Program support our Texas Baptists universities and the training of approximately 800 new public school educators annually who invest in the lives of children for years to come.

Who can be nominated?

A candidate for a B.E.S.T. award is an educator (teacher, coach, counselor, administrator, etc.) in a state approved or accredited school, prekindergarten through grade twelve. Each candidate currently must be:

  • A teacher or administrator in a Texas public school system;
  • A graduate of one of our nine Texas Baptist Universities; and
  • A member of a Baptist church supportive of the BGCT (Texas Baptists).

© 2002-2022 Texas Baptists. All rights reserved.
Made possible by gifts through the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program.

(888) 244-9400
web[at]texasbaptists.org