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All smiles! // After being presented with the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award, Mr. Brandon Vestal and family celebrate this achievement.

All smiles! // After being presented with the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award, Mr. Brandon Vestal and family celebrate this achievement.

An Award Well-Deserved

One of Heath's esteemed teachers recieved a prestigious award

Last Friday morning in our very own Performing Arts Center, Mr. Brandon Vestal, a beloved teacher here at Heath, was presented with the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award by Humanities Texas. The award ceremony was held in the company of State Sen. Bob Hall and State Rep. Justin Holland, along with Dr. John “JJ” Villareal, Superintendent of Rockwall ISD, Principal Todd Bradford, and many others.

Each year, twelve teachers from all across Texas are presented with this award, which recognizes exemplary K-12 humanities teachers. 

“I just continue to try to find ways to be more creative in my classroom, ways to engage the community and find more ways to help my students learn outside the classroom and be students of the world,” said Vestal. “It is just an incredible honor kind of just still sinking in.”

In Vestal’s classroom, students are able to get out into the real world and create memorable and thought-provoking experiences, ones that will help them become not only better students, but better people. These experiences often help students see from another’s point of view.

“I think sometimes we struggle to show empathy,” said Vestal. “If we can get to a place where we can have empathy for people we disagree with and see where they’re coming from, we’re going to create a place that’s better for everyone.”

During his speech, Vestal spoke to empathy and togetherness.

“If we lose our ability to listen, we lose love. And if we lose love, we’ve lost– because all of our futures are bound together,” said Vestal.

At the end of the award ceremony, a teary-eyed Principal Bradford remarked. “We need more people like Mr. Vestal.”

Information Courtesy of Rockwall ISD.

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