Science teacher voted school’s Teacher of Excellence

Science Teacher Donna Riss was chosen by her peers as the school’s Teacher of Excellence recipient


By Izzy James

Recently elected the school’s teacher of the year, science teacher Donna Riss instructs her students on Wednesday, April 21.

Alejandra Loya , JAG reporter

Science teacher Donna Riss was chosen as the 2020-2021 Mill Valley Teacher of Excellence.

Each year the De Soto Teachers’ Association recognizes an outstanding teacher in each building across the district. The winners are selected by their coworkers. 

The winner’s name is added to the plaque that hangs in the office, and they are recognized by the district at a ceremony. Additionally, the DTA awards a $400 scholarship to a senior at each high school in honor of all the Teachers of Excellence around the district.

Riss was not expecting this award but was extremely honored to be chosen and grateful for the recognition. 

“This award is especially meaningful because the recognition comes from my coworkers. I feel very fortunate to teach at Mill Valley High School and to be part of an amazing staff with so many excellent teachers,” Riss said. 

According to English teacher Ashley Agre, Riss deserves this honor because she goes above and beyond for her students. Making sure they feel loved and organized. And spending hours sitting with students to make sure they understand the subject matter. 

“She delivered lab materials to her remote students’ front doors more than once so that they could fully participate in her class and get the most out of it. Plus, the students just love her,” Agre said.

Agre who has been classroom neighbors with Riss for 14 years was beyond excited to find out she was chosen for this award. 

“I was elated! I think I even yelled ‘YES!’ out loud in my empty classroom. Donna Riss is truly one of the greatest humans to ever grace the halls of Mill Valley High School,” Agre said.  

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