Lori Barnett is one of the hardest working and most dedicated people in Denison ISD, but her work is all done behind the scenes. Most people don't know how many hats she wears, and she does it all with a positive attitude. In our Special Education department, Lori manages to juggle many jobs for Special Education teachers, data reporting, records, etc all while taking care of the diagnosticians and director of Special Education. If we ever need immediate help, Lori drops what she's doing and finds a way to figure out solutions to our dilemmas. She keeps us comfortable and feeling our best with anything we may need. This includes chocolate, band-aids, allergy meds, hairspray, spare earrings, you name it, Lori has it for us. She works diligently to make sure all our Special Education students and staff needs are met on a daily basis without hesitation. She also helps complete complex tasks (medical billing claims, reimbursement claims) simultaneously. While she is busy and takes pride in her work, she is always willing to help in the building for any events such as retirement parties, setting up for meetings, recognizing other staff member’s accomplishments, etc. We feel that without her efforts and knowledge, the Special Education Department and our building would not be able to run as smoothly. She is always willing to help. She is a fountain of knowledge and handles herself with complete professionalism. Lori always has a bright smile to lighten up your day. She's also a wonderful listener who has seen it all and can help problem-solve. We honestly don't know what we would do without Lori Barnett. She makes a difference every day!

Denison isd administration

Lori Barnett


Sharon Siems serves our schools as the Athletic Secretary. However, her service expands far beyond her title. Not a day goes by where Sharon is not going above and beyond her duties to help students and staff with anything they might need. Whether the questions are with paperwork or where to find the missing water jug, Sharon knows the answer and is always willing to stop what she is doing and help you out. If you ever have a question, the answer is: ask Sharon. Everyone in the athletic department respects and appreciates Sharon. Our student athletes are always respectful to Sharon because of the way that she treats them and how she cares for their success and well-being. Many students stop by in the morning just to say hello to Sharon to begin their day. If you are headed to the athletic office, you go knowing that you will be welcomed with a friendly face and leave with a smile feeling better than when you walked in. Sharon embodies the Jacket family and always welcomes others with open arms.

Denison High School

Sharon Siems


The Scott Middle School library has undergone a complete makeover, and that is largely due to the contributions of Kari Uber. Kari has made the library a more inviting place for students and staff alike. One teacher remarked, "I love that she opens up the Library before school in the mornings and allows us to send any student that needs a book or computer time to make up work in a class.  As an extra BONUS, the library is now a cheerful, welcome place for staff meetings!" Mrs. Uber leading the way to high-level literacy at SMS. For these reasons and more, Kari Uber is the SMS Difference Maker for October.

Scott Middle School

Kari Uber

Linda Ridgeway is a retired Denison ISD Teacher that chose to return to work as an Inclusion Para Professional. She has been very helpful to the inclusion group and a true light to our campus. Linda uses her decades of teaching expertise to assist teachers with some of our most challenging students. She exudes grace and mercy, patience and persistence - holding students’ feet to the fire and reinforcing concepts they are struggling with. Teachers know when she walks in the room, they have a co-captain that can step in immediately to assist students with individual tasks, reading support, behavior interventions, and emotional aide. She is no nonsense, means business, and helps ensure that every student in the room is working to their fullest potential. She does what is expected and then some. Linda genuinely cares about helping the teachers and students at B. McDaniel and gives every single day 100% of her. You are a rockstar, Linda!

B. McDaniel Intermediate School

Linda Ridgeway


Heather is a ray of sunshine!  She comes to school with a smile on her face and an encouraging word for everyone she sees. Her encouraging words come at just the right time.  Those words and smiles aren't just for the staff either.  We've seen students flock around her at the end of the day for hugs!  "Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Thompson! Can I have a hug?" they call out.  Some of the most challenging students want those hugs.  She loves on the kids that are often the hardest to love.  Furthermore, if you need help, Heather always seems to be right there. We had many technology issues at the beginning of the year and she was always quick to help even when it became frustrating.  She never lost that sweet smile.  If she couldn't figure it out, she knew who to call for us.  We never had to wait long for things to be fixed.  Heather adds so many things to our campus in all of her roles, but I think the most important is her encouraging, can-do attitude.  Houston Elementary wouldn't be the same without her!

houston elementary

Heather Thompson


When we think of "Difference Maker", Holley Murphy immediately comes to mind!  In a very short amount of time, she has made a real difference at Hyde Park.  She's responsible for many things on campus and handles it all with grace and gratitude.  Her consistent smile and positive attitude is contagious.  Whether she's giving out "Greatness Grams", counseling with a parent, or having lunch with students, her infectious energy makes everyone feel loved.  We are blessed by her each and every day and are so glad she is a Hyde Park Tiger!!

Hyde Park elementary

Holley Murphy


Tina is here every morning before we all get here making sure the building is in tip top shape. She is eager to help in any situation. She cares about the staff and the students. In the morning she greets students cheerfully to let them know she cares. She works hard all year round making sure out campus is a clean environment for all who walk these halls. She has been committed to Lamar for many years. We are very lucky to have her as part of our family!!

Lamar Elementary

Tina Fox

There are certain staff members that our school just simply wouldn’t operate efficiently without and our Mayes Difference Maker is that person. She has worked in so many different areas of Mayes during her time at Denison ISD and no matter what the task, she goes above and beyond and takes the task very seriously. Her current position takes patience, organization, speaking two languages and keeping our building running smoothly by putting out fires daily. She not only juggles all of the stresses of the font office, but she is our go-to person when it comes to translating and communicating with parents who speak Spanish to make their lives and students feel less anxious. On top of that, she is the best cook around and spoils us with her authentic food that gets a 5-star rating. Mrs. Bonham’s world was shattered with the loss of her dear husband, but she continued to persevere her best efforts to our school, our students and anyone she comes in contact with. She is truly a Mayes hero!

Mayes Elementary

Alma Bonham

Mrs. Neidert has brought many positive vibes to our school. She always has a friendly way about her even when it comes to the discipline of our students. She is building strong positive relationships with our little Texans and that is the exact way to get the positive student behaviors we all expect. I feel the morale here at Terrell has already increased because of Mrs. Neidert.

Terrell Elementary

Amy Neidert

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Denison ISD

1201 S Rusk

Denison, Texas 75020


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