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Amarillo ISD District Teachers of the Year Announced

Posted Date: 05/03/2024

Amarillo ISD District Teachers of the Year Announced

May 3, 2024 – Amarillo ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year is Kristi Leff and Secondary Teacher of the Year is Larry Martin, the District revealed Friday morning at the annual Lamar Lively Teacher of the Year Breakfast, sponsored by Education Credit Union. 

Leff teaches fifth-grade ELAR and science at Humphrey’s Highland Elementary. Leff has taught for 21 years and is known for her captivating lessons. 

“Mrs. Leff knows how to make the content come to life. She creates thinkers in her classroom. But most importantly, she sees each kid for who they are, and she helps build their skills so they can be successful in school and in life,” said Humphrey’s Highland Principal Erin Prickett.

Martin teaches Latin at Amarillo High School, which interestingly, is his alma mater where he once was a Latin student. A teacher for 39 years, Martin says he uses analogies and metaphors to make the connections, recirculation and incremental repetition to reinforce the learning, and humor to reduce the affective filter. 

“I tell students they will develop superpowers in their knowledge of our grammar because they’ve looked at things through more than one set of lenses,” Martin said.

Campus teachers of the year were accompanied by their school administration to the breakfast. 

Both teachers will continue in the competition for Region 16 Teacher of the Year later this summer.

Amarillo ISD 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year finalists:


  • Kristi Leff - Humphrey’s Highland Elementary
  • Alice Murrah - South Georgia Elementary
  • Kristel Sexton - South Lawn Elementary


  • Courtney Greer - Itinerant Teaching Staff
  • Larry Martin - Amarillo High
  • Maria Hernandez - Palo Duro High