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JoLisa Hoover
2008 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Leander, Texas


Photo of JoLisa Hoover, Classroom Fellow
video JoLisa Hoover describes her hopes for her students.

Bio/Overview: Hoover teaches fourth grade at River Ridge Elementary in the Leander School District in Texas. She says, as the saying goes, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could." Two months after she was born at the Fort Benning army base in Columbus, Ga., Hoover and her mom relocated to her mom’s hometown in Olton, Texas while her dad was deployed to Vietnam. After his tour of duty, the family eventually moved to Georgetown, Texas, where she graduated from high school. After graduating from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, Hoover’s teaching career began in Bryan, Texas where she first taught middle school reading. She then taught second and fourth grade and served as an at-risk specialist. While teaching in Bryan, Hoover earned a master's degree in educational psychology from Texas A&M University and an endorsement in gifted and talented education. In 2005, Hoover relocated to the scenic Austin area to be closer to family and to teach in Leander Independent School District.

Educational Values/Philosophy: One thing Hoover has learned since becoming a teacher in 1992, is that the most important lesson you teach is to inspire students to be persons of character and to love learning. Hoover teaches students that they can either be a lifter, someone who makes those around them better, or a leaner, someone who drags others down.

Achievements: Hoover was recently selected for the Spirit of McMurray award, given to alumni of McMurray University who have excelled in their profession and served their community. Hoover was selected as the 2005 Houston regional winner of the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award in the leadership category for elementary school teachers and her class was recognized as a KBTX "Bright Smiles Class of the Week." Hoover also helped young author Noah McCullough and is credited in two of his books, The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia and First Kids: The True Stories of All the Presidents' Children. Hoover has been published in the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society newsletter “Faith in Action” and on their website Take Action for Education. In 2010, Hoover was elected to be the Texas Classroom Teacher Association District 13 Director.

Leadership Experience: At McMurry University, Hoover was a preceptor in the pilot program, "Servant Leadership," that has grown into the McMurry Servant Leadership Center of the Southwest. In 2005, she was selected to serve on the Servant Leadership Alumni Council and have been the vice-chair, secretary, and chair of this alumni council. In 2010, Hoover joined the McMurry Alumni Association Board of Directors and is on the executive board. During her time as a Teaching Ambassador Fellow, Hoover focused on the importance of teacher mentioning to increase student achievement. This work led to attending the 2nd Annual National Opportunity to Learn Education Summit 2009: Building a National Movement to Close the Opportunity Gap on behalf of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society. Hoover has also had the wonderful opportunity to open two new elementary campuses. In 1997, she opened Robert C. Neal Elementary in the Bryan Independent School District and, in 2007, she opened Grandview Hills Elementary in the Leander Independent School District.  Hoover frequently is a consultant at the local and state level including presentations at SXSWedu and at the Texas Education Agency Texas Educators Exchange conference.

Affiliations: Texas Classroom Teachers Association

Education: Hoover received her Bachelor’s degree from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas. She went on to earn a master's degree in educational psychology from Texas A&M University and an endorsement in gifted and talented education.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Mentoring
  • Teacher leadership
  • Closing opportunity gaps (civil rights)
  • Faith based initiatives
  • Writing in elementary schools
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Last Modified: 08/14/2012