Marble Falls Education Foundation recognizes Outstanding Alumnus, and Inspiring Educator for 2023
The Marble Falls Education Foundation hosted the 2023 Honors Banquet at the Marble Falls High School Commons on Friday, May 19, sponsored by Huckabee, Highland Lakes Legacy Fund, Nash Builders LTD and First United. Two key award winners were celebrated along with the Honor Graduates.
2022 - 2023 Outstanding Alumnus
Cord Woerner was named the 2022-2023 Outstanding Alumnus. This award is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved excellence or distinguished success since graduation from Marble Falls High School.
Dr. Gasaway said, “Cord Woerner is one of the best men I know. He is a true reflection of the vision of Marble Falls ISD. Mr. Woerner always gives 100%, is genuine, loyal, trustworthy, and has worked for many years to love and inspire students each day. I can’t think of a better person to honor with the Outstanding Alumnus award.”
Cord Woerner graduated from Marble Falls in 1983. After high school, he went on to play football at Howard Payne University. He began his work in public education at Early ISD as a middle school coach. Over his career, Cord also worked at Killeen ISD, Lubbock Cooper ISD, Cross Plains ISD, Godley ISD, and Marble Falls ISD. He has coached football, baseball, basketball, track and powerlifting. Mr. Woerner then became an athletic director at Cross Plains. While football has been his passion, Coach Woerner led his Cross Plains High School baseball teams to back-to-back State Finals appearances.
Cord was drawn back home, to Marble Falls, to be near family, which also allowed his children to graduate in his hometown. He spent seventeen years serving MFISD as athletic director and head football coach, and ultimately as Director of Special Programs. In the Director of Special Services role, Mr. Woerner made safety and security his top priority. Essentially starting from scratch, Cord was able to build out safety protocols and programs to keep students safe in schools, as safety concerns in the world increased.
Cord continues to serve the community as Juvenile Case Manager for the City of Marble Falls Municipal Court. He enjoys this role as he continues to work with kids and parents. Cord and his wife, Galyn, enjoy visiting their children, Thor, Zed, and Aspen, and their grandchildren who are spread across Texas.
“So much of what makes Cord special are things that happen behind the scenes. Things he would never talk about. If you know him, you know he “shows up.” There are countless times he has helped people in need, whether it be digging out from floods, helping people through illnesses or the loss of loved ones, or walking with people through other hardships. This is just one part of what makes Cord the perfect choice for this recognition. He never turns his back on anyone,” said Julie Shaffer, who worked with Mr. Woerner in many capacities in the Assistant Superintendent of Administration office at MFISD.
2022 - 2023 Inspiring Educator
Dr. Alina Pruitt, an educator and English Department Head at Marble Falls High School, was named the Inspiring Educator award winner. Pruitt has taught at the university and high school level for twenty-two years. She currently teaches AP Literature and Composition, Rhetoric, and English 1 at the high school.
As an educator, Pruitt has taken her passion for adolescent literacy and teacher agency and brought it to Marble Falls High School. She has taught elementary, middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate level university courses. During her time at The University of
Texas at Austin, she taught student- teacher courses such as Literacy for Social Change, Qualitative Research Methods, Teaching and Learning in Urban Contexts, Secondary Language Arts Methods, and Literacy Across the Disciplines.
Beginning her career teaching at Metz Elementary in Austin ISD, Pruitt looped up with a core group of students to teach them at Martin Middle School. In order to keep looping up with the same students, she became certified as a secondary English Language Arts teacher and taught them at Eastside Memorial High School. Pruitt’s love of the families of that community compelled her to stay in education.
Born in Bucharest, Romania, and raised in Haifa, Israel, Pruitt and her family immigrated to the USA when she was only eight years old. She completed most of her middle and high school years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pruitt earned her BA in English in 2000 from the University of Texas and her M.Ed. in Educational Technology from Texas State in 2008. She then obtained her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Language and Literacy from the University of Texas at Austin in 2018.
Outside of the classroom, Pruitt enjoys time with her family hiking and camping, especially in the back-country trails of Big Bend National Park. Pruitt also loves to train and compete as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt with her husband and boys. When time and budget permit, Pruitt enjoys traveling, especially to visit friends and family in Hungary and France. She and her husband, Wilson, have been married twelve years and have two sons, Dominic and Ephraim.
The students who nominated Dr. Pruitt shared the following:
“I nominated Dr. Pruitt because I've never had a teacher who is so selfless and kind. Not only is Dr. Pruitt an amazing English teacher and has greatly prepared me for the future. She has also taught me to value the small moments and tiny achievements that I have made thus far. She is beyond intelligent and is so deserving of all the things. So, if Dr. Pruitt hears this, I would like her to know how thankful I am for her and her effort will always be remembered,” said Mackenzie Farmer.
“I chose to nominate Dr. Pruitt for the Inspiring Educator award because, above all-- she is genuine. While she is very knowledgeable and dedicated to educating her students, she also cares for each and every one. Dr. Pruitt is very understanding and prompts real and interesting discussions that appeal to her students, while also treating them as their age rather than like
children. She is an amazing teacher who deserves this award!” shared Allie Harris.
“Dr. Pruitt has been one of the few teachers throughout all 12 years of grade school who has gone out of her way to make a personal connection with each and every one of her students. Every teacher has many students to help but Dr. Pruitt plans lessons to fit each students’ needs while also making sure she hits all of the Academic points. Dr. Pruitt along with teaching us English is teaching us life skills that will be imperative for the seniors who are leaving High School for the real world,” said Alyssa Berkman.
“Dr. Pruitt is an inspiration to all her students. Not only does she care about teaching, but she also cares about each one of us as a person as well. She is understanding, encouraging, and admirable. It is truly a blessing to be taught by Dr. Pruitt,” said Clarissa Mata.
“I nominated Dr. Pruitt because of how she created a bond with each student and made everyone feel appreciated. She has a great connection with all of the kids that she teaches and makes sure everyone gets the same chance to succeed. No matter what level of education they are at, she knows how to reach every single student,” shared Jake Carter.
“I have chosen Dr. Pruitt to be nominated for the Inspiring Educator Award because not only is she one of the most intelligent teachers I have ever had the privilege of learning from, but she is also a compassionate, strong-minded, and relatable person. Dr. Pruitt uses her lessons in AP Lit to guide us through tough literature that also corresponds with the path we are all about to endure as graduating seniors. She has amazing energy and is a delight to be surrounded by, even when being at school seems impossible. I believe Dr. Pruitt will continue to impact young minds through her knowledge of life and education. She will forever be the best teacher I have ever had in all my years of school,” said Emma Koziel.