District Teachers of Year Named During Night of Stars Banquet

July 8, 2024 - The Comal Independent School District hosted its annual Night of Stars banquet in May, honoring the 2023-2024 campus teachers of the year and naming the district’s elementary and secondary teachers of the year along with a few additional awards.

A fourth-grade teacher from Farias-Spitzer Elementary was named the District Elementary Teacher of the Year. With 16 years in education, all with Comal ISD, Amy Lundquist says she knew at an early age that she would be a teacher.

“I have always had a love for learning, so what better way to learn each and every day then by being a teacher,” Lundquist says. “Every day is a new day for my students, and I owe it them to live up to their lofty expectations.”

This year’s District Secondary Teacher of the Year is Ray Corona, an AVID teacher as well as a football and track coach at Danville Middle School. Corona has been an educator for 12 years with six at Comal ISD.

“I had special teachers and coaches who made an incredible impact on me, and I want to provide that for the next young person,” he says.

Lundquist and Corona were each presented with a $500 check from the Comal Education Foundation.


Special Awards

The district surprised four additional teachers and staff members with special awards at the banquet including Rookie Teacher of the Year, Professional Support Staff of the Year, Educator of the Year and Assistant Principal of the Year.

This year’s Rookie Teacher of the Year award was given to Maggie Coffey, a fifth-grade teacher at Timberwood Park Elementary School. Principal Kim Lyssy O’Bryant said this about her.

“From day one, she has been an exceptional teacher. She is wise beyond her years, and her program supervisors have been extremely impressed with her abilities.”

This year’s Professional Support Staff of the Year award was given to Mary Alice Lopez, bookkeeper at Canyon Middle School. Principal Chelsea Quidachay said this about her.

“She does her job with a smile on her face even when it’s not easy. She never turns people away or refuses to help, and she is an advocate for any need that can better students, faculty or facilities.”

This year’s Educator of the Year award was given to Emily Bedwell, campus instructional coach and campus testing coordinator at Indian Springs Elementary. Principal Mary Stults said this about her.

“From the campus level all the way to the district level, it is hard to find someone within our district who is not familiar with Mrs. Bedwell. This is because she is a true runner, team player and hard worker. She is constantly analyzing data to find out new ways to meet the needs of our students.”

This year’s Assistant Principal of the Year award was given to Melissa McIlwain from Smithson Valley High School. Principal Stacia Snyder said this about her.

“Mrs. McIlwain understands the needs of building and executing systems for a campus. She is knowledgeable and does whatever it takes to get the job done. Even on tough days, she embraces the job and brings a fresh and enthusiastic approach.”


Comal ISD 2023-2024 Campus Teachers of the Year

Annually, each campus at Comal ISD names a Campus Teacher of the Year. The 2023-2024 Campus Teachers of the Year were honored during the Night of Stars banquet. Here is a list of those honorees. 


  • Arlon Seay – Amy Coonts
  • Bill Brown – Elizabeth Webb
  • Clear Spring – Hannah Horner
  • Comal Creek – Laura Beaman
  • Farias-Spitzer – Amy Lundquist
  • Freiheit – Amy Coulombe
  • Garden Ridge – Heather McDowell
  • Goodwin Frazier – Elizabeth Benoit
  • Hoffmann Lane – Heather Norris
  • Indian Springs – Lynsie Johnston
  • Johnson Ranch – Olivia Dillon
  • Kinder Ranch – Theresa Hicks
  • Morningside – Mary Alice Johnston
  • Mountain Valley – Melanie Freund
  • Oak Creek – Walter Menchaca
  • Rahe Bulverde – Chelsea Sanchez
  • Rebecca Creek – Terrina Hendry
  • Specht – Becky Clinton
  • Startzville – Jenny Eskew
  • Timberwood Park – Shanna Callis


  • Canyon High – Sharon Streger
  • Canyon Lake High – Garrett Schatte
  • Canyon Middle – Brooke Banks
  • Church Hill Middle – Lorenzo Pool
  • Comal Discipline Center – Rodney Geter
  • Danville Middle – Ray Corona
  • Davenport High – Evelyn Fallon
  • Hill Country College Preparatory High – Tracey Anderson
  • Life Bridges – Deanna Clark
  • Memorial Early College High – Mason Cardiff
  • Mountain Valley Middle – Cassidy Cruz
  • Pieper High – Leslie Weil
  • Pieper Ranch Middle – Jacob Walston
  • Smithson Valley High – Julian Johnson
  • Smithson Valley Middle – Mary Hoffman
  • Spring Branch Middle – Mandi Kelley


Student Performances and Sponsors

Throughout the evening, honorees were treated to student talent including special performances by choirs from Canyon High School directed by Jay Martin, Church Hill Middle School directed by Brooks Taylor and Garden Ridge Elementary directed by Jennifer Jeske as well as orchestra music provided from CHS directed by Fernanda Cuevas.

In addition, each table featured a beautiful floral arrangement created by the CHS floral design students under the direction of teacher Kaylee Musgrove, and members of the district’s Student Ambassadors group helped greet guests and serve the meal.

The banquet was sponsored by Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union and the Comal ISD Council of PTAs.


Night of Stars 2024 video

Night of Stars Photo Album



Photo Descriptions:

-Comal ISD Elementary District Teacher of the Year Amy Lundquist

-Comal ISD Secondary District Teacher of the Year Ray Corona

-Pictured from left is Comal ISD Elementary District Teacher of the Year Amy Lundquist, Superintendent John E. Chapman III and Secondary District Teacher of the Year Ray Corona.

-Comal ISD Assistant Principal of Year MelissaMcIlwain

-Comal ISD Educator of Year Emily Bedwell

-Comal ISD Professional Support Staff Mary Alice Lopez

-Comal ISD Rookie Teacher Maggie Coffey



Read more Comal ISD news here.