Three Mansfield ISD employees, nominated by their coworkers, received the 2023 Heartbeat Award for displaying heart in their lives and inspiring other district employees through their actions. This year’s honorees are Charles Martin from Lake Ridge High School, Pamela Pinkerton from Legacy High School and Nicole Rucker from Curriculum and Instruction.
Charles Martin is a native of Lubbock and Texas Tech University graduate. While pursuing his bachelor’s degree in zoology and chemistry, he worked alongside his wife at a wildlife rehabilitation center helping injured and orphaned animals. The animals that were unable to be released often became wildlife ambassadors they took to local schools for educational programs.
These programs inspired Martin to move to the Metroplex and become a Dallas Zoo animal keeper, trainer and a teacher. After 17 years of teaching in Grand Prairie, Martin transitioned to MISD. For three years, he has taught biology at Lake Ridge High School.
"I’ve been surrounded by the most amazing administration, co-workers and students that I could ever ask for,” Martin said.
As a librarian, Pamela Pinkerton is fulfilling her true calling to teach students to research and become lifelong learners.
Pinkerton has been an educator for 27 years, beginning her career as a high school social studies teacher. She’s spent the last 21 years in her dream job. In 2007, Pinkerton joined Mansfield ISD to open Legacy High School and has been there for 16 years.
As an expert in her field, Pinkerton often presents at the Texas Computer Educators Association and Texas Library Association conferences. When she’s not working, Pinkerton enjoys time with her husband, as well as going on road trips and cruises.
Nicole Rucker has dreamed of being a teacher since elementary school. She fulfilled her dream and began teaching in Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband for 10 years. In 2018, Rucker and her family moved to Mansfield, and she began teaching in MISD at Wester Middle School.
This year, Nicole serves several campuses across the district as a member of the Behavior Intervention Team. In her role, she supports students, empowers teachers, collaborates with administrators and partners with parents.
“Making a difference isn’t my job,” Rucker said. “It’s my heart.”
Heartbeat Award winners were honored at the 2023 MISD Employee Awards Banquet.