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Marble Falls Education Foundation honors outstanding alumnus, inspiring educator

Dr. Alina Pruitt and Cord Woerner

The Marble Falls Education Foundation honored Dr. Alina Pruitt (left) as the 2022-23 Inspiring Educator during the nonprofit’s annual Honors Banquet on May 19. Alumnus and longtime school district official Cord Woerner (right) was recognized as the Outstanding Alumnus. Courtesy photos

The Marble Falls Education Foundation recognized Dr. Alina Pruitt as its 2022-23 Inspiring Educator and Cord Woerner as Outstanding Alumnus during the organization’s annual Honors Banquet on May 19.

Both awards recognize excellence stemming from the Marble Falls Independent School District

The foundation’s Inspiring Educator award honors district educators who go above and beyond to encourage learning among their students.

The Outstanding Alumnus award recognizes Marble Falls High School graduates who have enjoyed distinguished success throughout their professional careers.

Pruitt, head of Marble Falls High School’s English department, has 21 years of teaching on the elementary, middle school, high school, university undergraduate, and graduate levels. She currently teaches AP literature and composition, rhetoric, and English 1 at the high school.

The longtime educator was nominated by several of her students.

“I nominated Dr. Pruitt because I’ve never had a teacher who is so selfless and kind,” graduating senior Mackenzie Farmer said in a media release announcing the awards. “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 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.”

Other students shared Farmer’s sentiment.

“Dr. Pruitt is an inspiration to all her students,” graduating senior Clarissa Mata said. “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.”

Graduating senior Jake Carter also nominated Pruitt because of her commitment to all of her students.

“She has a great connection with all of the kids that she teaches and makes sure everyone gets the same chance to succeed,” he said. “No matter what level of education they are at, she knows how to reach every single student.”

Woerner, a 1983 Marble Falls High School graduate, received this year’s Outstanding Alumnus award for 17 years of service to Marble Falls ISD.

“Cord Woerner is one of the best men I know,” said MFISD Superintendent Dr. Jeff Gasaway. “He is a true reflection of the vision of Marble Falls ISD. Mr. Woerner always gives 100 percent, 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.”

The well-seasoned coach and administrator got his start at Early Independent School District as a middle school coach after playing college football at Howard Payne University. Woerner went on to coach at several other ISDs, including Killeen, Lubbock Copper, Cross Plains, and Godley.

He returned to Marble Falls ISD as head football coach and athletic director in 2004. In 2012, he was transferred to the district’s Central Office to serve as the director of Special Programs. During his time in the position, he focused on increasing safety and security on all campuses.

Woerner currently serves as juvenile case manager for the Marble Falls Municipal Court after leaving the district in 2021.

“So much of what makes Cord special are things that happen behind the scenes,” said Julie Schaffer, administrative assistant to the assistant superintendent of administration. “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.”

The Marble Falls Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that aims to connect the goodness of people with the needs of students and those who serve them. The organization donates thousands of dollars to teachers and students each year to promote learning and encourage instructional innovation.

Donate or learn more about the Marble Falls Education Foundation on its website.