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Prestigious Kinder Award Goes to CRJ Teacher

There was an explosion of cheering, foot stomping and applause when math teacher Chrystal Hunter was named the recipient of a Be the Change Houston Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award.  Hunter, a popular math teacher known for never giving up on any student, will receive a $20,000 check along with the honor. Teachers who work in one of the 14 inner-city Catholic Schools were eligible.

Chrystal with Parents Chrystal with student Crystal receives check and collar

“All of the nominees were exceptional, and Chrystal was a standout,” said Dr. Julie Vogel, Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.  “I say it’s about time teachers get this kind of well-deserved recognition.”

The award was created by Rich Kinder, whose mother Edna was a special education teacher in Missouri. Judges felt Hunter, an undergraduate and masters grad of HBU, is the epitome of a teacher who can make a difference.  Her parents, Akua and Ishman, who came to the ceremony to surprise her, say her quiet generosity is a big part of her spirit.

“She helped buy a car for a woman who had not had one in ten years.  A woman she did not even know,” said mom.  “When a friend needed a new kitchen, there was Chrystal, up all night scrubbing.  We are so proud.”

The award has extra special meaning at Cristo Rey Jesuit as another CRJ teacher, Doug Vranderic, received the award last year.