LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Megan Holden

Position: English Teacher
School: Lake Travis High School
School District: Lake Travis ISD
City, State: Lake Way, TX

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Megan Holden was nominated by Sherry Martin, a member of the community.

Ms. Holden isn't only a long term lead teacher at Lake Travis High School - she's also an educator who is aware of everything going on around her. Ms. Holden noticed that there were many families in the community who were going through a hard time and were struggling to keep up with basic needs. Students were embarrassed to go to school because they felt ostracized by their peers. She stepped up to the plate and started giving students food and collected clothing items, so they didn't stand out from the other students.

Peer pressure at any age is very difficult. Ms. Holden started what is now called the "Cavs Lounge for Lake Travis Caviliers." Students can come confidentially to the Cavs Lounge, which is set up like a boutique to shop for clothing, perhaps a prom dress or Tuxedo. It also gives students the ability to attend prom, even if they can't afford the proper clothing. She has also added a food section to the boutique for those who are hungry. At the end of the week, students can go and fill their backpacks with food to take home to their family.

Recently, Ms. Holden became aware of the fact that some young men would not be able to walk the stage for graduation because they did not have the appropriate attire. She was able to collect dress shirts, ties, and shoes for these young men to walk the stage in style and celebrate their accomplishments. Ms. Holden was able to look through and see those who were really hurting because they didn't feel they were equal to their peers. 

"It takes an amazing teacher who is so busy with the requirements of everyday teaching to take her personal time and care for these young adults and their families," Martin said. "Kudos to Megan Holden for making a difference and changing these kids' lives."

Comments (35)

Bridget Jurgens Posted over a year ago

Megan is caring, compassionate and authentic. She is the kind of teacher we all strive to be. So many of us think about doing things but Megan gets it done. Congratulations Megan you are truly special.

TR Posted over a year ago

Megan is a great teacher and champion for those students who “fall through the cracks” I have been fortunate to work with her these last 10 years and have become a better teacher & person because of it.

Gordon Butler Posted over a year ago

Simply one of the best there is, who loves her students and wants to do everything to remove barriers to their learning.

Tammy Spooner Posted over a year ago

I'm just an underground volunteer with the group Megan Holden founded (and continually supports), but I have made my career through volunteer organizations. And I have kids. You will find no better than Megan when it comes to the kids in our high school. They all matter. And she keeps it at a level where the kids keep their eyes on the prize - graduation high school in spite of the most difficult circumstances. They can find what they need easily, confidentially, privately, being able to have basic needs met through the Cavlounge. From dresses, suits, ties, shoes, socks, basic clothing needs, foods, and general hygiene items. It doesn't stop there. Students in need can tap into a teacher privately, they can access the room privately, get what they need and a call can go out if there's something lacking. Though the volunteers are some of the gears, Megan is the entire motorcycle. She keeps close to the group and is gracious, funny and full on inspirational. I've worked with several amazing people who achieved amazing things. This idea and brainchild of Megan's is the heart of humanity and gives hope to many. She makes the difference in so many lives.

Christie Andrews Posted over a year ago

It is hard for me to call Ms. Holden "Megan," or even Ms. Holden... I knew her as Ms. Schneider about 15 years ago at Lake Travis HS, when she was my Art History teacher. She pioneered that new program and taught us with her unique brand of joy and love. In fact, she made such an impression on me that I emailed her during my own first or second year of teaching, to let her know what a lasting effect she'd had on my life. Therefore it's not surprising at all to hear of this campaign of care that she has embarked upon. She is inspiring and genuine in her concern for others - a true teacher. Way to go, Megan! Thank you for seeing the best in everyone!

Bruce Hall Posted over a year ago

Megan Holden is one of the most caring and intelligent people I have known. Her students love her even when she expects them to interact and learn. Her colleagues respect her and we love her smile. She was named Teacher of the Year this year, and she deserved it.

Liz Stark Posted over a year ago

The motto of Lake Travis ISD is "Every heart. Every mind. Every day." I've worked with Megan for five years now (first as her student teacher, now as her mentee colleague), and I can attest that while it might not be as simple an endeavor as the structure of the sentences suggests, Megan goes above and beyond "every day" to ensure that her students (or even students who aren't hers) have a safe, comfortable environment where they can not only grow as students but as individuals as well. Even with so many comments posted on this page already, they're a small stroke of the tremendous work that Megan's done with kids and adults over the last 20 years of her career.

Kara Rutherford Posted over a year ago

Working with Megan Holden helped mold who I am as an educator. Her attention to her students and the bond she creates with them is what enables her to see them as human beings. Without that attention and bond, she wouldn’t be able to anticipate their needs. She continuously works to assist children in the community, not for notariety or attention, but because she wants to help them. I’m a more attentive and compassionate educator because of Megan’s influence, and I’m confident I’m not the only one.

Amanda W Posted over a year ago

I knew Ms Holden as an incredibly influential art history teacher. In addition to English, she taught art history, a subject that could easily become memorization heavy, and brought it to life. She showed the beauty of art and of understanding the world around us. She taught more than art, she taught how the human experience has evolved and stayed the same, how the past influences the future, and how emotion can be expressed through a physical medium. When I look at the world around me, often I'm reminded of the lessons she taught, through her words and through her actions. I was unaware of her work with the Cavs Lounge as I am years out of school but it does not surprise me in the least that such a generous and caring teacher would be influential in this program. She showed genuine care for her students and the environment of the school. I am so glad that I was able to learn from her and be influenced by her care.

Amanda W Posted over a year ago

I had the pleasure of being Ms. Holden's student for 2 of my classes in back high school. My first experience with her was in my French 1 class. She was patient with us all as we learned the basics, which if you've ever sat in a French 1 class, you would know this involves encouraging young insecure freshman to practice weird throaty sounds in the classroom. Yet, she provided us with momentum to continue learning and practicing French, even after leaving her classroom, and yes, even with all of our tomfoolery. My second experience was towards the end of high school, when I took AP Art History. This is where I truly got to see Ms. Holden's teaching shine. I found I had a new love for art history because she inspired each of us in that classroom with her own love for it. She made a difficult subject incredibly light-hearted and enjoyable, and for the first time, I had to really study for a class, yet I didn't mind. I felt I was truly learning and accomplishing something, and she was always honest about the workload, that you would get as much out of the class as you were willing to put into it. The true test of a good teacher though is a lasting impact, and I can say 6-8 years later I still love French and Art History as much as I did in those classes. When I venture to a museum, I happily point to the paintings and sculptures and recite the tidbits of facts that still float around in my head after the years ("that's a Rembrandt - you can tell from the use of chiaroscuro"), and I smile on the fond memories I have of a teacher who was able to make learning so enjoyable for us all.

Sheri Remore Posted over a year ago

I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award! Megan always focuses on taking care of the whole child and does everything she can to make sure all needs are met. She built connections within the Lake Travis community to see her dream of the Cav Lounge become reality. She is a real hero!

Amber Forgey Posted over a year ago

I work with Megan. She is the real deal. She deserves this award more than anyone else I know.

Marilyn Cobb Posted over a year ago

Megan is more than just an outstanding educator. She is a true humanitarian. She saw an injustice & worked to address it. She reaches out to those students who need an advocate & a friend. I am grateful for her inspiration & her hard work.

Kelly B Posted over a year ago

Ms. Holden is one of the smartest, most honest and selfless educators I have ever met! She works so hard every day to take care of her students! I am so lucky to have been in her AP Art History class!

Cha asokan Posted over a year ago

Megan deserves this award. She is the type of teacher that makes our public schools caring, loving, and accepting of all of our kids. She also makes her colleagues and community loved and supported. She goes above and beyond for all the people in her sphere and influences others to be committed to lives of service. I 100% endorse her for this award!!!

Vanessa Posted over a year ago

I worked with Megan for 10 years and every year she taught me how to not only be a better teacher but also a better human being. Her compassion for our students is endless. She understands and nurtures the whole child, which is why students are able to open up to her. I am so proud to be her friend! She deserves every bit of his recognition!

Sammi Waugh Posted over a year ago

As a former student of Ms. Holden's, I am overjoyed to see her as a nominee for this award. I cannot think of another teacher who has shown more tangible care for her students or those around her. Her constant honesty with her students allows for both a grounding clarity in her advice, as well as a trusting relationship with her. This honesty, often fused with comedic timing, consistently brings a seemingly harsh reality into a brighter light, and gives students both beneficial input and achievable hope. Her care is so visible through this honesty, and allows students to feel accepted, important, and seen. For me, it was this innately honest, selfless, and caring demeanor that changed my life, as her example made me realize both my own ability to act on my care for others, and the importance and impact of doing so. However, for countless other students, she’s had a much more tangible and practical life-changing effect. She constantly provides items to students that they might not have easy access to otherwise, giving them access to the basics that are provided in excess to so many of their classmates. For years, she and other teachers have done this out of their own pockets, but her role in creating the Cavs Lounge as a resource for students has allowed her to reach even more who would benefit from this sort of attention and care. Her generosity and advocacy for every one of her students provides a quiet confidence and peace of mind for those affected by her actions. I truly admire Ms. Holden and her acceptance, honesty, and empathy; she gives everything she can to helping promote the best mental, physical, and emotional health in her students. She is truly a life-changing presence in every one of her students lives, and I enthusiastically recommend her as the recipient of this award.

Erika Posted over a year ago

Megan saw a need and made a difference by doing!! She saw that there was a need greater than just what was seen in her own classroom and rallied other teachers, and ultimately the community, to help students in need. With love and generosity, Megan was able to reach a population of students who needed confidential help. We are blessed to have Megan on our campus!!

Erin Kelly Posted over a year ago

Megan Holden has been a beacon of strength for At Risk kids in our community. Whether it’s being a counselor, a social worker, a fundraiser, a food pantry, or an art history expert, all on a public teacher salary. Her vision of the Cav Lounge has become a sanctuary for kids in need in a community that doesn’t quite know they exist and where equity is assumed. She sees them and has rallied support to fill that gap.

Addisyn Chafé Posted over a year ago

Mrs. Holden is one of the kindest, most compassionate teachers I had. She is relentlessly passionate about education while also caring so incredibly deeply for those she is educating. Even after I moved on from her Sophomore English class, I often went back to her classroom to hang out, check in, and have some of the best conversations I have had with a teacher. She was never too busy for me- she always made time. I appreciate her sweet spirit, her vulnerable strength, and her caring heart so much. Thank you Mrs. Holden!

Beth Day Posted over a year ago

I taught with Megan for many years. There aren't many teachers left who truly care for every kid. And every teacher. And every human. She's an incredible role model for her colleagues and students. Anything she has she gives of freely.

Kitty Sheeren Posted over a year ago

Megan and I have been neighbors for many years. I am a school based social worker so she and I naturally connected and we found ourselves often bouncing off of each other ideas to help students thrive. I have been in awe of the way Megan can laser in on a key issue and doggedly pursue a solution. I will add that she is an awesome neighbor and has been a life changer for me.

Mary Smith Posted over a year ago

Megan never stops thinking about her students and how to support them. And wherever she can, she puts those thoughts into action. She’s an amazing teacher and human being.

Kelly B Posted over a year ago

Ms. Holden is one of the smartest, most honest and selfless educators I have ever met! She works so hard every day to take care of her students! I am so lucky to have been in her AP Art History class!

Marcella F Flannigan Posted over a year ago

Not only is Megan extremely dedicated to her students, but she is also hilarious! Her wit, intellect, and mastery of the English language make me wish I had a teacher like her when I was a student. I can only imagine how entertaining - and effective!- her classroom is.

Holly Kuchera Posted over a year ago

Megan is a compassionate and brilliant educator and mentor. In my first year of teaching, she was so kind and helpful and hilariously fun to be around. She was truly a life saver for me and I have 100% confidence that she is still brightening the lives of students, teachers, and families.

Abigail Payne Posted over a year ago

Megan has been a life-changer for more than just the past few years. She encourages Kids, picks them up, gives them hugs, allows them to be creative in their own ways and is one of the most fantastic teachers I have ever met in my life. The CAV Lounge is definitely changing lives and making it less embarrassing for students to get what they need to prove successful and ready for the next step.

Lisa Dawson Posted over a year ago

Heart of gold - congratulations Megan ??????

Ashley LoRee Wilkinson Posted over a year ago

Ms. Holden is a WONDERFUL mentor and teacher. I don't know anyone more deserving of this award than her. She is selfless, kind, un-judging, hard-working and not only sees the changes that need to happen, but follows through. She's a woman of action & I couldn't agree more: We need more teachers like Ms. Holden in the world.

Rob Posted over a year ago

Megan is committed to students. And it's one thing to know that something needs to get done, it's another thing to actually get it done. By organizing other teachers and coordinating with the community, she and other teachers at Lake Travis actually made the Cav Lounge happen. It is a big change for the students who need help at the school, and it's a model other schools can look to to address the needs of kids who want to learn and just need a place to get a little help.

Diane Morrison Posted over a year ago

I've known Megan for years in a personal capacity and this nomination doesn't surprise me one bit. She is one of the most thoughtful and kind people I've ever know. If anyone deserves to be recognized for contributions to the community, it is Megan!

Laura Becker Posted over a year ago

There is no one that deserves this more than Megan. She is a lifeline for our students that find themselves in a tough spot.

Rob Posted over a year ago

Megan is committed to students. And it's one thing to know that something needs to get done, it's another thing to actually get it done. By organizing other teachers and coordinating with the community, she and other teachers at Lake Travis actually made the Cav Lounge happen. It is a big change for the students who need help at the school, and it's a model other schools can look to to address the needs of kids who want to learn and just need a place to get a little help.

Ashley rewhunter Posted over a year ago

Megan is An amazing teacher and friend. She teaches the whole child not just English language arts. She finds what each student needs, whether it's shoes for graduation, breakfast, words of encouragement, and gives it to them no questions asked. We need more Megan Holden's in the world!

Donna Wahl Posted over a year ago

Megan Holden is truly a Life Changer! She’s my colleague, my son’s former teacher, and my friend. You can always count on her to help even when you didn’t know you needed her! Last year when my husband was in cancer treatment, she organized a schedule for lunches for me. Everyday a lunch would arrive in my classroom that was sent by a colleague! This was so wonderful at a time that I was really struggling. The Cav Lounge has been incredible. Megan has such vision and won’t accept no for an answer. If a student needs something Megan will find a way to take care of them. When my son took her Art History class as a senior, he came home and said that her class changed his life! I don’t think there is any higher complement for an educator. My son fell in love with art and couldn’t wait to see some of the pieces for himself. Megan is the best!