Teacher shares passion for dance, life
Stephanie Lyle found a career that allows her to pass along her love for dance each day.
Lyle has been the Dazzlers drill team director at Cypress Ridge High School since 2002 and has made a name for herself in the industry for fostering excellence.
She was named the 2010 drill team director for Texas and was nominated for the award in 2009, as well. In 2008, Lyle was nominated for teacher of the year at Cypress Ridge High School.
"I like to help the whole student beyond these four walls. I want to develop their character and share life lessons where they learn self-respect, grace, sharing, cooperation and socialization," Lyle said.
Being active is part of her commitment to the school and the community.
Lyle chairs the school's fine arts department, is a member of the homecoming committee and a mentor for at-risk students. She is also a member of the Texas Dance Educators Association, where she serves as the vice president for curriculum on the executive board.
Jill Cates met Lyle in 2007 when she joined the Dazzlers as assistant dance director. She said her co-worker is an "honest, sincere, compassionate person and great motivator for the students.
"She sets expectations that help them meet goals. The best thing I like about working with her is that she's so easygoing and works hard to benefit us as a team. She has an instant impact on every person she comes in contact with. She's my mentor," Cates said.
Lyle was the middle child of Jennifer and Steve Guzzetta . She began dancing at the age of 2 and continued throughout school.
At Cy-Fair High School, where she graduated in 1995, Lyle held the position of colonel for the drill team.
In 1999, she graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in dance. While in Huntsville, Lyle danced with the Dance Spectrum Co. and was a member of the Orange Pride Dance Team.
Her first job out of college was as a teacher at Mayde Creek High School in Katy, and she became the school's assistant director for the Martinettes drill team.
In 2000, Lyle became the head instructor for the program development team with the United Spirit Association, judging competitions and teaching camps and choreography.
When Cypress Ridge opened in 2002, Lyle founded the Dazzlers and became head drill-team instructor.
"I wanted to come back home and to my community. They've supported me so much. It's been a huge honor to be among the teachers here. It's a great fit for me. I'm strengthened by their success and spirit," Lyle said.
Angelica Velazquez, a senior, has worked with Lyle the past four years as a member of the Dazzlers. She is the team's colonel.
"She's really understanding," Velazquez said of Lyle. "I always go to her for advice. She encourages us to excel in everything we do. She's a really respected director. She's always positive with a smile on her face. I don't think I would be the same girl I am today without her."
Lyle, who volunteers at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church in her spare time, said her job as director has been a rewarding experience.
"I wasn't always sure I'd be teaching. I definitely feel inspired to serve these students and the school. It's exciting to see their growth," she said.
She credits her mother as her inspiration.
"My mother always had a never-give-up attitude. She overcame a lot of obstacles in her life. I want to continue planning for what's next and offer something that's at the next level. You never know what the future will hold," said Lyle, who graduated with her master's degree in 2010 in education administration from Lamar University.
In her free time, Lyle enjoys being with her husband, Jay Lyle, a coach at Goodson Middle School, and their two children, Lance and Laney.