Three from HISD Selected for Gates Foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council

Three members of Team HISD have been selected by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help in their efforts to dramatically increase the number of U.S. students who graduate from high school ready for college and careers. In mid July, the trio will join a select group of about 40 other teachers from around the U.S who were handpicked to form the foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council.

Dr. Nghia Le

Selected for the council are: Dr. Nghia Le, a teacher at Booker T. Washington High School for Engineering Professions (see story on school’s website); Ben Hernandez, a teacher development specialist; and Armando Orduna, a teacher at McReynolds Middle School.

“I am extremely honored and humbled that I was selected for this amazing opportunity,” Le said. “I look forward to sharing my own thoughts and gaining the wisdom and best practices of other highly effective teachers from around the country.”

“Dr. Le is an extraordinary educator,” said Washington High School Principal LaShonda Bilbo-Ervin. “Our students are involved in groundbreaking research due to his ability to embrace professional development. His participation on this council will allow him to learn and share the best ideas with teachers from around the country. I am thrilled about the impact this will have on the students at Washington.”

Members of the Gates Foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council will support the development and review of strategies, share their own insight on how to translate a vision into implementation in schools, and provide feedback and perspective as they participate and lead the work to influence the future of public education. The three each were nominated for the council by school principals and by district leaders.

Hernandez, who spent 13 years teaching elementary education in HISD before transitioning to a teacher development specialist role last year, said he was particularly excited to learn how other districts across the nation are using technology in the classroom and to share what HISD has learned in creating its teacher evaluation system.

“It’s an honor, but more than that it’s an opportunity for me to represent HISD and discuss all of its progressive initiatives – leading the country not just through instruction but through evaluation, assessments, and professional development,” Hernandez said.

Orduna said he thought he could bring an important point of view to the table while working with the Gates Foundation council.

“I hope to bring the perspective of an inner-city teacher who has had the opportunity to work with a diverse population,” he said. “I think I can offer a perspective that some corners of the country wouldn’t have.”