Category Archives: Teachers

Children’s Museum Houston honoring HISD teachers with early childhood awards

Twelve Houston Independent School District teachers are being honored by Children’s Museum Houston for being outstanding educators.

The museum’s annual Marian and Speros Martel Early Childhood Educator Award is for pre-K through third-grade teachers who exemplify excellence in the classroom.

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Teacher at The Rice School named Teacher of the Month for March

If you ask Shalisha Kemp why she loves teaching, she’ll tell you it’s because of her “Peter Pan mindset.”

“You have to think like a child to reach out to children, to be able to guide them, to lead them to greater success in adulthood,” Kemp said.

Whatever it may be that sets her apart, it is certainly working.

The second-grade teacher at The Rice School was named HISD’s Teacher of the Month for March, with a surprise parade at her school.

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‘Prize Patrol’ surprises December and January Associate Teachers of the Month

In the sunny courtyard of Blackshear Elementary, Tanya Fontaine Clark stood speechless for a few moments before elaborating on her passion for her job—and the school she calls home.

“My mother was a teacher. I guess I’m a chip off the old block,” Clark said. “I wanted to give back. I wanted to enrich the lives of the children at Blackshear.”

The third-generation educator had just received the award for January’s Achieve 180 Dedicated Associate Teacher of the Month. It was just one of the stops of the day for the Human Resources Prize Patrol as they also surprised the December and January Associate Teachers of the Month and Achieve 180 Dedicated Associate Teachers of the Month.

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Eliot ES teacher named January Teacher of the Month

On a chilly Tuesday morning at Eliot Elementary School, fourth-grade ELA teacher Fernando Lopez was teaching his students how to analyze a story when he was suddenly summoned to the school parking lot for a special surprise.

Cars covered in painted messages and decorations drove by Lopez, cheering him on for being named HISD’s January Teacher of the Month – not only for effectively teaching his students English, but also for helping them develop a love of reading. As a thank-you for his hard work, he will be driving a 2021 Honda CR-V, courtesy Sterling McCall Honda.

An alumnus of Eliot Elementary School, Lopez has dedicated the last 22 years to helping ensure his students grow in their acquisition of a second language and their ability to effectively read and communicate through writing.

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Robinson ES teacher named December Teacher of the Month

Fifth-grade math teacher Jennifer Harwell was teaching her students at Robinson Elementary School how to multiply decimals when she was pulled out of her classroom for a special surprise.

Harwell was named HISD’s December Teacher of the Month for making learning about numbers exciting for all students, even those who may not always enjoy math. As a thank you for her hard work, this holiday season, she will be driving a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV LT, courtesy Sterling McCall Chevrolet.

Harwell is also a team lead for fifth grade and ensures her team works cohesively and actively collaborates with other grade levels to align instruction and good practices. This year, she has taken on the role of Career Pathways Instructional Excellence Coach and is working to coach new teachers on effective practices and quality instruction for all students.

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Walnut Bend ES teacher named November Teacher of the Month

Fifth-grade language arts and social studies teacher Molly Lashway thought she was finishing up a conference with her principal when she saw a parade of decorated vehicles coming around the corner outside.

As cars covered in colorful balloons and streamers rolled past to the sound of happy music, Walnut Bend Elementary School Principal Michele Dahlquist revealed to Lashway that she had been named the district’s November Teacher of the Month.

“I had no idea that this was happening this morning,” Lashway said. “I’m just glad I didn’t come to school dressed like a pilgrim today, because that was something that I considered for the day before Thanksgiving Break. But I’m really grateful for all of this.”

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Madison HS teacher honored for work in health, physical education

Madison High School teacher Paula Ceaser has been awarded the 2020 K-12 Health Education Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD).

The award is in recognition of “excellence and leadership in the HPERD profession for demonstrating leadership, achieving excellence, and being an outstanding representative of the teaching profession.”

Ceaser has taught physical education at Madison for 12 years and serves as a department chair and a lead teacher for HISD, helping to shape curriculum for health and physical education across the district. Ceaser said her role has allowed her to bring new opportunities and ideas to her students, from archery and fishing to participation in a grant with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote adolescent health initiatives.

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HISD now recruiting associate teachers

The Houston Independent School District is actively recruiting associate (substitute) teachers.

Associate teachers play a vital role in student learning by helping continue campus efficiency when a teacher is absent.

Because HISD is the largest and the most diverse district in Texas, associate teachers will have the opportunity to work with students from many different cultural backgrounds and network with exceptional principals and teachers.

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Unique masks help students innovate, adapt at T.H. Rogers

Asusena Gonzales’ 9-year-old son, Brandon Martinez, is deaf and attends the Region 4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD) at HISD’s T.H. Rogers School.

Brandon has been at Rogers since the age of 3, growing and learning like any other student. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The school closed and went fully remote in March, and Gonzales worried that virtual school would be a challenge for her son and that he could fall behind, but Brandon exceeded all expectations.

“He was able to learn multiplication through virtual learning, and that was shocking to me because I thought he would be delayed but … it has been really great,” she said. “Actually, we’ve been learning with him, and learning the signs to assist him, which has been really good.”

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HISD teachers kick off classroom lessons virtually for 2020-2021 school year

Roberts Elementary School fourth-grade teacher LaTasha Owens’ first social studies lesson of the new school year included an educational video about the three branches of government, shared on Microsoft Teams.

Owens called on students to share their thoughts about what they were watching. The children appeared onscreen as they unmuted themselves. Each was accessing the class from a private residence, some of them wearing headphones and some of them sitting in large office chairs.

This example of leveraging technology to ensure her students learn without jeopardizing the health and safety of all involved was replicated across the district on Tuesday.

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