Two HISD educators are being honored at the White House on Friday, Aug. 31, as “Champions of Change” for their efforts to improve the lives of Hispanic youths.
Teacher Development Specialist Ben Hernandez and Austin High School teacher Armando Orduña were nominated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which also handpicked them to be members of that organization’s inaugural Teacher Advisory Council earlier this year.
“I don’t even know how to feel yet,” said Hernandez. “I was just excited that they had created this award to honor the hard work and the success that teachers experience. (HISD is) very progressive and aggressive, so I think in a lot of ways, it can turn national eyes on us to see what we’re doing right.”
You can watch a live feed of the awards ceremony on the White House’s website (www.whitehouse.gov/live) starting at 12:30 CDT. Members of the media are also welcome to visit Austin High School (1700 Dumble) where fellow staff members and students will be watching the live ceremony.
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.”