NTCTELA 2015 Teacher of Excellence Awards

NTCTELA is proud to announce the winners of the Teacher of Excellence awards for 2015. There were many excellent applicants this year. We are impressed with the caliber of teachers working in the north Texas area! These teachers will be recognized at the NTCTELA Conference on Friday, June 12th at the Hurst Conference Center. We hope to see all of you there!

NTCTELA High School Teacher of Excellence

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Donna Friend currently teaches English III at Hebron High School in the Lewisville Independent School District. She has been with LISD since 1997. Donna keeps busy as the Academic Decathlon and Octathlon Coach while participating in the Texas Council of Teacher of English Language Arts, presenting to the faculty at her school and in her district on various topics, participating on the District English III Curriculum Revision Team, and promoting campus reading and writing initiatives – all while being the ELA Department Chair. She is currently the program coordinator of Hebron Reads, a campus reading initiative on Twitter to share book suggestions and encourage online community building. According to her colleague, Donna has been a major influence in transforming the culture of her school to adapt to student needs and engage student interests while also providing rigorous, relevant challenges.  “Donna inspires me every day. Her smile, her energy, and her sincere belief in the promise of every student she encounters spill over and make everyone around her ready to embrace new challenges.”

NTCTELA Middle School Teacher of Excellence

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Terisa Pearce currently teaches 6th grade and is an Instructional Coach and Department Chair at Scroggins Middle School in the Frisco Independent School District. She has been a teacher in various capacities since 1999. Along with teaching, Terisa presents leadership and training seminars for her district as well as participates in curriculum writing at the district level. She also is a member of many state and national literacy organizations and has obtained several grants to assist her in her work such as Mentor Texts in Middle School, and Teaching Real-World Writing Through Modeling and Mentor Texts. She regularly presents at professional literacy conferences at the local, state, and national level. Terisa also received her doctorate in 2010 from University of North Texas in Reading. Her secondary curriculum coordinator says “Ms. Pearce inspires innovation and a spirit of student-centered improvement. Her commitment to excellence in language arts instruction for all students is clear in her leadership and diligence.”

Nancy Considine Elementary Teacher of Excellence

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Whitney Young currently teaches 4th grade at Midway Park elementary in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District. She has taught in various grades since 2007. She has participated at the district level in curriculum development for third grade language arts and fourth grade science. She has presented at many local, state, and national conferences such as the Educating Children of Color 8th Annual Summit and the National Association for Mulicultural Education. Whitney (with S. Modeste) has an article titled “African American Students Catching Up Through Meaningful Literacy Experiences” in the Spring 2014 issue of Dragon Lode, a journal for the International Reading Association. She is currently working on her doctorate in Language and Literacy at the University of North Texas. According to her principal, in Whitney’s room “students are reading, discussing, and evaluating topics that truly will impact their lives. She purposefully selects reading materials that encompass a wide cultural selection because she realizes it is important at a campus that demographically is majority minority and fighting to find a voice.”