TASA Names 2017 Texas Teachers of the Year
The announcement was made at the Texas Teacher of the Year awards luncheon on Friday, October 14, at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin. Both state-level winners will receive a cash award and a commemorative trophy.
Also honored during the luncheon were the Regional Teachers of the Year and the finalists for Texas Teacher of the Year: Julie Garza, Edinburg CISD; LaGay Pittenger, Belton ISD; Calvin Lambert, Uvalde CISD; and Sarah Macha, New Caney ISD.
2017 Texas Teacher of the YearAllison Ashley, Becker Elementary, Austin ISD
“One of the most powerful things educators can do is model for students a love of learning, an eagerness for and appreciation of feedback, a transparent sharing of goals, and the vulnerability to fail and try again,” said Allison Ashley, 2017 Texas Teacher of the Year, who holds a master’s degree in language and literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
“When a commitment to learning and growth mindset are explicitly modeled and taught for students in authentic ways, it contributes to a class environment where students are more willing to take risks, fail, revisit and revise work, and strive for continuous improvement.”
The 2016-17 school year is Ashley’s seventh year teaching bilingual education in Austin ISD, where she has taught at both Perez and Becker elementary schools. Ashley began her teaching career in the Rio Grande Valley, teaching in the Brownsville and Edinburg school districts.
2017 Texas Secondary Teacher of the YearDeborah Campbell, San Angelo Central High School, San Angelo ISD
“I do my best to encourage students to step outside preconceived expectations and the misguided skepticisms of others — even loved ones — to get in touch with finding more than a dream. I challenge them to find a destiny,” said Deborah Campbell, 2017 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year, who teaches speech and serves as the San Angelo Central High School Credit Recovery program coordinator and lead teacher.
“Almost daily, you will find me asking students, ‘WHY do you need this diploma? What were you meant to do? How will you use the diploma to get there?’ If they know the ‘why,’ they will come to school, they will fight through the hardships, and they will value the necessity of their education as a means to a successful end,” she said. “Knowing they will take it further is what drives me to be persistent and persevere.”
Campbell is a 20-year veteran educator who has taught in San Angelo ISD her entire career. She holds a master’s degree in communication systems management from Angelo State University, and serves as a rotating communications post-secondary instructor for Park University. She served on a State Board for Educator Certification committee that developed a new exit exam for teacher candidates as well as on a Texas Education Agency committee that wrote the standards for teaching speech in Texas.
See Campbell's Teacher of the Year video, produced by San Angelo ISD.
Texas Teacher of the Year ProgramTo achieve recognition as Texas Elementary or Secondary Teacher of the Year, a teacher must first be chosen as a campus and district teacher of the year, then a regional honoree. From the group of 40 regional teachers of the year, six finalists are chosen and interviewed by an independent panel of judges composed of representatives of education associations, community and business leaders, a member of the State Board for Educator Certification, a member of the State Board of Education, and prior Texas Teachers of the Year.
Texas Association of School Administrators
Texas Retired Teachers Association
Texas Association of School Boards
Texas School Public Relations Association
Professional Association Sponsors
Association of Texas Professional Educators
Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
Texas Association of School Business Officials
Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators
Texas Association of Secondary School Principals
Texas Classroom Teachers Association
Texas Council of Women School Executives
Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association
Texas State Teachers Association