Six Texas teachers named finalists for 2018 presidential awards in math and science

Six Texas teachers named finalists for 2018 presidential awards in math and science

Texas Education AgencyAUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today the six Texas teachers that have been named finalists for the 2018 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The 2018 awards recognize kindergarten through sixth grade mathematics and science teachers whose innovative methods bring teaching to life in the classroom.

PAEMST is the highest recognition a mathematics or science teacher may receive for exemplary teaching in the United States. The National Science Foundation administers PAEMST on the behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The 2018 Texas finalists in elementary mathematics are:

  •  Ellaree Lehman – Third grade mathematics and science teacher at R. E. Good Elementary IB World School in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District;
  •  Angelica Nino – Third grade bilingual mathematics and science teacher at De Zavala Elementary School in the San Antonio Independent School District; and
  •  Kirsta Paulus – Third grade teacher at Genoa Elementary School in the Pasadena Independent School District.

The 2018 Texas finalists in elementary science are:

  •  Allison Bearden – Sixth grade math and science teacher at Oakcrest Intermediate School in the Tomball Independent School District;
  •  Celene Rosen – Third grade math and science teacher at Barksdale Elementary School in the Plano Independent School District; and
  •  Brenda Williams – Fourth and fifth grade Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teacher at Argyle Intermediate School in the Argyle Independent School District.

To achieve recognition through this program, a teacher first must apply to enter the competition or be nominated for the award. A state panel consisting of master teachers, content specialists, and administrators reviews the applications and selects the most outstanding mathematics and science teachers for the National Science Foundation to consider for national awardee status. After this initial selection process, a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators may select two teachers from each state and U.S. jurisdiction for the national award.

PAEMST awardees receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation, a certificate signed by the President of the United States, and a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend recognition events and professional development opportunities.

For additional information about the PAEMST program, visit

Four schools selected for P-Tech grant program

Four schools selected for P-Tech grant program

DALLAS —  L. G. Pinkston, Seagoville, South Oak Cliff and Wilmer-Hutchins high schools have been preliminarily selected to receive a grant for the 2018–2020 Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) Success Grant program.

“Dallas ISD, Dallas County Community College District, University of North Texas Dallas and 63 industry partners are committed to working collaboratively to ensure that students graduate with workplace skills which will provide a clear pathway from high school to college to career,” said Israel Cordero, Dallas ISD Deputy Superintendent of Academic Improvement and Accountability. “The receipt of the P-TECH Success Grants further enhances educational opportunities for our students.”

A total of 14 schools in Texas have been preliminarily selected to receive the grant from the Texas Education Agency. The purpose of the 2018–2020 P-TECH Success Grant Program is to solicit grant applications from eligible applicants who will spend 28 months strengthening and refining current practices that will advance their existing P-TECH campus to distinguished levels of performance, as measured by the P-TECH Blueprint.

“Campuses will utilize funds from the P-TECH Success grants to enrich the curriculum and reinforce workplace learning skills,” said Usamah Rodgers, Dallas ISD Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Initiatives and External Relations.

Dallas ISD’s 18 P-TECHs offer students a chance to earn up to 60 college hours or an associate degree as they earn their high school diplomas. Learn more here.

TEXAS: TEA Drafts Corrective Action Plan for Special Education

TEXAS: TEA Drafts Corrective Action Plan for Special Education

TEXAS — TEA drafts corrective action plan for special education AUSTIN – At the direction of Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has drafted an initial corrective action plan regarding the support and delivery of special education services in our state’s public schools. The initial draft addresses all issues identified in a recent federal monitoring report, including the proper identification of special education students and assuring access to appropriate services at the local level.

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath stressed this initial plan is simply a first draft still requiring additional public comment. Before a final plan is submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, TEA will engage in a significant outreach effort over the next two months to hear from special education students, families, educators, advocacy groups, district and school officials, and all others seeking to provide input on the plan.

“This corrective action plan provides the state of Texas the chance to make meaningful, lasting change in how we educate and support children with special needs,” said Commissioner Morath. “We are approaching this planning process with the seriousness that it requires and hope to solicit the kind of collective feedback, support and collaboration that our students deserve as we work to earn back the trust parents place in us for their children. My top priority has and continues to be to improve outcomes for all students in Texas.”

A copy of the draft plan was shared with the Governor’s Office and made publicly available today on the TEA website ( Significant actions that are part of the draft plan include:

  • TEA would create a suite of resources intended to be shared with the parents of children suspected of having a disability to help fully inform them of their rights to a free and appropriate public education, and accompany those resources with a large outreach effort.
  • TEA would roll out a large scale statewide special education professional development system, including multiple opportunities for follow-up support for all educators (general education, special education, and others).
  • For students who are found to have needed services and did not receive them, the school system is responsible for providing compensatory services. TEA would identify funds to support effective service delivery.
  • TEA would further strengthen its staffing and resources devoted to special education, allowing for greater oversight as well as additional on-site support to local school districts.

TEA will be accepting an initial round of public comments on the draft plan through Feb. 18. A website has been established providing a copy of the draft, an overview of TEA’s outreach efforts with various stakeholders, and an email address to provide comment.

Following the initial round of public comments and stakeholder engagement, a revised draft plan will be available on or around March 1. Additional public comment will be accepted through March 31.

Under the current timeline, the final State corrective action plan would be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education on or around April 18 (pending additional conversations and feedback from federal officials).

To review the draft plan and learn more about providing feedback, visit the TEA website at