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    image of Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Gilmore
    Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Science
    Bruce Shulkey Elementary

    Total years as a Teacher:  11
    Total years in FWISD:  12

     Education:  University of Texas at Arlington (2003), Bachelor of Business Science in Marketing; E.C.A.P. (2005) Teaching Certification EC-8

     Recognitions and Organizations:

    • TCU Mentoring Minds for Excellence (2009-2010)
    • Four time nominee for Bruce Shulkey Campus Teacher of the Year
    • Bruce Shulkey Elementary 2nd Grade Lead Teacher (2016-present)
    • Professional Development Presenter for Fort Worth ISD

    From Jennifer:  “There is a saying, ‘If you give a man a fish, your feed him for a day.  If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.’  Along those lines, my philosophy is to develop a love for learning in all.  I want my students to be curious, creative, and hard working.  I want them to think outside the box to find solutions.  Therefore, I strive to not just teach curriculum to my students, but to develop in each one of them a desire to learn.  If children love to learn, they will be self-motivated to achieve more.”

    From her principal:  “Mrs. Gilmore has a way of making connections with students to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts being taught.  Mrs. Gilmore has a unique ability to work with students who have behavior and emotional problems, as well as students from other countries who are learning to speak English.  Mrs. Gilmore is always willing to help and mentor our new teachers and . . . shares her ideas and materials and helps boost their confidence.”  Ms. Alice Galban

     

     

    West Elizabeth West
    Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Mathematics
    Louella Merrett Elementary


    Total years as a Teacher:  10
    Total years in FWISD:  12

    Education:  Tarrant County College (1999) Associate of Arts in Business; Texas Wesleyan University (2002) Bachelor of Business Administration; University of Texas at Arlington (2012) Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

     Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Member of Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics
    • Presenter at Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teachers (2009, 2010)
    • Fort Worth ISD Elementary Mathematics and Science Presenter for Professional Learning (2014-2016)
    • Fort Worth ISD Elementary Mathematics Teacher Leader (2016-present)
    • Louella Merrett Elementary Lead Math Teacher (2007, 2014-2016)

    From Elizabeth:  “I believe that all of my students are capable of learning; my job is to give them different opportunities for learning the math and science content.  I teach the majority of math in small groups so that I can help students correct their mistakes immediately and push their thinking based on where they are in learning the content.  I believe that students learn better when activities are tailored to fit their learning style.  Some activities are interactive, some are a student-created product, and some require students to answer specific math problems.  I have to work with students and their experiences to push their learning.”

    From her principal:  “Ms. West has implemented district curriculum, created original and differentiated lessons and activities for math and science, and created a student- centered learning environment.  She maximizes students’ learning by utilizing thirty minutes of small group instruction for each student in order to ‘dig deep’ into learning concepts and support various learning styles.  She currently serves as our Lead Math Teacher . . . and has served on the District’s Math Manipulatives Committee, Math Textbook Adoption Committee, and directed the Louella Merrett’s STAAR Math Camp and Camp Analytical.”  Ms. Anitra Perry

     

     

    Tuttle Angela Tuttle
    Outreach Communications Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Reading
    Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center

    Total years as a Teacher:  14
    Total years in FWISD:  8

    Education:  Stephen F. Austin State University (1992) Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies; Texas Woman’s University (1998) Reading Recovery Certification; University of North Texas (1999) Master of Education

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center Campus Teacher of the Year (2014)
    • Fort Worth ISD New Teacher Mentor
    • Cooperating Teacher, Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University

    From Angela:  “As stated by Benjamin Franklin, ‘Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.’  This quote embodies everything I believe about teaching children and families.  I want my students to love school and develop a desire to be life-long learners.  I want my students to be responsible for their learning, so I provide opportunities for choice, hands-on activities, problem solving, and purpose for why we learn.  I believe that helping children become life-long learners is the key to building strong, contributing citizens and community.”

    From her principal:  “Angela is able to make sound decisions quickly about what a student needs.  Based on her experience and her ongoing professional learning, she has a wealth of knowledge to draw upon when planning and making academic decisions.  The intentionality with which she determines pathways of learning for her students is illustrated daily.  This resulted in all her students reading at or above level by the end of first grade.  As the lead in reading and writing, Angela is able to share her passion for and expertise in the Language Arts with others.  The entire team is stronger because of her knowledge and understanding of what students need to be readers and writers.”  Ms. Jan Harris

     

     

    Angela St. Valentine
    XTO Chair for Teaching Excellence in Early Childhood
    Western Hills Primary


    Total years as a Teacher:  25
    Total years in FWISD:  7

    Education:  University of North Texas (1985) Bachelor of Science in Education; University of North Texas (2007) Master of Education in Educational Administration

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Nominee for Western Hills Primary Campus Teacher of the Year
    • Served as Western Hills Primary Lead Kindergarten Teacher
    • Served as Western Hills Primary Math Coach for 4 years
    • Member of Western Hills Primary Campus Leadership Team

    From Angela:  “It is my goal to hear my students say, ‘I love math, I love reading, and I love coming to school!’  Only then do I know that my students believe that learning is important to them.  We talk every day about getting our brains ready for first grade, for being in college, for being a grown-up and making this world a better place.  My students need daily encouragement to see that learning can get them where they want to go.  It is up to me to make every teaching moment count.”

    From her principal:  “Mrs. St. Valentine works tirelessly to modify her instruction to differentiate the lessons so that all students feel like they are a part of the learning environment.  Throughout the school year, Mrs. St. Valentine finds creative ways to bring her lessons to life and make them more interactive for all students.  Her ability to organize, plan, and understand the context of curriculum makes her a trusted resource on our campus.  As Kindergarten Grade Level Chair, she utilizes every resource possible to make sure that her team is well- informed and aligned with campus goals.”  Ms. Sonya Kelly

     

     

    Pfiefer Erin Pfeiffer
    Kroger Chair for Teaching Excellence in Special Education
    Morningside Elementary

    Total years as a Teacher:  8
    Total years in FWISD:  11

     Education:  University of North Texas (2008) Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

     Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Finalist for Chair for Teaching Excellence in Special Education (2014, 2015)
    • Fort Worth ISD New Teacher Mentor
    • Fort Worth ISD Special Education Classroom Model for Principals’ Tour
    • Member of Morningside Elementary PTA
    • Member of Autism Speaks
    • Member of Positively Autism

    From Erin:  “I believe education is one of the most important tools a person can have in life.  Every child deserves to receive the best education possible, regardless of special needs.  My students have a diagnosis of autism, along with a variety of other diagnoses.  They face many challenges in their lives outside of school, such as limited income, health/medical issues, and behavioral problems.  Often times, it is challenging for the parents to support their child’s needs for both academics and nurture.  I view my students as my extended family and assist with whatever they need to be successful.” 

    From her principal:  “Erin is a gifted and talented individual, with a passion for working with students with autism.   She meets the needs of each of her students on an individual basis and provides the necessary structure needed for them to thrive.  Erin advocates for her students with a vivacious tenacity that exhibits her deep passion for her children.  Her dedication and loyalty to her students and their parents is undeniable on all accounts.  She also assists her peers in understanding students with special needs that they may have in their own classrooms.” Ms. Ronnita Carridine

     

     

    Erison Rachel Erisman
    Linebarger Goggan Blair & Simpson, LLC Chair for Teaching Excellence in Health and Physical Education
    Diamond-Hill Jarvis High School

    Total years as a Teacher:  6
    Total years in FWISD:  6

    Education:  Texas Christian University (2009) Bachelor of Science in Physical Education

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Member of Texas Girls Coaches Association (2010-present)
    • Member of School Health Advisory Council (2010-present)
    • Professional Development Presenter in Health for Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School and Fort Worth ISD

    From Rachel:  “As a teacher, I believe that all students deserve the opportunity to learn.  Having a strong background in kinesiology, I also understand that not all students learn the same way.  I passionately feel that each student can be successful when given the correct scaffolding and encouragement.  Students are not all interested in learning the same way or about the same things.  However, when the right interest is sparked in them, the light goes on and the learning no longer becomes a required expectation, but an enjoyment that students crave.  Being a part of someone’s learning experience is a privilege and honor.”

    From her colleague:  “Mrs. Erisman has created a fabulous website that students can visit anytime they need initial direction or review for a lesson or assignment. Her website also includes an anonymous back channel where students can ask questions and leave feedback on the various topics discussed in class.  This communication tool has allowed students to open up and really embrace their exploration of topics that they might not have felt comfortable exploring in the classroom setting.  There are good teachers and then there are great teachers.  Rachel Erisman is certainly one of the latter.” Ms. Julie Fowler, Librarian – Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School

     

     

    Cotton Kristin Cotton
    Devon Energy Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary Science
    Southwest High School

    Total years as a Teacher:  8.5
    Total years in FWISD:  8

    Education:  University of Texas at Arlington (1997) Bachelor of Arts in English; University of Texas at Arlington (2001) Bachelor of Science in Chemistry; Texas A&M University Commerce (2015 – present) Master of Science in Physics

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Distance Learning Mentor Teacher for AP Physics I with Polytechnic High School (2015-present)
    • Member of Science and CTE Leadership Team (2014-present)
    • Southwest High School Physics Lead Content Teacher (2010-present)
    • Two time nominee for Southwest High School Campus Teacher of the Year
    • Two time finalist for Teaching Chair of Excellence

    From Kristin:  “If I were to share one lesson with my colleagues, it would be to build relationships.  At the end of my second year of teaching, I realized it was the relationships that make teaching rewarding.  As my students realized that I cared about them as people, they also realized I genuinely cared about their learning.  My students began to show up to the tutoring times I had set aside.  They trusted I would help them.  Through relationships, I found myself in the profound position of not only teaching students the material, but also teaching them to believe in themselves.  That’s why I became a teacher.”

    From her colleague:  “Kristin and I share many of the same students since I teach engineering and she teaches AP physics.  Not only do these students speak highly of her ability to teach the physics concepts, they also enjoy the class.  AP physics is a difficult course, yet Kristin plans lessons which are engaging and relevant.  I gained firsthand experience of this while participating in the Science-in-CTE program with her this year.  The leadership team’s goal was to show FWISD culinary arts teachers how to imbed science into their lessons.  The culinary teachers enjoyed the activities so much that they took them back to their classrooms where they were enthusiastically received by the students.  Kristin had truly inspired the teachers.”  Ms. Barbara Wasson, Southwest High School Engineering Teacher

     

     

    Nguyen Bao-Tran Nguyen
    Freese and Nichols, Inc. Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary Mathematics
    South Hills High School

    Total years as a Teacher:  12
    Total years in FWISD:  11

    Education:  University of South Alabama (2002) Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education; Texas Wesleyan University (2010) Master of Education

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Member of Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
    • Member of National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
    • South Hills High School Mathematics Department Chair
    • South Hills High School 9th Grade Team Leader
    • South Hills High School Campus Teacher of the Year (2015)

    From Bao-Tran:  “The main work in my class is problem solving.  By emphasizing problem solving over specific test material and focusing on concepts instead, I am giving my students better tools not only to succeed in the present, but in the future as well.  I enjoy implementing cooperative groups.  One of the most disregarded results of collaborative learning are the skills students develop just by being in the groups – working together on a consistent basis, presenting their thoughts and ideas, and settling conflicts that may arise.  All of these are skills that they will need in the future ‘real world’ – whether their next destination is college or the workplace.”

    From her colleague:  “Tran is dedicated to her school, her department, and – above all else – her students.  She is dedicated to her leadership team, her department team, and her freshman team. She has said to all three teams, ‘As long as it is best for the kids . . .’ and, ‘We need to do what is right for the students.’  She challenges her students to not accept failure and to expect more of themselves.  A true testament to her work is the increase in Math EOC scores (passing and commended) and the increase in higher level math classes being offered at our campus. Her impact on the school is not something just seen by numbers on a spreadsheet.  It is the amazing impact she has on her students, colleagues, and South Hills High School.” 

    Ms. Sarah Willis, Social Studies Department Chair, South Hills High School

     

     

    Zepada Cynthia Zepeda
    Chase Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary English
    Forest Oak Middle School

    Total years as a Teacher:  10
    Total years in FWISD:  10

    Education:  Texas Tech University (1983) Bachelor of Arts in Journalism; Tarleton State University (2009) Master of Education

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Member of National Council of Teachers of English
    • Member North Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts
    • Forest Oak Middle School Campus Teacher of the Year (2011)
    • Two time finalist Teaching Chair of Excellence for Secondary English

    From Cindy:  “Everyone can learn; however, that doesn’t mean everyone wants to learn.  Part of being a good teacher is assessing where each learner is on the continuum of knowledge and skills and meeting them there, then moving them forward.  Motivating a disengaged learner is always a challenge.  Connecting learning to the real world is a significant portion of that battle.  Another huge portion is building relationships.  The final piece is the wild card – the apparent random disconnect between a student and the day’s learning objective.  If you’ve built a positive relationship with the child, it is a simple matter to ask him what’s going on.  He might even tell you, but not always.  Often it is enough that you asked.”

    From her principal:  “What I want to celebrate most about Cindy is her dedication to her students.  She is a master teacher because she plans effective, engaging, and rigorous lessons.  She does not lower her standards.  She teaches students how to rise to the high level of expectations she has set for them.  They see challenges as an opportunity to enhance their own learning.  It is truly an example of igniting that passion for learning in all of her students.  She views each student as what they can be tomorrow – successful, life-long learners.” 

    Ms. Paula K. Woods

     

     

    Carson Shatiqueka Carson
    Atmos Energy Chair for Teaching Excellence in Acquisition of Language
    Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

    Total years as a Teacher:  4
    Total years in FWISD:  4

    Education:  Eastern Michigan University (2012) Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Foreign Language; University of Texas at Arlington (2016-present) Master of Arts in Foreign Language

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Member of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language
    • Member of Texas Foreign Language Association
    • Paul Laurence Dunbar Campus Teacher of the Year (2016)
    • Finalist for Fort Worth ISD District Teacher of the Year (2016)

    From Shatiqueka:  “Many of my students have never had the opportunity to travel and can’t imagine a world bigger than their own neighborhoods, so the idea of fluency or having functional communicative skills while studying a culture different than their own seems to be an unthinkable, unattainable goal.  As an African-American Spanish teacher, this is where I become integral to the process.  With my presence, my passion, details of my own journey, and a commitment to their success, my mission is for my students to see with their own eyes the possibilities.”

    From her principal:  “Ms. Carson has great enthusiasm not only for teaching Spanish, but also for helping students grow as young adults.  She is devoted to creating authentic scenarios to help students see the relevance in language acquisition.  Her dedication to increase student experiences with language has provided her students with various opportunities to experience art, food, and culture.  As World Languages Department Chair, she is dependable, prompt in carrying out responsibilities, and respectful of parents, students, and all faculty and staff. It is my pleasure to recommend Ms. Carson for Fort Worth ISD’s Teaching Chair of Excellence in Language Acquisition.”  Mr. SaJade Miller

     

     

    Sikes Patricia Sikes
    Sewell Lexus & Infiniti of Fort Worth Chair for Teaching Excellence in Humanities
    R.L. Paschal High School

    Total years as a Teacher:  26
    Total years in FWISD:  22

    Education:  Texas Wesleyan University (1973) Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature; Tarleton State University (1972) Master of Education

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Member of Texas Council of Social Studies
    • Member of National Council of Social Studies
    • Member of Organization of American Historians
    • Member Paschal Leadership Committee (2005-present)
    • Paschal High School Lead Content Teacher for Social Studies (2005-2007)
    • Paschal High School Social Studies Department Chair (2007- present)

    From Patti:  “As a history teacher, I could easily bore my students with what is referred to as ‘dead white man history.’  I want history to come alive for my students, so I do a lot of teaching through biographies of people, other than just the big names of history.  They do a lot of reading of primary and secondary sources exploring the ‘real’ society of this country.  My students always tell me that they love my personal anecdotes.  I had two grandmothers born in the late 19th century who continued a great tradition of telling family stories. They could talk about the Wright brothers and the Apollo moon mission. I use a lot of their stories when teaching U.S. History.”

    From her principal:  “Patti has an excellent rapport with her students and shows a sincere interest in them as individuals.  Consequently, her students clearly respect her and are pleased to be in her class.  Mrs. Sikes also exhibits an excellent understanding of her content and the learning process.  She delivers superb lessons that interest and engage her students.  Patti has continually been celebrated by her department for six-week teacher awards and was honored as the Paschal Teacher of the Year this past school year. I highly recommend her for the Fort Worth ISD Teaching Chair for Excellence in Social Studies.”  Ms. Terri Mossige

     

     

    Dominguez Natalia Dominguez
    Angela D. Paulos Chair for Teaching Excellence in Visual Arts
    South Hills Elementary

    Total years as a Teacher:  4
    Total years in FWISD:  4

    Education:  Tarrant County College (2003) Associate of Arts in Art; University of Texas at Arlington (2009) Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Member of National Art Education Association
    • Member of Texas Art Education Association

    From Natalia:  “I believe that the study of art and art history helps develop the tools and skills necessary to succeed in any field.  These artistic tools (to plan, research, execute, and present through the use of the elements and principles of design) can be applied to academic subjects, as well as to life situations.  Advocating for lower economic students and teaching them the ‘hidden middle class tools’ through art has been my teaching philosophy which I call The Right to Art.”

    From her principal:  “Ms. Dominguez has served at South Hills Elementary for 2 years.  She has created and implemented different methods of teaching art that have developed student enthusiasm and passion for art.  Ms. Dominguez has also dedicated her time to providing an after school art program for our students. She willingly shares her knowledge with teachers at the campus and District level and with student teachers from local universities.  Ms. Dominguez has proven to be a valuable asset to our campus.”  Ms. Sandra Garza

     

     

     

    Wayland Wayland Scott
    Crescent Real Estate Chair for Teaching Excellence in Career and Technology Education
    Boulevard Heights

    Total years as a Teacher:  4
    Total years in FWISD:  6

    Education:  Tarrant County Junior College (1998) Associate of Arts in Psychology; University of Texas at Arlington (2002) Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

    Recognitions and Organizations: 

    • Member of Boulevard Heights Cultural Awareness committee
    • Member of Boulevard Heights Special Events committee
    • Member of Boulevard Heights Technology committee
    • Boulevard Heights Campus Teacher of the Year (2015)

    From Wayland:  “Even special education students are capable of, and have an innate love of learning.  As teachers, we help a student access and nurture that love.  It is unlikely that many, if any, of my students will attend college or be competitively employed, but I maintain the District’s singleness of purpose by fostering and bolstering each student’s love of learning, which I accomplish by using and developing technology centered around individual students’ interests.”

    From his principal:  “The most impressive accomplishment Wayland has made this year has hands down been teaching his co-curricular technology applications class. He’s modified the ‘genius hour’ approach . . . to teach students technology based on their own interests.  After a few weeks, I received information from one of our elementary teachers that her students were applying skills learned in Wayland’s class to independently make animated movies during their free time.  These minute long shorts contain all the basic elements of story . . . and stand as testament to what our special education students are capable of . . . when given proper instruction.  He has revolutionized the way our staff and students think about technology.”  

    Mr. Paul C. Kaufman

     

     

    Graves Stacia Graves
    Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts
    North Hi Mount Elementary

    Total years as a Teacher:  10
    Total years in FWISD:  5

    Education:  University of North Texas (2005) Bachelor of Arts in Music Education

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • North Hi Mount Campus Teacher of the Year (2015)

    Mrs. Graves’ Students’ Awards and Recognitions:

    • Two- time Outstanding Elementary Choir in Sandy Lake Choir Competition (2014, 2015)
    • Three- time First Place Division in Sandy Lake Choir Competition (2013, 2014, 2015)
    • Gold/First Division in Six Flags PAC Choir Competition (2014)

    From Stacia:  “Music is truly a language in which we can all communicate regardless of our backgrounds or circumstances.  For many of my students, music has been a confidence booster.  Every child is excited by the sound of instruments and the songs they sing together.  The older students carry the same excitement as they complete their more challenging pieces and feel the rewards of their hard work through performance.  As music educators, we are teaching students to have a strong work ethic, to have high expectations, and to work together as a community.”

    From her principal:  “Mrs. Graves is a dedicated and hard worker who believes in success for all children, and she makes no excuses for any child not to be successful in music.  Every time I walk into Mrs. Graves’ classroom, all students are engaged in a music lesson that is fun . . . and it connects with the core curriculum to reinforce core content.  Stacia has the highest expectations for all her students.  Most importantly, her students meet Stacia’s expectations due to her support and teaching strategies.  I have consistently observed Stacia treat all students with respect and dignity while ensuring they all take ownership in their learning and personal life choices.”  Mr. Todd J. Koppes

     

     

    Penland Cheryl Penland
    Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts in Theater and Dance
    Trimble Tech High School

    Total years as a Teacher:  28
    Total years in FWISD:  23

    Education:  Texas Wesleyan University (1988) Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts

    Recognitions and Organizations:

    • Two time Trimble Tech High School Campus Teacher of the Year (2006, 2011)
    • Educator of the Year for Live Theater League (2008)
    • Theater Educator of the Year for FW Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce (2011)

     

    Ms. Penland’s Students’ Awards and Recognitions:

    • State Qualifier in UIL Prose Interpretation
    • Numerous UIL One Act Plays advancing to Area Level Competition
    • Numerous District Championships in UIL Prose and Poetry Interpretation
    • Dozens of Region Qualifiers in UIL Prose and Poetry Interpretation
    • Numerous Best Actor and Best Actress awards in UIL One Act Play
    • Over 100 All Star Cast and Honorable Mention All Star Cast Medal Winners
    • Selection as one of 10 U.S. High Schools to participate in the ABC SMASH/Make a Musical Project

    From Cheryl:  “No matter what profession a student chooses, the foundation of skills and understanding that is gained through the study of theater arts will serve him or her well.  Theater is truly a collaborative art form, and the elements involved in that collaborative process are easily transferrable to any career.  From effective communication skills to self-confidence to business management and problem- solving techniques, the theater arts student walks away from the experience more prepared to tackle any task with practicality, creativity and even a bit of personal flair!  And, whether he or she finds success in the arts community or in some other profession, he or she will always appreciate all things aesthetic and will perpetuate an appreciation for the Fine Arts in generations to come.”

    From her colleague:  “Ms. Penland has shown me that good educators teach life as part of the curriculum.  I remember a couple of years ago, Ms. Penland chose a UIL piece about the Holocaust.  She took the opportunity to educate her students about what hate can do.  The cast and crew visited the Holocaust Museum, did research and, ultimately, participated in discussions about the history of the event.  They cried – bawled.  But that’s what should have happened.  It’s too easy for us to learn about such events from a textbook and not let them change us.  Ms. Penland took great steps to ensure that her students understood the importance of the piece they were presenting.  It was no accident that they did well in competition.”  Mr. Brian Woddell, Trimble Tech High School Language Teacher