Winners Announced for Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts and Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts in Theater and Dance
Fort Worth, Texas – Brandi Waller - Pace, general music teacher at Fort Worth ISD’s Bruce Shulkey Elementary School, has been selected as the 2018-19 Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts. Julia Worthington, theater teacher at Western Hills High School, has been selected as the Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts in Theater and Dance.
Ms. Waller-Pace and Ms. Worthington were chosen following a rigorous three-part evaluation process based on a written application and narrative; a recording of classroom instruction; and an interview session with a distinguished panel of judges.
“There were many strong candidates for the awards this year,” said Sue Buratto, Education Director at Bass Hall and Performing Arts Fort Worth. “We were so excited to see so much talent in the music, theater and dance programs throughout the school District.”
In 1999, Performing Arts Fort Worth established the Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts, which annually recognizes and rewards an exemplary Fort Worth Independent School District teacher. The Chair carries the title for one year and receives a $5,000 honorarium. In 2016, an additional Performing Arts Chair was established as the Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Theater and Dance in order to also recognize excellence in these areas.
Ms. Waller-Pace has been teaching for 10 years, eight years in Fort Worth ISD. Her students have consistently won awards, including several of her students being accepted into the Texas Girls’ Choir. Principal Vanessa Tritten states, “Mrs. Waller-Pace continually seeks out trainings, workshops, and professional development to increase her level of expertise. She has brought excitement to the music program.”
Ms. Worthington has 40 years of teaching experience, all in Fort Worth ISD. Her students have earned scholarships and awards in multiple programs. Her principal, Keri Flores, states, “She has a passion for Theater Arts, and it comes out in her every day teaching. When I need to get out of my office and just see good teaching and students captivated, Mrs. Worthington’s class is where I like to go. Her love of teaching is evident in everything she does. The students and parents adore her and request to be in her class.”
The Chairs for Teaching Excellence program was established in the Fort Worth ISD in 1994. It is modeled after the university-level Chair program and is designed to recognize and reward exemplary teachers. This program is unique because of its role in a public secondary school setting and for its rigorous selection process.
The remaining 14 Chairs will be announced in the fall. All recipients will be recognized at the annual awards luncheon later in November.
Applications may be submitted through 5 p.m. Friday, June 29, for Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence in visual arts, acquisition of language, health and physical education, secondary English, career and technical education, secondary science, special education, elementary reading, elementary math and or science, middle school STEM, secondary STEM, humanities, secondary mathematics and early childhood education. Click here to apply.