FWISD Announces 2020-2021 Chairs For Teaching Excellence
(Thursday, December 3, 2020) -- In a school year unlike any other, with changes in nearly every aspect of public education, Fort Worth ISD and its dedicated community partners came through and once again selected 16 teachers as the 2020-2021 Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence. The selected teachers will be conferred with the title of Chair for Teaching Excellence for one year and receive a $5,000 honorarium. Each Teaching Chair’s campus will receive a banner to display in a prominent location. In addition, a photograph of each winner will be on display at the District’s Professional Development Center for one year.
This rigorous award program has always involved an application, teaching demonstration, and panel interview. Each year, selection committee members review more than 100 applications to select finalists. The teaching demonstration has involved District staff visiting classrooms and recording the teacher on video for judges to evaluate before the panel interview in late October. All that changed this year.
This year, a record 140 teachers applied across the 16 categories. They had to answer new application questions about teaching in a global pandemic, and they submitted video demonstrations of teaching in their virtual classrooms. The panelists interviewed the finalists via Zoom and once again asked about the challenges of teaching and engaging with students in the face of a public health crisis. Through it all, teachers impressed the judges with the creativity, ingenuity, and grit they displayed as they navigated the challenges of teaching this school year.
Fort Worth ISD established the Chairs for Teaching Excellence program 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 K-12 setting and for its rigorous selection process.
There will not be an award luncheon this year, but sponsors, judges and District staff visited each Teaching Chair’s campus and held outdoor surprise celebrations, with signs, balloons, drum lines, musicians, students, and family members cheering to congratulate them for receiving this honor, and all Teaching Chairs are being featured on the District website and social media.
This year’s Teaching Chairs sponsors and honorees are:
Angela D. Paulos Chair for Teaching Excellence in Visual Arts
Shelli Aulisio, Sam Rosen Elementary School
Central Market Chair for Teaching Excellence in Acquisition of Language
Patricia Lambis, Burton Hill Elementary School
Bayard H. Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts
Timothy Brendler, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM & VPA
Blue Zones Project Chair for Teaching Excellence in Health & Physical Education
Shay Garcia, Trimble Tech High School
Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Dance & Theater
Jennifer Whitman, Daggett Montessori
Chase Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary English
Sean Strange, North Side High School
Crescent Real Estate Chair for Teaching Excellence in Career & Technical Education
Bernita Jackson, Trimble Tech High School
Atmos Energy Chair For Teaching Excellence in Secondary Science
Brittany Madkins, Morningside Middle School
Kroger Chair for Teaching Excellence in Special Education
Mary Jackson, Applied Learning Academy
Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Reading
Peter Hernandez, Sam Rosen Elementary School
Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Math & Science
Sendy Casas, Cesar Chavez Elementary School
Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Middle School STEM
Nettie Scott, Leadership Academy at Forest Oak
Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in High School STEM
Orion Smith, Arlington Heights High School
Sewell Lexus & Infiniti of Fort Worth Chair for Teaching Excellence in Humanities
Travis Arnold, Arlington Heights High School
TTI, Inc. Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary Math
Marisa Phillips, Southwest High School
XTO Energy Chair for Teaching Excellence in Early Childhood Education
Sharon Gartrell, Charles E. Nash Elementary School