Return to Headlines

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.teachingchair  

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 



Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and the Fort Worth ISD Mobile App for the latest information