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FWISD Recognizes 2022-23 Chairs for Teaching Excellence

District and partners celebrate exemplary teaching, see photos from the event

Fort Worth ISD and its dedicated community partners celebrated 16 outstanding, highly qualified teachers at the 2022-2023 Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence awards luncheon at the Ashton Depot Nov. 17. The Trimble Tech High School String Ensemble, under the direction of Tony Regalado, entertained the 160 guests before the program began. Take a look at photos from the event.

The selected teachers each received their title of Chair for Teaching Excellence and a $5,000 honorarium in front of a cheering crowd of FWISD staff, Teaching Chair sponsors, and community leaders. Each Teaching Chair’s campus received a flag to display in a prominent location. 

This year’s honorees are:

Angela D. Paulos Chair for Teaching Excellence in Visual Arts Ann-Denise Anderson, Polytechnic High School 

Blue Zones Project Chair for Teaching Excellence in Health & Physical Education  
Enrique Rodriguez, Worth Heights Elementary School (elementary)
Mario Flores, Benbrook Middle-High School (secondary)

Broadway at the Bass Chair for Teaching Excellence in Dance & Theater 
David M. Smith, South Hills High School

Central Market Chair for Teaching Excellence in Early Childhood Education 
Karina Al Rashdan, Leadership Academy at Mitchell Blvd. Elementary School

Chase Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary English 
Joshua G. Torres, McLean Middle School

Friedman Chair for Teaching Excellence in Performing Arts 
Aubrey Kistler, Southwest High School

Kroger Chair for Teaching Excellence in Special Education  
Susan Anne Alexander, Greenbriar Elementary

Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Reading 
Mary J. Mosley, Leadership Academy at John T. White Elementary School 

Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Elementary Math & Science 
Victoria Bergman, Burton Hill Elementary School 

Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in Middle School STEM 
Stephanie Smith Delgadillo, Riverside Middle School

Lockheed Martin Chair for Teaching Excellence in High School STEM 
Evette Y. Mumford, Texas Academy of Biomedical Sciences

Meta Chair for Teaching Excellence in Career & Technical Education  
Dr. Amber Reeder, Texas Academy for Biomedical Sciences

Sewell Lexus & Infiniti of Fort Worth Chair for Teaching Excellence in Humanities 
Billie D. Hainsey, Meadowbrook Middle School 

TTI, Inc. Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary Math 
James Korn, Arlington Heights High School

University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth Chair for Teaching Excellence in Secondary Science
Saskia Borjas, Benbrook Middle-High School 

The luncheon began with a welcome from FWISD Board of Education President Tobi Jackson. After her remarks, the program began in earnest, with each category sponsor giving an enthusiastic introduction of their Teaching Chair. Each Teaching Chair winner took the stage and delivered speeches following the theme, “Why I Teach.” Their remarks were at times thoughtful, funny, and thought-provoking, and many speeches moved the audience, and sometimes the teachers themselves, to tears.

FWISD Superintendent Dr. Angelica M. Ramsey, who experienced this awards luncheon for the first time, made closing remarks. She thanked teachers and board members for their dedication, sponsors and community for their support, and she encouraged everyone to support and recognize teachers all year long.

The Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence is a rigorous award program that requires an application, video teaching demonstration, and panel interview. To meet eligibility requirements, teachers must have either been elected Campus Teacher of the Year by their peers during the past five years or must provide details on the application about their leadership roles on campus and in the classroom.

This year, 100 teachers applied across the program’s 15 categories. Applicants had to explain their philosophy of teaching and learning and share how they engage with their students. Once the selection committees reviewed applications and determined the finalists for their categories, the 45 teacher finalists submitted classroom demonstration videos for review and evaluation.

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.

Once the committees selected Teaching Chair winners from 100 initial applicants, it was time to celebrate. The corporate sponsors spearheaded surprise campus visits to notify the winners of their selection. Campus principals staged fun, and sometimes elaborate, events in the winners’ honor. The celebrations featured signs, confetti, flowers, cheerleaders, and musicians where sponsors, committee members, colleagues, students and family members gathered around the new Teaching Chair winners to congratulate them.

This annual teacher recognition program is made possible because of dedicated community partners who sponsor the awards, including the $5,000 cash prize.