|Teacher of the Year Teachers of Promise||
Office of Educator Quality - Teacher Recognition
Teacher of the Year
2012 Austin ISD Teacher of the Year Finalists
In selecting the Teacher of the Year, we distinguish individual excellence, and we also gain appreciation for the dedication and ability of numerous talented teachers.
Tracy Graham- Elementary Teacher of the Year
Tracy Graham, a National Board Certified Teacher, teaches 2nd grade at Cowan Elementary. Ms. Graham is a product of the Austin ISD school system and believes she was very fortunate to have had a positive public education experience throughout childhood.
Ms. Graham believes every day as a teacher is significant: “My primary goal is to bring my best to our classroom and each of my students each and every day.” She teaches students how to read, write, solve and explain problems mathematically, and think like scientists. Ms. Graham also teaches the importance of respect and the value of intrinsic motivation so that students want to learn and make good choices because that’s what’s right.
To strengthen and improve the teaching profession, she models being a life-long learner and actively seeks out ways to grow professionally. Ms. Graham participates actively in various staff development opportunities and service-oriented activities, and assumes leadership roles such as Mentor Teacher and Team Leader.
Alicia Brown-Forbes- Middle School of the Year
Alicia Brown-Forbes teaches 6th, 7th and 8th grade ESL and Language Arts at Webb Middle School. Ms. Brown-Forbes has always dreamed of becoming a teacher. She began by teaching her toys, progressed to teaching her siblings, to finally teaching in the world of education. “I just knew that teaching was my calling.
Ms. Brown-Forbes’ ultimate goal is creating an environment where her students feel invested and empowered: “When students feel the accomplishments of making progress, but also feel supported when coming up against a stubborn challenge, I know they feel a big part of the program and of the class.”
Ms. Brown is involved in various staff development and numerous service-oriented activities, and assumes leadership roles such as writing literacy and ESL curriculum, participating in Professional Development Units, and serving on the teacher/principal evaluation advisory committee.
Matt Earhart- High School Teacher of the Year
Matt Earhart, a National Board Certified Teacher, is an AVID teacher who teaches Advancement via Individual Determination and Contemporary Issues at Anderson High School. Mr. Earhart grew up wanting to teach and spends his days inspiring students to follow their dreams: “Too many students face an uphill battle in their paths to success, and I find comfort through empowering these students to truly follow their dreams.”
Mr. Earhart is a National Board Mentor Teacher and Mentor Teacher for his campus. He also manages the Students as Teachers Program and has created and facilitated ample professional development trainings on how to best support AVID students.
While Mr. Earhart considers his roles in supporting underserved students as his most significant contributions to education, he is also proud of the work he has completed within social studies. As the leader of exit-level TAKS preparation, Anderson has achieved 96%, 99%, 97%, and 98% passing rates in the last four years.
Teacher of the Year Links:
Teachers of the Year will be honored at Salute, a tribute to teaching excellence throughout the district, on Wednesday, May 23. This annual event, co-hosted by the AISD and Austin Partners in Education, will include performances by students, a VIP Reception, an Honoree Reception and many more surprises. At Salute, we will also name the Austin Teacher of the Year, who will serve as the District’s nominee for the Texas Teacher of the Year Program. http://www.austinisd.org/salute
Austin ISD Teacher of the Year Program
Per TEA- Candidates should be skillful, dedicated teachers who plan to actively continue classroom teaching. They should take an active role in their communities as well as their schools, and be professional, poised and articulate. The most important criterion in evaluating nominees is their ability to inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities. These criteria, provided by the national Council of Chief State School Officers, are used for both the state and national programs.
Aligned with the Austin ISD Strategic Plan, candidates should be skillful, devoted teachers who inspire students and colleagues, and model best practices.
Who is eligible for Teacher of the Year?
*Unfortunately teaching administrators, counselors and librarians may not be considered as per TEA Teacher of the Year rules).