September 14, 2021

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) is now accepting applications for its Classroom Assistance Grant and Beginning Teacher Scholarship programs for the 2022-2023 year! 

The TRTF Board of Trustees has determined that it will award 30 Classroom Assistance Grants in the amount of $750.00 each, and 20 Beginning Teacher Scholarships in the amount of $750.00 each for the 2022-2023 year. Please visit the Initiatives page to learn more. 

The submission deadline for the grants and scholarships is Friday, February 25, 2022 at 5 p.m. Please direct any application questions to Sarah Richardson at Sarah@trta.org.

 

Beginning Teacher Scholarship Application

Classroom Assistance Grant Application

April 19, 2021

2021-2022 TRTF Beginning Teacher Scholarship Winners

  1. Connie Pettitt (University of Houston-Victoria) Her major area of study is Education (4-8) and she will take her teaching certification tests in March and April of 2021. Connie’s goal is to become a Physical Education teacher at the Junior High level and wants to inspire students to “be the best they can be at whatever they choose.” She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member and TRTF Trustee, Brenda Ritter of Katy, Texas.

     

  2. Daniella Renee Puente (Sam Houston University) Her major area of study is Education and was on the Dean’s List and President’s List every semester of college. Her vision and aspiration for public education in Texas are “for every student to feel valued in the classroom and comfortable to share their ideas.” Daniella was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Melissa Lee of Humble, Texas.

     

  3. Davette Brannon-Ward (University of Phoenix) Her major area of study is English with a minor in Psychology. Davette says her vision for public education in Texas is simple- “to educate the whole child.” She says, “As a teacher, I can foster emotional intelligence by incorporating Social and Emotional learning into my lessons.” Davette was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Patricia Boren of Dallas, Texas.

     

  4. Heather Barron (University of Phoenix) Her major area of study is Psychology with a minor in Elementary Education. Heather says she “wants to bring excitement back into the classroom with creative and innovative technologies and engagements, while fostering a sense of trust and inclusivity for her students and their families so they all feel welcome.” Heather was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Susan Burroughs of Porter, Texas.

     

  5. Jamey Germany (Texas Tech University) Her major area of study is Education, and she was on the President’s List three times in college. Jamey says that student teaching provided her with “an incredible amount of learning experiences that she will be able to incorporate into her classroom this fall.” She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Tommy Hays of Fritch, Texas.

     

  6. Kacey Bailey Garcia (Texas Tech University) Her major area of study is Education. Kacey says her goal is to “always be open to change and doing what is best for the children” and wants to create an environment where her students are “comfortable enough to step out outside their comfort zone.” She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Martha Turney of Slaton, Texas.

     

  7. Katie Cummings (Texas A&M University) Her major area of study is Education. Katie says, “As a teacher, I hope to create a classroom where students feel comfortable being who they are, asking questions, being silly, making mistakes, and most importantly, learning.” She hopes to teach lower elementary and believes that “play and exploration is still a huge factor in student learning at this age.” Katie was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Jan Miller of Corsicana, Texas.

     

  8. Katie Rydell (Southwestern University) Her major area of study is Education, and she was on the Dean’s List for six semesters while in college. Katie says her vision for Texas schools is that “they lead out the greatness in all students so that the world may be made great.” The three elements that she believes are essential for this approach are 1.) creating classrooms that value diversity 2.) promoting students’ natural curiosity for learning and 3.) engaging in reflection. Katie was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Darlene Rydell of Taylor, Texas.

     

  9. Kristina Coronado (University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley) Her major area of study is Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Elementary Bilingual. Cristina’s aspirations as a future bilingual educator are to “provide the tools my students need to become better readers, writers, scientists, mathematicians, and most importantly, better human beings.” She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Sylvia Perez of Brownsville, Texas.

     

  10. Laine Gomes Cornish (IAG/PUC Rio (Brazil)) is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but has lived in Texas for five years now. She has a bachelor’s in arts with a major in Communication as well as an MBA in Marketing. Currently she is working as a Special Education Teacher Assistant in Denton ISD, with plans to take her certification exams this summer. Laine says she hopes that her “vast life experience as well as her experience with different cultures will make a difference in her students’ lives as well as her colleagues.” She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Mary Helen Cornish.

     

  11. Macey Waid (Texas Tech University) Her major area of study is Multidisciplinary Studies with a minor in Technical Theatre Design and she wants to be a Freshman English teacher. Macey says her students will know that they are cared for and respected, and she will hold them to high standards with lots of grace. She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Peggy Waid of Denton, Texas.

     

  12. Mackenzie Hill (Texas A&M- Commerce) Her major area of study is Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Childhood Education. Mackenzie says her vision for her future classroom includes lots of manipulatives, inspirational quotes, and all the materials needed for her students to feel comfortable. She says she will strive to do her best to inspire her students to have a growth mindset, set goals, be kind, and “not stress over spilled milk.” Mackenzie was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Kimberley Boswell of Barry, Texas.

     

  13. Madelyn Pipes (Texas A&M University- Texarkana) Her major area of study is Early Childhood Education, and she has known she wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher since she was in Kindergarten. She plans to bring “comfort and safety to the classroom” and wants to utilize technology to benefit her students. Madelyn was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Kerry James of Texarkana, Texas.

     

  14. Madison Cooley (East Texas Baptist University) Her major area of study is Elementary Education, and she believes that “classrooms should be student centered, where students have ownership of their learning and are involved in the learning process.” Madison was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Carol Cooley of Mesquite, Texas.

     

  15. Madison Jan (University of Houston) Her major area of study is Education, and she has always wanted to give back to society in a way that inspires generations to come. Madison says, “As a special needs teacher, my goal will be to help my students in the areas of developing to their full potential, as well as giving them the emotional and academic support they need.” She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member and TRTF Trustee, Carla Meuth of Rosenberg, Texas.

     

  16. Melissa Edgar (Lubbock Christian) Her major area of study is Early Childhood Education, and she is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education. Melissa believes “public schools in Texas have an opportunity to provide students resources and community while still individualizing learning goals for each student.” She plans to have frequent, hands-on activities where her students can learn by creating and exploring. Melissa was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Dennis Hargrove of Lubbock, Texas.

     

  17. Michele Schmidt (Our Lady of the Lake University) Her major area of study is Liberal Arts with a minor in Political Science. Currently, Michele is a substitute teacher with Humble ISD, and plans to take her teaching certification tests in July 2021. She says she “thrives on finding ways to stimulate and encourage her students’ love of learning” and plans to facilitate that as a full-time teacher. She was referred for this scholarship by Mary Lou Purello of Kingwood, Texas.

     

  18. Ryan O’Bryant (University of San Francisco) His major area of study is Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration. Ryan says his vision for public education in Texas is “to provide an opportunity for all children to feel represented and have a positive role model to help them on their journey of education.” He was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Carol Frosch of Bryan, Texas.

     

  19. Rylee Morrow (University of Houston- Victoria) Her major area of study is Interdisciplinary Studies and she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA. Rylee’s vision is to incorporate both teacher and student-centered instruction into her classroom. She says she “loves hands-on activities and hopes to teach her students how to ask questions and seek answers themselves.” Rylee was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Doris Andel of Edna, Texas.

     

  20. Sara Heinrichs (Howard Payne University) Her major area of study is Theatre Education with a minor in Psychology, and she was on the President’s List each semester for receiving a 4.0 GPA. Sara says she “wants to teach in a way that meets every student at their strengths and challenges them to face their weaknesses.” She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Kathryn Heinrichs of Hico, Texas.

     

  21. Sarah Mansfield (Texas Tech University) Her major area of study is Early Childhood Education. Sarah’s main goal as a teacher is to encourage her students to believe in themselves no matter what. She would like to implement a word wall for vocabulary in classroom as well as utilize technology using iPads or laptops. Sarah was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member Peggy Waid of Denton, Texas.

     

  22. Therese Cosgray (Texas A&M University) Her major area of study is EC-6 Generalist. She says, “As a teacher, it is my job to meet the needs of each of my students, so that I can teach the whole student.” Therese’s vision for public education is to mold young men and women of virtue to respect others and serve their communities. She was referred for this scholarship by TRTA member and TRTF Trustee, Brenda Ritter of Katy, Texas.


2021-2022 Classroom Assistance Grant Recipients

 

  1. Abby Ford teaches Science and Technology at Elm Grove Elementary in Kingwood

    Project: She will create six classroom transformation kits (Super Mario video game, Boot Camp, Camping, Hospital/Operating Room, Space, and Picnic) that are available to every teacher on campus, creating unique learning opportunities for 600 students.

     

  2. Amanda Moore teaches Math at Chisum Junior High in Paris

    Project: She will purchase Ozobot markers so that her 7th grade students can learn to code a robot to trace patterns laid out on the floor. This will them learn more about calculating lateral and surface area.

     

  3. Amber Prentice teaches Technology and Robotics at Buffalo Gap Elementary in Buffalo Gap

    Project: She will purchase a Lego Mindstorm EV3 kit so her Pre-K through 5th grade students can build a robot to solve a real-world problem that they face in today’s environment.

     

  4. Amy Smith teaches Orchestra, Mariachi, and Percussion at Young Women’s Leadership Academy in El Paso

    Project: Her students will analyze and perform works by female composers, research compositional techniques, and careers in music. The funds will purchase music and pay to bring in guest speaker and successful composer Lauren Bernofsky.

     

  5. Bill Becker teaches Math at YES! Prep North Forest in Houston

    Project: He will establish a Youth Garden Program to help his 6th through 11th grade students learn day-to-day gardening tasks and sustainable agriculture practices.

     

  6. Brandy Cavness teaches Reading for dyslexia students at Brady Middle School in Brady

    Project: She will create a dyslexia parent education program as well as help her students work on dysgraphia and working memory by purchasing a variety of relevant books.

     

  7. Brent Ritchey teaches Texas History and Social Studies at Dolph Briscoe Middle School in San Antonio

    Project: He will purchase a class set of Texas: A Historical Atlas to teach his students about key landmarks and events and how to read maps, graphs, and charts.

     

  8. Britney Haynes teaches Special Education at West Graves Early Learning Center in Port Arthur

    Project: She will add a light table and binding machine to her classroom to help her students with special needs explore letters, numbers, colors, and shapes and to create adaptive sensory books.

     

  9. Caroline Bryson teaches Math, Science, and Social Studies at Navarro Elementary in Seguin

    Project: She will use her funds to purchase a variety of flexible, portable seating options for her students such as stability and balance balls and handled floor cushions, in addition to magnetic building block sets to help them explore their creativity through STEM projects.

     

  10. Christina White teaches English at La Marque High School in La Marque

    Project: Her project “Stop, Rewind, Define” will help students enhance their language acquisition skills and vocabulary through the use of individual Merriam-Webster dictionaries.

     

  11. Corrine Thompson teaches Gifted and Talented at Mildred Junior High School in Corsicana

    Project: She will use her funds to register five student teams for the online “Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl” and to purchase practice sets for the teams.

     

  12. Crystal Baker teaches Reading Intervention for dyslexia students at Koennecke Elementary in Seguin

    Project: She will purchase large print, dyslexia-friendly high interest books for K-5 students to help them prepare for TEKS, as well as tracking bookmarks to help them keep their place while reading.

     

  13. Dallena Nash teaches Gifted and Talented and Social Studies at Sloan Creek Intermediate in Fairview

    Project: She will encourage “visible thinking” in her students by having them collaborate in small groups to cover a content subject. They will use whiteboards and multi-colored markers to color-code their drawings and ideas.

     

  14. Debbie Hazelwood teaches Math and Science at Tibbals Elementary in Murphy

    Project: She will create classroom transformations, such as “Hospital Operating Room” for dissecting word problems and “Big Top” for teaching concepts using circus games.

     

  15. Denise White teaches Reading, Language Arts, Writing, and Spelling to dyslexia students at Port Neches Elementary in Port Neches

    Project: She will purchase “All About Spelling” intervention activity kits to help her dyslexic students improve not only spelling, but also writing skills and reading achievement.

               

  16. Evelyn Terry teaches all subjects to Pre-K students at Halpin ECC in Houston

    Project: She will create “Family Engagement Kits,” including math start kits, number tales boxes, and solve and play kits for in-person parent learning to help students transfer their school skillsets to the home environment.

     

  17. James Gaylord teaches Principles of Architecture at Summer Creek High School in Houston

    Project: He will purchase Apple Pencils designed to work with Apple iPad design and sketching programs to help students prepare for Engineering Design and Architecture fields.

     

  18. Jessica LaPete teaches Language Arts at Dolph Briscoe Middle School in San Antonio

    Project: She will use her funds to purchase copies of the novel The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora to help students learn about culture, community, poverty, immigration, voting, and the U.S. Census while aiding their reflective writing skills.

     

  19. Johnie Flores teaches Pre-K through second grade students at YES! Prep North Forest Elementary in Houston

    Project: He will develop a school gardening program to help students grow produce and learn about healthy food options. The program will provide free food to families of students in need.

     

  20. Kambri Cowey teaches all subjects to third grade students at Jefferson Elementary in Seguin

    Project: This first-year teacher will purchase headphones for the Istation reading program, as well as culturally relevant books and materials for a math escape room classroom transformation.

     

  21. Kathryn Hiatt teaches Math and Science at Hunt Elementary in Cuero

    Project: She will create a Sensory Pathway including “Count by 5 Insects” and “Meditative Movement Animals” to help improve students’ joint stimulation, alertness, and focus when feeling overwhelmed.

     

  22. Kaye Cooper teaches all subjects to Pre-K students at Aaron Parker Elementary in Powderly and applied along with fellow teachers Christine Rian and Erin Harkey

    Project: They will create an outdoor learning environment with a musical element for their pre-school students by purchasing a glockenspiel.

     

  23. Kelly Taylor teaches Reading at Milano Junior High in Milano

    Project: She will purchase new books for her classroom library, as well as art supplies for reading projects such as creating movie posters, dioramas, and mobiles.

     

  24. Laci Carter teaches English as a second language and Social Studies at Port Neches Elementary in Port Neches

    Project: She will purchase Scholastics Storyworks magazines to help her students learn English Language Arts TEKS standards and improve their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.

     

  25. Laura Clark teaches Forensic Science and Biology at Turner College and Career High School in Pearland

    Project: She will purchase a variety of bones to use in a mock crime scene investigation and help students learn how to differentiate between human and animal remains while solving a crime.

     

  26. Leslie Kuch teaches Math and Social Studies at Rains Elementary School in Emory

    Project: She will use her grant to purchase VersaTiles with math workbooks and manipulatives, which will allow her students to self-check and self-correct their math comprehension work.

     

  27. Liliana Garcia teaches Essential Academics and Activities of Daily Living to students with disabilities at Seguin High School in Seguin and has applied with her colleagues Cailey Donahoe and Andrea Taylor

    Project: The team will implement a School Store, including a cashier box, fake money, calculator, and items to sell to teach students will disabilities real-life transition skills and money management.

     

  28. Lisbeth Santisteban teaches all subjects to Pre-K students at Langford Elementary in Austin

    Project: She will purchase items for supply bags for her virtual students so they can participate from home in math and science experiments.

     

  29. Loura Salazar teaches Life Skills at Taft Elementary in Port Arthur

    Project: She will foster independent learning for children with special needs by setting up rotating, structured work systems and sensory stations.

     

  30. Mark Keddal teaches English and Social Studies at Seguin High School in Seguin

    Project: His students will explore literature written during pandemics with the purchase of class sets for six books (such as Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War and Boccaccio’s Decameron) and host Socratic, seminar-style discussions with his students.

     

  31. Misty Martinez teaches Instrumental and Choir Music at Carpenter Hill Elementary in Buda

    Project: With her funds, she will help start a new piano program for the elementary school and will purchase “Way Cool Keyboarding for Kids” sequential books to teach the children beginner finger placement and dexterity.

     

  32. Molly Kacal teaches Early Childhood and Special Education at Belton Early Childhood School in Belton

    Project: She will purchase items to establish a school-wide sensory room for improving students’ visual, auditory, and tactile processing. Items include a swing, cozy canoe, crash mat, peanut ball, and LED light projector.

     

  33. Mong Tran teaches Reading, ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies at Taft Elementary in Port Arthur

    Project: She will set up a Mini STEAM Lab in her classroom by purchasing engineering and designing kits that inspire students to explore, create, and solve problems. With the kits, students will build furniture, bridges, roller coasters, ramps, and more.

     

  34. Morgan Weeks-Boyer teaches all subjects at Navarro Elementary in Seguin

    Project: She will purchase STEM challenge cards, a circuit kit, engineering kit, and more to engage students in learning about reading, math, and science combined.

     

  35. Noemy Talamantes is the Attendance Clerk at Blanton Elementary in Austin

    Project: She will host attendance incentives throughout the year by rewarding students with perfect attendance each cycle with prizes such as bikes, gift cards, healthy snacks, and certificates and also create a student recognition bulletin board.

     

  36. Paula Richard teaches Social Studies at Vincent Middle School in Beaumont

    Project: She will purchase a yearly subscription to Kids Discover Education to teach them about current events as part of social studies curriculum.

     

  37. Raja Donawho teaches all subjects to third grade students at Houston Elementary School in Mineral Wells

    Project: She will purchase a laptop charging cart to safely store a new set of classroom laptops and will help teach her students responsible computer care.

     

  38. Risa Zizmont teaches all core subjects to second grade students at Ridgewood Elementary in Port Neches

    Project: She will purchase six Kids Kore Wobble Chairs for small group interventions to help limit distractions and keep students on task.

     

  39. Robert Barbosa teaches Special Topics in Social Studies at Sharyland High School in Mission

    Project: He will purchase a Super Stock Soap Box Derby Kit, allowing his students to construct a moving car in his American Amusement History class.

     

  40. Samantha Keaton teaches Social Studies and High School Leadership at Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth

    Project: She will continue her literacy chairs project, where her high school students repair and hand-paint used, broken chairs based on children’s book themes and donates them to elementary students. The funds will be used to buy tools, sandpaper, and paint.

     

  41. Samantha Palacios teaches Extreme Reading to dyslexia students at Jim Barnes Middle School in Seguin

    Project: She will buy printed and digital Scope Scholastic magazines, providing access for all 6th through 8th grade students to relevant and engaging reading material.

     

  42. Sara Hansen teaches Health Science at Atascocita High School in Humble

    Project: She will purchase multi-use supply kits for an in-classroom, hands-on suturing activity to help her students prepare for the Patient Care Technician certification.

     

  43. Sarah Klesel teaches STEM Lab at McQueeney Elementary School in McQueeney

    Project: She will create a mindful maze in the school courtyard, including a buddy bench and relaxing walking path. She will purchase landscaping materials such as gravel and brick along with the bench.

     

  44. Sharen Underwood is a Librarian at La Vega Primary School Phil Bancale Campus in Waco

    Project: She will purchase a puppet tree and puppets for the campus library to create rotating learning centers around the themes of Community Workers, Fairytales, and Diversity.

     

  45. Stephanie Adams teaches Reading and Writing at Navarro Elementary in Seguin

    Project: She will encourage her students to read at home by creating take-home literacy bags and home MakerSpace kits. The bags will include books and a journal that includes reading response activities.

     

  46. Tanya Webb teaches Math, Science, and Social Studies at Navarro Elementary in Seguin

    Project: She will purchase a FlashForge 3D printer and supplies for the second-grade classrooms, allowing students to transform 2D geometric objects into 3D shapes.

     

  47. Traci Jones teaches Music at Vogel Elementary in Seguin

    Project: She will buy a class set of ukuleles to teach 4th and 5th grade students about chord structures and progressions, composition, and the connections between folk and modern-day music.

     

  48. Wendy Morgan teaches Science at Milano Junior High in Milano

Project: Six microscopes will be purchased for the school science lab, allowing her students to investigate water quality, soil composition, and basic characteristics of living organisms.

September 4, 2020

Fall 2020 TRTF Talking Points are now available! If you are a Foundation District Liaison or Local Unit Representative, please download these talking points for your fall meetings!

Download the Talking Points

July 24, 2020

TRTF has raised over $191,000 in donations this calendar year to date. The Foundation had an especially successful Covid-19 appeal during the month of April that raised more than $54,000. These funds were used to help many retirees who lost income as substitute teachers when schools closed during the pandemic. The “A Helping Hand” program has provided more than $20,000 in grants to 38 recipients in 2020. If you or someone you know needs assistance with medical bills, home or auto repairs, utility bills, purchasing groceries, etc. please reach out to Sarah@trta.org for a “A Helping Hand” application today!

Click Here to Request "A Helping Hand" Application

Donate to TRTF

July 6, 2020

TRTF welcomes new officers for the 2020-2021 year and has added three new trustees to the Board. Click the link below to learn more about these members.

Meet The Board of Trustees

April 8, 2020

TRTF is pleased to announce the 2020 Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) Beginning Teacher Scholarship and Classroom Assistance Grant Recipients! Beginning Teacher Scholarship provide funds to recent college graduates who will begin teaching for the first time in the fall of 2020. Classroom Assistance Grants help support current teachers who need additional finances for projects and learning platforms for their students. Click the links below to view the recipients.

View Beginning Teacher Scholarship Recipients

View Classroom Assistance Grant Recipients

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