2018-2019 Beginning Teacher Scholarship Recipients

This year, TRTF awards fifteen $750 scholarships to recent college graduates who are relatives of active members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA)! See the recipients below!

Noah Martin, related to Nina Fancher of Wichita Falls, is a music major who loves making learning fun. When Noah student-taught first grade, he brought in his guitar for a lesson on sound waves and wrote several raps and songs that were paired with his beatboxing skills to teach transitions and develop classroom community. “I aspire to affirm my students’ creativity in a world full of monotonous routines,” says Noah, who wants to create “a schoolwide environment that supports these imaginative dreamers.”

Tiffany Gambrel is related to Tyrus Raymond Mills of Winnsboro. She hopes to pursue more science, technology, engineering and math in her classroom, and to emphasize the importance of good writing skills for her students. The Texas A&M student believes “every child deserves a champion,” and has served as a student mentor for four semesters.

Lydia Harris, related to Kathryn Heinrichs of Hico, attends Howard Payne University. She hopes to be a part of the “increasing push for multicultural education, inclusion of special needs students, and affirmation of positive behavior” in her classroom. She plans to use hands-on learning activities to engage her elementary students.

Kari Hartung is related to Sandra Haug of Sinton. Kari favors constructivism theory, hoping to encourage students’ “logical and conceptual growth” and give “real-life meaning to what they are learning.” Kari is also a mother to four children and an active volunteer in her community, serving on the PTA board and assisting with the softball and baseball leagues.

Kodee Ebarb, related to Rita Lorio of Nacogdoches, will soon graduate from Stephen F. Austin University. “I aspire for a public education system that meets students where they individually are and focuses on the whole child,” says Kodee. Ms. Ebarb will create a community environment in her classroom by hosting morning meetings.

Sela Bryant is related to Mary Brownlow of Amherst. She will soon graduate from Lubbock Christian University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. In her classroom, she hopes to create an environment “where students will be able to express their own ideas, constantly think outside the box, and be student-led.”

Kristin Craven is related to Jan Rosenbalm of Greenville and is a Biology major at Texas A&M Commerce. In her classroom, she hopes to promote student-based learning and hopes more programs will exist to provide students with skills that allow them to pursue jobs after graduation.

Rebekah Noey, related to Margaret Noey of Spring, will earn her Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences Education this May. Her teaching style includes “modeling my lifestyle around the training that I teach.” She would like to begin her career teaching middle school students so she can help them open doors to career planning before high school.

Mary Lynn Patterson is related to Brenda Burns of Texarkana. She says her teaching philosophy can be summed up in the acronym TEAM: “Teach a Team Environment, Encourage Students to Succeed, Acknowledge Diversity in Strengths and Weaknesses, and Mentor and Model Behaviors and Skills: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!”

Samantha Stanley, who is related to Minnie Birdsong of Winnsboro, is a mother of three, a licensed foster parent, and an honor student at Texas A&M Commerce. Samantha feels relationship-building is important to creating a classroom with a “sense of community and mutual respect.” She will soon earn her degree in Elementary Education.

Jennifer Phillips is related to Phyllis Carrier of Houston. The soon-to-be Texas A&M graduate has done her student teaching in Bryan and College Station ISDs working with pre-K through third grade students. She hopes to create a “family-like atmosphere” in her classroom that encourages students to explore on their own.

Deidra Wilson, related to Judy Kemler of Corinth, attends Texas State University in San Marcos. During high school, she volunteered with a program to help at-risk students prepare for the next grade. This experience encouraged her to become a teacher. She plans to use gamification-based teaching methods in subjects that are cumulative.

Atiana Waters is related to Philo Waters of Burleson and is majoring in Bilingual Elementary Education. “Each of my students will come from their own unique culture and background, with diverse histories, experiences, and beliefs,” says Atiana. She will celebrate these diversities in her classroom so that she can create a “home of love within my class.”

Sydney Gorewitz, related to Teri Wathen of Richmond, is an Elementary Education major at the University of Texas in Austin. She values “kinesthetic learning” and plans to “create a classroom that is hands-on and integrates movement throughout the curriculum.” This will let her students be active throughout the day, allowing for creativity and collaboration.

Cassidy Crutchfield is related to Elizabeth Ann Metcalf of Panhandle. As a Mathematics major at West Texas A&M, she has learned that when her students’ basic needs are not met, “their main priority is not learning.” She wants her classroom to be physically and mentally safe for her students.