August 21, 2008

Texas Instruments Foundation Inducts 10 Teachers into Its STEM Academy

DALLAS, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation presented awards today to 10 outstanding teachers from the Dallas, Plano and Richardson independent school districts (ISD) and inducted them into its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy as fellows.

The TI Foundation established the Innovations in STEM Awards in 2006 to recognize instructors who consistently demonstrate quality instruction, enhance student achievement and increase interest in junior high and high school classrooms. As STEM fellows, the teachers participate in a unique professional development program at TI that provides an up-close look at the future of technology, exposure to senior technology leaders, and the opportunity to share their ideas about quality STEM education with peers. The award recipients each receive $10,000, of which $5,000 is directly awarded to the teacher. The other $5,000 is to be used at the teacher's discretion for professional development or instructional technology.

The TI Foundation committed $310,000 over three years to the program, now in its second year. The grants are awarded through the Richardson ISD Tomorrow Foundation, the Plano ISD Education Foundation and the Dallas Education Foundation. These organizations will begin reviewing teachers' applications for next year's awards this fall.

"The future competitiveness of our region's workforce depends on the development of critical science, technology, engineering and math skills," said TI Foundation Chair Sam Self. "Quality, innovative teaching is needed to increase the number of students who are math and science capable. The TI Foundation is committed to supporting educational excellence, and we are proud to recognize these educators' achievements."

Principals nominated teachers for the STEM awards based on criteria, such as demonstrating and documenting teaching effectiveness, establishing classroom innovation, participating in education activities outside of the classroom, encouraging curiosity and generating excitement in STEM subjects among students.

   The 10 award recipients are:    -- Kimberly Clark Ferguson, Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership      School, Dallas ISD. Ferguson teaches seventh-grade pre-Advanced      Placement (AP(R)) and considers it a privilege to be able to break down      negative stereotypes that assume girls "can't do science." She plays an      active role on her campus by serving as a member of the Campus      Instructional Leadership Team, science department chair, new-teacher      mentor and science fair coordinator.   -- Sarah Rebecca "Becky" Jackson, Bowman Middle School, Plano ISD. Jackson      teaches regular and honors eighth-grade math. She trains new math      teachers on the Connected Math Project -- a structured teaching      strategy where students take ownership of their learning and understand      the "why" behind math concepts, not just "how" to use math.   -- Rebecca McGowan Jensen, Ph.D., Yvonne A. Ewell School for the Talented      and Gifted, Dallas ISD. Jensen teaches AP statistics, AP physics C:      mechanics and AP physics C: electricity and magnetism for 11th and 12th      grades. She helped initiate the Statistics AP program in Dallas ISD and      wrote the original proposal to the TI Foundation to direct the Physics      Fellowship for Women, a two-week summer camp designed to prepare female      Dallas ISD students to enter their first physics class.   -- Deborah Johnston, Schimelpfenig Middle School, Plano ISD. Johnston      teaches regular and honors science. She serves as the Science      Department Chair, contributes in curriculum writing for the district,      conducts staff development for science and sponsors students in science      fairs. Each year, Johnston has students that qualify for the State      Science and Engineering Fair.   -- Karrie Kellerman, Apollo Junior High, Richardson ISD. Kellerman teaches      seventh-grade pre-AP and block mathematics. An example of Kellerman's      classroom effectiveness was her block mathematics course (students who      have not yet passed the state exam) where student performance at the      last benchmark test, exceeded the performance of the entire district.   -- Loucia Mavrokordatos, Hillcrest High School, Dallas ISD. Mavrokordatos      teaches AP calculus. She incorporates creativity in her classroom in      unique ways, such as assigning a story problem in which a murder has      been committed to teach Newton's Law of Cooling. Students integrate the      formula to find the exact time of the murder and to identify the      killer. In her four years of teaching AP calculus BC, her students have      received a 100 percent passing rate on the AP exam.   -- Cris Munoz, Moises E. Molina High School, Dallas ISD. Munoz teaches      engineering graphics, architectural graphics, construction systems,      research, design and development and animation for ninth through 12th      grades. He incorporated his love of architecture, design and      engineering into the classroom by creating the Molina Design Academy, a      coherent sequence of courses for students to become successful in the      field. Many of Munoz's students will be first-generation high school      graduates. When a student completes his program, they could have earned      five hours of college credit and two different certifications.   -- Mary Rivers, W.T. White High School, Dallas ISD. Rivers teaches      ninth-grade integrated physics and chemistry and biology. She has      served as the Science Bowl team sponsor, a member of the Science Fair      committee and consistently demonstrates a high level of engagement with      students through a variety of tactics that help her students understand      the subject matter.   -- Comfort Ugwuh, Yvonne A. Ewell, School and Business and Management,      Dallas ISD. Ugwuh teaches CISCO internetworking I and II, webmaster and      IT essentials for 10th, 11th and 12th grades. She sponsors the      Technology Outreach Program (TOPs) where students refurbish computers      for the district. Her students are often hired by TOPs during the      summer to work, reinforcing and extending their classroom learning.   -- Carol Wingard, George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Vanguard and      International Academy, Dallas ISD. Wingard teaches eighth-grade      mathematics and algebra I. She makes math fun and physical by dressing      up to illustrate a concept and by having students wear badges that      display the formula they are learning. She also employs interesting      methods to highlight mathematics in the students' environment by having      them measure steps around the school to understand slope.    

These honorees will join the 10 inductees from 2007 who have used their professional development and educational technology funds for statewide, national and international conferences for themselves and faculty colleagues. They also used the grants to procure a variety of classroom tools to enhance student learning such as document cameras, projectors and electronic whiteboards.

TI and the TI Foundation have investments at all points in the education continuum but primarily focus on programs that help students at all levels perform in science, technology, engineering and math.

About the Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where Texas Instruments operates.

Committed to supporting educational excellence, the foundation works to create measurable, replicable programs and initiatives. The focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve STEM education and increase the percentage of high school graduates who are math and science capable.

More information can be found at

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Texas Instruments Foundation

CONTACT: Media, Gail Chandler of Texas Instruments, +1-214-480-6808,[email protected]

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