August 2, 2013

Todd Marshall
Director of Communications,
Marketing and Development
903.794.3651 ext. 1013

TISD Teachers Selected as Region VIII Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year

Texarkana, TX – For the second time in TISD history, both their Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year have been selected to represent Region VIII Education Service Center as the Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year.  Both will now move forward as Finalists for Texas Teacher of the Year.

In an announcement from Region VIII Education Service Center on Friday morning, Amy Frierson was named Elementary Teacher of the Year and Monica Washington was named Secondary Teacher of the Year. 

Since 1969, the Texas State Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program has honored excellence in classroom education and provided a forum to showcase many outstanding educators whose efforts and example have inspired their students, their colleagues and the communities they serve. 

“This was a very exciting announcement for us,” commented Paul Norton, Superintendent of Schools.  “Amy and Monica are exceptional educators and outstanding representatives of TISD.  Each is exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and inspires a love of learning in all students of all backgrounds and abilities.” 

Frierson, who has 18 years in education, serves as a 2nd Grade Teacher at the Martha and Josh Morriss Mathematics & Engineering Elementary School.     She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Curriculum & Instruction with a Master Mathematics Teacher Certification from Texas A&M University – Texarkana. 

She believes that students should be an active part in the learning process – which includes hands-on learning and minds-on learning.  Each day, she implements this concept into her classroom by using the “chunk and chew” method which gives students direct instruction for a period of time followed by an opportunity to do that instruction through an activity.  An Old Chinese Proverb states, “Tell me, I forget.  Show me, I remember.  Involve me, I understand.”  It is this adage which sums up Frierson’s approach to education.

Washington is an AP and enriched English III teacher at Texas High School who has been in the field of education for 15 years and with the Tiger Family since 2007.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from LeMoyne-Owen College and a Master’s degree in English from University of Memphis. 

Her philosophy is “teach until the taught become teachers.”  Not that they all go in the teaching field but that the student can, in turn, teach the concepts they were taught to others.  She shares that her most significant contributions and accomplishments in education are probably things that will never make it to her resume.  Washington feels accomplished when she has helped a student to recognize how talented and intelligent they are, when they recognize their own power and when they realize that college is attainable and that he or she should be there.

As the Region VIII ESC Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, Frierson and Hunt will be recognized during the TEA State Board of Education Teacher of the Year Banquet in Austin in October.  They will serve as travelling ambassadors for public education to speak for, motivate and exemplify the contributions of the teaching profession along with helping to identify and recruit teachers.

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