Volunteers needed for Amazing Shake, round two, on Feb. 2

Central Staff employees are invited to serve as volunteer judges at the second round of the Amazing Shake Competition, from 9:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Friday, Feb. 2, at the Dallas Education Center, 9400 N. Central Expressway, suite 1350.

Each division is asked to provide 15 to 20 volunteers to score young scholars on how well they introduce themselves, shake hands, smile, and make eye contact. Volunteers can participate for 30 minutes or remain for the entire session. To volunteer, sign up here.

Rusk Middle School educator a finalist for $1 million teaching prize

Thomas J. Rusk Middle School Spanish teacher Akash Patel began his education career in small rural communities in Oklahoma where people had never seen or met “a brown Indian guy who spoke five languages and had traveled to over 30 countries.”

In Oklahoma and Dallas ISD, Patel uses his travel experiences to design all of his lessons. And Patel’s dedication to teaching is being nationally recognized: he is a top 50 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize. This annual $1 million teaching prize recognizes a classroom teacher who exemplifies global citizenship teaching and learning.

“I am humbled and honored to be a finalist for this prestigious recognition,” Patel said. “This prize will bring great attention to our children, our school, our district, our city and our country.”

The Varkey Foundation awards the annual $1 million prize to underline the importance of educators. The top 10 finalists will be announced in February, and those finalists will fly to Dubai in March to the Global Teacher Prize Awards Ceremony.

Rusk is in its first year as an ACE (Accelerating Campus Excellence) school, a district effort that staffs academically struggling schools with experienced, proven educators and also requires an added commitment from students and parents to strive for excellence.

Dallas ISD names its three teachers of the year

Dallas ISD named its three Teachers of the Year at a special reception on Jan. 17.

The 2017-2018 Teachers of the Year are:

  • Josue Tamarez Torres, fifth-grade math, Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School
  • Beth Poquette Drews, mariachi, orchestra, guitar for grades 6-8, L.V. Stockard Middle School
  • Nedra Johnson, science for grades 6-8, Alex W. Spence Middle School

The three teachers, who will each receive $5,000 from Central Market,  were among the 10 finalists for 2017-2018 Teachers of the Year. The other finalists, who were also recognized at the reception sponsored by Central Market, are:

Elementary Finalists

  • Tamesha Connaughton, physical education, George Bannerman Dealey International Academy
  • Gina Maffucci, fourth-grade reading language arts/social studies, Arthur Kramer Elementary School
  • Sarah Jane Rust, second-grade math/science, Stonewall Jackson Elementary School
  • Courtney Thomas, kindergarten, Urban Park Elementary School

Secondary Finalists

  • Jennifer Cambre, Pre-AP Biology, Pre-AP Chemistry, AP Chemistry for grades 9-12, School of Science and Engineering
  • Emily Schick, sixth- and seventh-grade Pre-AP science, Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School
  • Kayla Takats, seventh-grade language arts, Ann Richards Middle School

All teachers named Teacher of the Year at their campuses were honored at a reception in October. This group of campus winners were invited to apply for the district award.

The application process included a review of the candidate’s community involvement, professional development, two written essays and required three endorsements from students, parents, colleagues or a mentor. A variety of current and former Dallas ISD school leadership, former winners and finalists and community supporters assisted in a blind review and scored the essays and endorsements. Separating the teachers by categories, the average of those scores led to the finalists who were interviewed by a panel.

Learn about Toastmasters at Mon., Jan. 29, open house at 9400 NCX

Do your new year’s goals include a desire to improve as a leader and communicator?  Is 2018 the year you invest in expanding your professional skills? Dallas ISD Talk It Up! Toastmasters can  help you achieve these goals. Learn more at an open house at 11:30 a.m., Mon., Jan. 29, in the ninth floor conference room at 9400 N. Central Expwy. Go here or call (972) 925-3915 for additional information.

Staff invited to provide feedback on Discover Dallas ISD Fairs

Teachers, administrators and central staff employees who supported the December 2 and December 9 Dallas ISD school fairs are urged to respond to a survey to provide feedback on the events. Please visithttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/discoverdallasisd17 by Monday, Jan. 22, with suggestions to improve the quality of this districtwide recruitment effort.

Ten educators in running for 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year honors

Dallas ISD will honor its 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year finalists and announce the winners next week at a special reception sponsored by Central Market.

Learn who the finalists are below.

Elementary Finalists

• Tamesha Connaughton, physical education, George Bannerman Dealey International Academy

• Gina Maffucci, fourth-grade reading language arts/social studies, Arthur Kramer Elementary School

• Sarah Jane Rust, second-grade math/science, Stonewall Jackson Elementary School

• Josue Tamarez Torres, fifth-grade math, Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School

• Courtney Thomas, kindergarten, Urban Park Elementary School

Secondary Finalists

• Jennifer Cambre, Pre-AP Biology, Pre-AP Chemistry, AP Chemistry for grades 9-12, School of Science and Engineering

• Beth Poquette Drews, mariachi, orchestra, guitar for grades 6-8, L.V. Stockard Middle School

• Nedra Johnson, science for grades 6-8, Alex W. Spence Middle School

• Emily Schick, sixth- and seventh-grade Pre-AP science, Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School

• Kayla Takats, seventh-grade language arts, Ann Richards Middle School

All teachers named Teacher of the Year at their campuses were honored at a reception in October. This group of campus winners were invited to apply for the district award.

The application process included a review of the candidate’s community involvement, professional development, two written essays and required three endorsements from students, parents, colleagues or a mentor. A variety of current and former Dallas ISD school leadership, former winners and finalists and community supporters assisted in a blind review and scored the essays and endorsements. Separating the teachers by categories, the average of these scores lead us to our finalists who were interviewed by a panel.

National group names TAG teacher a Top 10 Educator of the Year

The National Society of High School Scholars has named Thelvie Cullins, Jr., an Advanced Placement Calculus teacher at the School for the Talented and Gifted, as a Top Ten 2017 Claes Nobel Educator of the Year.

This is the second year in a row that Cullins has received this honor.

According to the National Society of High School Scholars, Cullins aids students in both grasping difficult mathematical concepts and developing into hard-working, passionate learners.

“Mr. Cullins’ personal classroom results are astounding, but what is most impressive is the impact he’s had on those around him and our school,” TAG Principal Ben Mackey said.

The Educator of the Year Award recognizes ten exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to preparing students for success. These 10 educators, who are all members of the Claes Nobel Educators of Distinction program, applied for the Educator of the Year Award to spotlight their accomplishments.  Since the inception of the Educators of Distinction program in 2004, NSHSS has recognized more than 40,000 educators worldwide.

“I am honored to receive this recognition. It lets me know that everything I do sincerely for students, not only can I do it and have the students benefit, but it also seems to be recognized in some kind of way,” Cullins said. “That gives students more confidence in me, and it gives me more confidence in what I’m doing and in my ultimate goal: helping other people.”

Angie Gaylord named acting deputy chief of Transformation and Innovation

Angie Gaylord has been appointed acting deputy chief of the Office of Transformation and Innovation.

Gaylord has served Dallas ISD as executive director of Professional Development and Digital Learning since 2016. Her previous experience in education includes serving Irving ISD as division director of Professional and Digital Development and as principal of Lady Bird Johnson and Crockett middle schools.

At Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, she was instrumental in the development of the country’s first Net Zero School. In 2011, she was honored by the Texas Education Agency for her contributions to innovative systems and teaching in Texas.

Gaylord holds a degree in kinesiology and biology from the University of North Texas and a master’s in educational administration from California State University, Los Angeles.

In her new role, Gaylord will report to Deputy Superintendent Israel Cordero.

Principal of the Year Finalists share why they love their work

Dallas ISD has some incredible campus leaders; just look at the candidates for the 2017 Dallas ISD Principal of the Year as proof!

Top Dallas ISD campus leaders vying for 2017 Principal of the Year honors

Watch the above video to hear from the principals share what they enjoy most about their work.

Long-ago campus colleagues reunite as 2017 Principals of the Year

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