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Waco ISD future teachers advance to state contest;  looking toward Nationals

SAN MARCOS, TX (December 7, 2023)--Forty Waco ISD students who plan to be classroom teachers set the standard this past weekend at the Texas Association of Future Educators Regional Conference held at Texas State University in San Marcos. 

 

The Waco and University High TAFE chapters had 73 students qualify to compete in the region contest and more than half are advancing to the 40th Annual Teach Tomorrow Summit, February 28-March 1, in Round Rock. They were among the thousands of students who competed in performance-based events where aspiring educators showcase their expertise, skills and leadership in the field of education. 

 

University High School junior Jesus De La Garza qualified for the national contest last year and is working to return again this year. His project required him to create a video public service announcement about the nationwide teacher shortage.

 

“The awareness of many factors crippling the field of education was important to present as well as solutions to these crises,” De La Garza said.  “One major change I will make to my presentation before the state contest is to practice more on the vocal presentation and deliver it properly and professionally. Another change I would implement would be to be a little more elaborate in our presentation in order to have clarity and to have a clear message of what we’re sending out to others.”

 

Students have the opportunity to select various projects to compete in, such as Differentiated Lessons, Ethical Dilemma, Teacher-Created Materials, Professional Development, and the Educators Rising Moment Speech. With a mix of team and individual challenges, these competitions provide rising educators with authentic and engaging opportunities to display their creativity, dedication, and professionalism. Students who rank first or second place in each competition advance to the state contest. 

 

Waco High School TAFE member Emiliano Merino advances to the state contest in the Portfolio category but says he will make some changes to his presentation before competing again. 

 

“My portfolio was important to share with the judges because it elaborated the work that is happening inside of the classroom, and how the classroom is functioning with the components that are currently provided,” Merino said. “One of the major changes that I will make to my portfolio is to remove some of the extra information that was present and try to aim at more of the core material that the judges are looking for. Another change that I will make is to work on my time-management awareness as I went over the time limit during my first presentation.” 

 

An estimated 2,000 students will compete at the state contest. There are 42 competitive events with 29 of those advancing to the national competition for students who place in the top five. The national contest, the Educators Rising National Conference, is held June 28-July 1, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

 

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Waco ISD had the following Waco High School and University High School students capture top honors in their respective categories in the Texas Association of Future Educators Regional Conference in San Marcos this past weekend. These students will advance to the state contest.

 

Waco High School

Alexceyah Taylor

 

Ethical Dilemma

Cristal Gonzalez

 

Ethical Dilemma

D'Shaundria Hughes

 

Portfolio

Dedra Brinkley

 

Portfolio

Emiliano Merino

 

Portfolio

Karyme Reyes

 

Ethical Dilemma

Stephany Perez

 

Interactive Bulletin Board

Sylvia Arellano

 

Ethical Dilemma

 

University High School

Student Name

Category

Aaryanna Huerta

Children's Lit Pre-K Spanish

Alexis Villagomez

ELF Test, PSA Teacher Recruitment

Anthony Walker

Teacher Created Materials

Armani Franklin

PSA Teacher Recruitment

Casia Murphy

Teacher Created Materials

Cassandra Saucedo

Children's Lit Pre-K Spanish, Project Visualize

Dayana Montoya

PSA Teacher Recruitment

Diana Sanchez

Children's Lit Pre-K Spanish

Eric Grooms

Interactive Bulletin Board

Ethan Veracruz

Interactive Bulletin Board

Ethan Cuevas

Children's Lit Pre-K Spanish

Frankie Deleon

Ethical Dilemma

Isela Martinez

Ethical Dilemma

Ivvone Escabedo

Children's Lit K-3 Spanish

Ja'ana Vaughn

Inside our Schools

Ja'ejuan Harris

Teacher Created Materials

Jarah'lssa Jimenez

Teacher Created Materials

Jasmine Tapia

Teacher Created Materials

Jesus de la Garza

PSA Teacher Recruitment, Teacher Created Materials

Julian santacruz

Teacher Created Materials

Kamia Valensuela

Interactive Bulletin Board

Kentavia Duffy

Inside our Schools

Mariah Hannah

Interactive Bulletin Board

Marianna Romero

Interactive Bulletin Board

Melissa Cortez

Children's Lit K-3 Spanish

Michelle Ponce

Interactive Bulletin Board

Michelle Robles

Ethical Dilemma

Nahyeli Villa

Ethical Dilemma

Rihanna Chambers

Inside our Schools

Samara Fabela

Ethical Dilemma

Samuel Rodriguez

Project Visualize