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Texas Instruments Foundation Inducts First Ten Teachers into STEM Academy as Fellows

Awards Honor Local Teachers Who Foster Students’ Enthusiasm and Curiosity about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Aug 23, 2007

DALLAS (August 23, 2007) – Emphasizing its commitment to building tomorrow’s workforce through education, the Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation announced today the first ten teachers who will be inducted into its new Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy as fellows. The TI Foundation established the STEM awards last September to recognize instructors at the secondary level who are enhancing student achievement and increasing interest in high school classrooms in the Dallas, Plano and Richardson independent school districts (ISD).

As STEM fellows, the teachers will participate in a day of activities on October 4 at Texas Instruments as designed to expose them to interesting, everyday uses of math and science in the technology business world. Recipients also 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. 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 during the fall.

“The disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math are the tools of the 21st century,” said TI Foundation Chair Jack Swindle. “These awards recognize innovative teaching and open new avenues for outstanding teachers to expand their experience, and we hope that they will inspire others to foster enthusiasm and generate curiosity about these subjects among their students. The future competitiveness of the next-generation workforce depends on the development of these skills.”

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 science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics among students.

The ten award recipients are:

  • Jennifer Bernabo, Plano East Senior High School, Plano ISD. Bernabo teaches chemistry and advanced placement (AP) chemistry for grades 11-12. Last year, she organized and taught a Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test review class for seniors who had not passed the science portion of the exit-level TAKS test. Every student in her class passed TAKS when they retook the test.
  • Angela Ciszewski, Richardson North Junior High, Richardson ISD. Ciszewski teaches seventh grade Power Block and Pre-AP mathematics. Before finding her passion for teaching, she worked as an engineer for nearly seven years. She thrives on leading her students to find real and relevant connections between the classroom and their own lives. Ciszewski also writes seventh grade math curriculum and conducts professional development classes.
  • Katy Guzman, Thomas Jefferson High School, Dallas ISD. Pre-AP Algebra II, Pre-AP Pre Calculus and AP Calculus AB for grades 10-12. Each summer, Guzman conducts a summer calculus camp for incoming students to revamp their pre-requisite skills.
  • Heather Hinds, Thomas Jefferson High School, Dallas ISD. Hinds teaches multimedia and video technology for grades 10-12. Last summer, she taught at a school camp where she had the students turn a script they wrote into a movie. Hinds also provides training technology to other teachers and wrote the district-wide semester exams for multimedia.
  • Glen Martin, School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Dallas ISD. Martin teaches Pre-AP Computer Science I, AP Computer Science I (A), and AP Computer Science II (AB) for grades 9-12. His computer science program has been recognized by the College Board for three consecutive years as “leading the nation” in AP computer science A and AB. Three of his students have won the 5A state computer science UIL individual championship.
  • Natalie Mathew, W.H. Gaston Middle School, Dallas ISD. Mathew teaches seventh grade science. She has established an interactive, team-based classroom that engages students in real-world situations to enhance their problem-solving skills. Mathew, who serves as a pod leader and a mentor teacher, tutors after school two days a week.
  • Theresa M. Oriabure, Hillcrest High School, Dallas ISD. Oriabure teaches Biology, Pre-AP Biology, AP Biology and AP Environmental Science for grades 9, 10 and 12. She has facilitated workshops and serves as a mentor for teachers new to AP biology. She has also written curriculum guides for biology and AP biology, and she has developed benchmarks and Assessment of Course Performance (ACP) Exams.
  • Tamika Prentiss, David W. Carter High School, Dallas ISD. Prentiss teaches tenth-grade geometry and a TAKS preparation course. To engage students, she facilitates non-traditional activities and lessons, such as putting problem-solving steps to music. Prentiss also employs technology in the classroom, including PowerPoint presentations, the E-instruction’s classroom performance system and the SMART interactive board system to enhance lectures.
  • Mary Ellen Sablick, Rice Middle School, Plano ISD. Sablick teaches eighth grade math. She developed and taught a campus-based Power Math curriculum that is designed to increase struggling students’ confidence in their math ability.
  • Kathleen Weaver, Hillcrest High School, Dallas ISD. Weaver teaches AP Computer Science II, AP Computer Science I, Computer Science I, and Pre-AP Computer Science Webmastering. To facilitate learning, Weaver uses technology in the classroom to monitor and assist students with their assignments and to provide instant feedback on test scores. As a result, students see technology as a seamless adjunct to their lives. She has also written the District ACP Exams for Pre-AP computer science for five years.

Although TI has investments at all points in the education continuum, the company is primarily focused on programs that help students at all levels perform in science, technology, engineering and math.

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Note to Editors: Photos from the awards reception will be available after 6 p.m. CDT.

About the Texas Instruments Foundation
The Texas Instruments Foundation, created in 1964, is a non-profit organization providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where Texas Instruments operates. With a significant focus on education, the TI Foundation has a national reputation for developing measurable and replicable programs leading to systemic change. Primary areas of attention include initiatives to enhance math and science abilities of junior high and high school students; and support to increase the number of engineering graduates in US universities. More information can be found at http://www.ti.com/tifoundation