TI Public Affairs Report
Texas Instruments
(Left to right) Dr. Jim Davis, US Dept. of Education regional representative; TI CEO Rich Templeton; 2008 STEM Award winners Dr. Rebecca Jensen, Mary Rivers, Karrie Looney, Cris Munoz, Comfort Ugwuh, Deborah Johnston, Carol Wingard, Kimberly Ferguson, Loucia Mavrokordatos and Becky Jackson; Tom Luce, CEO, National Math and Science Initiative, and Torrence Robinson, TI Director of Public Affairs.

The Texas Instruments Foundation announced ten 2008 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Award recipients. The TI Foundation established the STEM Awards in 2006 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 (ISDs).

The 2008 class will join the inaugural class of awardees as fellows in the TI Foundation STEM Teaching Academy, a unique professional development program 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 were recently inducted into the academy during a reception hosted by TI Chairman, President and CEO Rich Templeton. The reception was attended by school administrators, elected officials, community members and friends and family of the awardees.

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. 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.

"STEM disciplines provide many of the foundational tools students need to be competitive in the 21st century," said Torrence Robinson, TI director of Public Affairs. "The TI Foundation STEM awards are our way of encouraging and recognizing the key deliverers of these skills – the outstanding secondary teachers. We hope others will follow their lead in instilling the love of these vital subjects in their students."

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 in students.

The 10 award recipients are:

  • Kimberly Clark Ferguson, Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School, Dallas ISD. Ferguson teaches eighth-grade pre-AP science.
  • Becky Higgs, Bowman Middle School, Plano ISD. Higgs teaches regular and honors math.
  • Rebecca McGowan Jensen, Ph.D., The School for the Talented and Gifted at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Dallas ISD. Jensen teaches AP statistics, AP physics C: mechanics and AP physics C: electricity and magnetism for 11th and 12th grades.
  • Deborah Johnston, Schimelpfenig Middle School, Plano ISD. Johnston teaches regular and honors science.
  • Karrie Kellerman, Apollo Junior High, Richardson ISD. Kellerman teaches seventh-grade pre-AP and block mathematics.
  • Loucia Mavrokordatos, Hillcrest High School, Dallas ISD. Mavrokordatos teaches AP calculus BC, AP calculus AB and pre-AP pre-calculus.
  • Cris Munoz, Moisés 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.
  • Mary Rivers, W.T. White High School, Dallas ISD. Rivers teaches ninth-grade integrated physics and chemistry (IPC) and biology.
  • Comfort Ugwuh, The School of Business and Management at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Dallas ISD. Ugwuh teaches CISCO internetworking I and II, webmaster and IT essentials for 10th, 11th, and 12th grades.
  • Carol Wingard, George Bannerman Dealey International Academy, Dallas ISD. Wingard teaches eighth-grade mathematics and algebra I.

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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