A&M System Recognizes TAMIU Grad as TexasTEACH Talent

The Texas A&M University System has selected a Texas A&M International University graduate as one of only nine outstanding recent graduates known as "TexasTEACH Talents" across the state who now teach in public schools.

The teachers were recognized during the opening general session of the 6th Annual Conference on School-University Partnerships Oct. 13-15 in San Antonio.

Miguel Chávez, a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M International University who is teaching in United Independent School District, was among first or second-year teachers recognized.

"These graduates represent the quality of teachers that the A&M System is striving to provide for Texas public schools," said Dr. Bill Reaves, the A&M System's associate vice chancellor for public education, "Our system is committed to increasing the quantity and the quality of the teachers that we graduate."

Chávez teaches third grade language arts, English as a Second Language, and Spanish at Hachar Elementary.

Teaching has long been on Chávez' mind, he said.

"Upon graduating from high school, I knew I wanted to be a teacher," he said, "While attending TAMIU, I started working for the United ISD. I was employed at Hachar Elementary, where I worked as a teacher assistant (first grade, pre-kindergarten and special education) for two years." He is a Martin High School graduate and also attended Laredo Community College.

Dr. Rosa Maria Vida, dean of the TAMIU College of Education, said Chávez' honor is well-deserved.

"He's an outstanding testament to our program and to his own determination to succeed. He's an inspiration to us all and we know that he will make a profound difference in the lives of all the students whose lives he will enrich through teaching," Dr. Vida said.

In response to the state's teacher shortage, the A&M System's universities have committed to increasing the number of teachers graduated and certified by 33 percent by the year 2004.

To achieve this, System universities are actively recruiting potential teachers in several "high need" fields, including science, math, special education, bilingual/English as a Second Language, technology and foreign language.

Other students recognized included Jennifer Rachal, a 2001 graduate of Prairie View A&M University; Amanda Truss, a 2000 graduate of Tarleton State University; Kimberly Chandler, a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M University; Jennifer Wiseman, a 2000 graduate of Texas A&M University-Commerce; Stephanie Foerster, a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Anita DeLuna, a 2002 graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Stephanie Lassiter, a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M University-Texarkana, and Sonia Parra, a 2002 graduate of West Texas A&M University.

For information on TAMIU's teacher education programs, please contact Dr. Vida at 326.2420, visit offices in the Killam Library 329 or email rmvida@tamiu.edu

Additional information about the A&M System's efforts to recruit, prepare and retain teachers is available on the web at http://partnerships.tamu.edu or http://texasteach.tamu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu