A&M International's College of Education, Regents Initiative Host Teachers Rally Saturday, Aug. 12

Texas A&M International University's College of Education and The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Initiative for Texas Public Schools will host a city-wide Teachers Rally at the University Saturday, Aug. 12 from 8:30 -11 a.m. at the University's Kinesiology-Convocation Building.

Dr. Rosa Maria Vida, dean of the College of Education, said the event is an historic undertaking designed to celebrate the teaching profession, the commitment of those who enter the field and the pride they take in their efforts.

"This is an historic event that will bring together over 1,300 of our local teachers to celebrate our profession, our commitment and our pride. We'll have a half-day session of motivational presentations, news about future growth opportunities through the Regents Initiative and opportunities for teachers to share best practices that have yielded award-winning student performances," Dr. Vida explained.

She said the highlight of the event will be the keynote address of 1986 National Teacher of the Year Guy Doud, author of five award-winning books, including Molder of Dreams and the video Classroom of the Heart.

In addition to teachers from 30 Laredo schools in both districts, the event will be attended by a variety of state officials from Texas agencies including the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and representatives of the Regents Initiative and other high level representatives from The Texas A&M University System, including A&M Chancellor Howard Graves, Dr. Leo Sayavedra, Vice Chancellor of Academics & Student Affairs, Dr. William Reaves and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Education, as well as presidents, provosts and deans of the Colleges of Education from all A&M institutions.

Vida said the Teachers Rally is the first of a planned series of future teacher growth opportunities that will expand throughout the city and region supported by the Regents Initiative.

The Regents Initiative is a state-wide effort aimed at utilizing the collective resources of the A&M System, of which A&M International is a member, to address educational issues of common concern. The College's director of Regents Initiative activities is Teresa Hein.

Dr. Vida said the Initiative is a revolutionary utilization of shared resources.

"This is a visionary and revolutionary utilization of the resources of our A&M System to increase the effectiveness of teacher preparation through strengthened public school partnerships. The Regents Initiative has already done groundbreaking work that has served to heighten awareness and set the stage for aggressive improvements to our State's education plan" she explained.

A&M International prepares the majority of Laredo and the region's teachers through its baccalaureate, alternative certification, endorsement and masters programs. In this past year, 60% of United Independent School District new hires were graduates of the University's College of Education programs. At Laredo Independent School District, almost 80% of teachers hired were graduates of the University's program.

The recent Initial Report of the Secretary of Education on the quality of teacher preparation ranks A&M International's College of Education program 14th among 89 Texas colleges and universities having teacher preparation programs. The ranking is the highest of all nine of A&M System campuses.

Funding for The Regents' Initiative is provided by The Meadows Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, The Texas A&M University System, the Texas Education Agency and the U.S. Department of Education.

For additional information on the Teachers Rally and the Regents Initiative, please contact Hein at 326.2694, email to thein@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Killam Library, room 322 D.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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