Teachers Rally Saturday at A&M International

On Saturday more than 2,300 of the city's teachers plan to take part in a celebration of the teaching profession and learn of a new initiative aimed at helping them to grow within their profession.

They'll be attending a "Teachers Rally" Saturday from 8:30-11 a.m. in Texas A&M International University's Kinesiology-Convocation Building.

Hosted by A&M International's College of Education and The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents Initiative for Texas Public Schools, the event is more than a pat on the back for members of the teaching profession, said Dr. Rosa Maria Vida, dean of the College of Education.

"We're making history here and we're opening a new chapter in the growth opportunities available to members of our local and area teaching profession. This is indeed a celebration of our profession, but it's also an opportunity to re-invest ourselves in that profession and consider chances to grow," she explained.

The half-day session at A&M International will include a keynote address by 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.

"Here we have a master teacher whose individual experience and talent for teaching elevates us all. We believe his message will resonate very well with our Rally participants," Dr. Vida said.

She noted that the Teachers Rally is the first of a planned series of future teacher growth initiatives 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.

Vida noted that Laredo's hometown University prepares the majority of Laredo and regional 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.

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, and all A&M institutions.

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