Posted: 6/30/22

TAMIU TAFE Students Victorious at Educators Rising National Competition


Dr. Seth Sampson
Dr. Seth Sampson, assistant professor of School Counseling  

While summer may bring expectations of sunny shores and lazy days, a group of Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) College of Education students recently rolled up their sleeves to join in a national competition, emerging as victors in four competition categories. 

The students are members of TAMIU’s Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) and traveled to Washington, D.C. to compete in the 2022 Educators Rising Conference June 24 - 27. They advanced to the national competition after their success at the Texas TAFE State Competition in March. They progressed to the State competition after winning the Annual Area One TAFE Conference in December 2021.

Educators Rising National Competitions are performance-based competitive events in which aspiring educators demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and leadership in education. With a blend of individual and team events, competitions are authentic, engaging opportunities for rising educators to stretch their creativity, commitment, and professionalism. The competitions are rooted in the Educators Rising Standards and closely align with the Educators Rising Academy Curriculum.  

Of TAMIU TAFE’s 50 members, 10 attended the conference, placing in all categories entered. They were accompanied by Vanessa Almaraz, TAMIU TAFE co-advisor.  Dr. Seth Sampson, TAMIU College of Education assistant professor of School Counseling, is advisor.

Dr. Sampson said the national showing by the TAMIU students is impressive.

“In the short amount of time that the TAMIU TAFE Chapter has been in existence, its leadership team and members have solidified their student organization’s presence at the university and in the community of Laredo. Beginning last December, the TAFE TAMIU Chapter hosted the virtual Area One Conference and started to showcase their educational fortitude, where they initially qualified for the state competition. In March, at the TAFE Teach Tomorrow Summit in Dallas, the TAFE TAMIU Chapter gained momentum and exhibited their competitive prowess by qualifying for the National Educators Rising Conference. In Washington D.C., the TAFE TAMIU Chapter dominated the collegiate field and placed in the top three and above for all categories they competed in. 

“The successes the members of the TAMIU TAFE Chapter have experienced are a testament to what the organization is at its core: an avenue to create a sense of belonging for individuals who are dedicated to elevating the teaching profession by generating opportunities for social mobility while guiding the next generation of educators that will follow in their footsteps. As their faculty advisor, I feel fortunate to witness their commitment to the greater good of those they will serve,” Sampson said.

Categories, prizes awarded and student winners are as follows:

Researching Learning Challenges, First Place: Katherine Aleman, Amy Lee Campos, and Raquel Giselle Rodríguez. This category focuses on providing an opportunity to explore and develop recommendations regarding effective educational supports for special needs students. 

Project Visualize Service, First Place: Haziel Mota and Crystal Beltran.  This category expands on special student service projects, providing competitors a chance to share their project enthusiasm while also envisioning their future in education and the critical thinking and communication skills needed to make that vision a reality.

Children Literature  K-3 and Higher Education: Jossette Aali Flores and Karina Leal, First Place; Reyhitza Marquez and Daisy Fuentes, Second Place.  This competition saw students summon storytelling powers to create original children’s literature, providing an opportunity to “try out” the author/educator identity.  

Educators Rising Moment:  Amy Lee Campos, First Place; Raquel Giselle Rodríguez, Third Place. This competition provides students with a speaking opportunity to articulate through personal experience why they aim to pursue a career in education and affirm the power of being an educator.  

With this week’s victories in Washington, D.C., the students are already readying to prepare for next year’s conference and competition scheduled in Orlando, Florida. 

TAFE is a co-curricular, statewide, non-profit student organization created in 1984 to allow young men and women an opportunity to explore the teaching profession. It aims to provide the best and brightest high school and middle school students in Texas with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about pursuing careers in education. TAFE is sponsored by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals and governed by a board of directors comprised of teachers, students, and principals.

For more information on College of Education programs, visit tamiu.edu/coedu , or contact the College by email at coeinformation@tamiu.edu or by phone at 956.326.2680.

TAMIU’s Fall 2022 Registration is now underway. For detailed registration information, visit https://news.tamiu.edu/fall22

Classes begin Monday, Aug. 22, 2022. Late registration ends Friday, Aug. 26.

University news and information can also be found online at tamiu.edu and on TAMIU’s social channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Group shot of wining TAMIU-TAFE Team members.

TAMIU TAFE team members who participated in the 2022 Educators Rising Conference included, left to right:  Elda Guzman, Jossette Aali Flores, Katherine Aleman, Haziel Mota, Vanessa Lynn Almaraz (Co-Advisor), Raquel Giselle Rodriguez, Crystal Beltran, Daisy Fuentes, Reyhitza Marquez and Amy Lee Campos.