Austin, TX — The Texas Public Charter Schools Association, which represents 180 charter districts and more than 700 campuses, yesterday announced the organization’s annual Teacher of the Year and Leader of the Year award winners at its annual statewide conference.
In 2020, these awards recognize two exceptionally innovative educators who overcame the pandemic’s many obstacles and delivered for children—both inside and outside the classroom.
Teacher of the Year:
IDEA College Preparatory in San Juan
Ms. Correa, a veteran art teacher of 12 years at her Rio Grande Valley charter campus, does whatever it takes to ensure her students are exercising their imaginations. Earlier this year, Correa made news after she designed a series of prompts that encouraged students to improvise art supplies from common materials and objects they could find at home—anything from Kool Aid to makeup to Hot Cheetos Dust. She has also authored and collaborated on articles and presentations about effective remote learning.
Her colleagues recognize Ms. Correa as a fierce advocate for parents, students, and the charter community. She has hosted state elected officials on her campus and led voter registration efforts. Ms. Correa was also a founding fellow of the TPCSA Teacher Advocacy Leadership Institute (TALI) program and currently coaches other teachers on how to take action that protects and defends their schools.
"Especially during a school year that has presented so many challenges, Cristina Correa has exemplified the best that teachers have to offer, minimizing stress for students and parents and maximizing quality of learning," said TPCSA CEO Starlee Coleman. "She is also a fearless advocate for her families and for students statewide who need and deserve great educational opportunities.”
Leader of the Year:
Edward Conger, Superintendent
International Leadership Texas
As superintendent at International Leadership of Texas (ILTexas), Mr. Conger skillfully piloted his schools through the onset of the pandemic and into the new school year—including the creation of frameworks for both in-person and remote learning that are models for the rest of Texas and the nation.
On March 13, ILTexas made the decision to move all instruction online. Barely one week later, their teachers were fully trained, lessons were adapted, and 19,000 students were logged in and ready at 8:30 on a Monday morning. Conger went on to share his back-to-school curriculum with other schools. He also seized the moment to create a high-quality virtual program open to students anywhere in Texas that offers the school’s signature trilingual curriculum.
"ILTexas demonstrated the best of what schools can be—flexible, creative, decisive, and above all, utterly devoted to students’ needs. This is thanks to the leadership and dedication of Eddie Conger," said TPCSA CEO Starlee Coleman. "Mr. Conger's dedication to students is remarkable, and his hard work has ensured that even now, in a time of need, any child can access a great education."
To arrange an interview with Teacher of the Year Cristina Correa or Leader of the Year Eddie Conger, please contact James Scimecca at firstname.lastname@example.org.