Marshall chemistry teacher named winner of the 2011 Trinity Prize

May 9, 2011

Linda Kelly, a chemistry teacher at Marshall High School, was named a winner of the 2011 Trinity Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

She was chosen from 19 educators nominated by each area school district in recognition of outstanding performance in public education. Brenda Carrillo, a biology teacher with Harlandale ISD, also was named winner of the 2011 Trinity Prize. All nominees were honored May 6 during events held on the campus of Trinity University.

Clad in a starched white lab coat, Kelly starts each class year by writing "Chem-is-try" on the board. From that moment, chemistry students know they must show effort, and she makes it easy by engaging them with scientific pop culture references to Power Rangers or Twilight characters, measuring different temperatures of glow-in-the-dark bracelets, or using frozen meat to illustrate the properties of frost.

After teaching for 23 years, Kelly still says, "Chemistry is my love." Her principal, Anthony Jarrett, says he is in awe of what she can accomplish in a 48-minute class period and praises her for considering "what is best for the students and not what is easiest for the teachers."

The greater San Antonio area's oldest and most prestigious teaching award, the Trinity Prize was launched in 1982 to honor public school teachers who distinguish their teaching practice through outstanding classroom performance, leadership in the school and school district, leadership in the education profession, and outstanding community service.

Recipients of the Prize - which is sponsored by Trinity's education department, H-E-B Grocery Co., and the San Antonio Express-News - each received $2,500 and a crystal apple. A panel of San Antonio business and community leaders selected the winners.

During Friday's ceremony, the 2010 National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling, delivered the Kappa Delta Pi lecture for outstanding educators. Wessling is a high school English teacher in Johnston, Iowa.