June Shanahan, a fifth grade teacher at Scobee Elementary School, has been named one of six finalists in the state for 2011 Texas Teacher of the Year.
This is the third year in a row that a Northside ISD teacher has been a finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year. Last year's finalist, Esparza Elementary Teacher Dan Leija, was named the 2010 Texas Teacher of the Year and went on to represent Texas in the National Teacher of the Year competition. In 2009, Maricela Alarcon at Burke Elementary School, also was a state finalist.
Shanahan has been an educator for 18 years and has been at Scobee for the past 12 years.
In March, she was named the District's Elementary Educator of the Year and since then, she's been featured in the San Antonio Express-News and the Texas Association of School Board's Lone Star Magazine for her innovative and hands-on lessons.
Shanahan says that meaningful connections are the heart and soul of effective teaching.
"I view teaching as so much larger than the walls of the classroom and so much more important than curriculum and tests," she said. "It is about students fulfilling their potential as people and citizens of the world. It is about relationships, and love, and helping each other grow. When miracles happen in our Texas public schools, it is because of the compassion that teachers bring to each student."
In addition to Shanahan, the other elementary school finalists for Texas Teacher of the Year are:
- Karen Morman, a reading specialist at J.W. Webb Elementary School in McKinney ISD
- Erika Pierson, a first-grade teacher at Live Oak Elementary in Round Rock ISD
The secondary education finalists are:
- Tracy Pippins, a chemistry and biology teacher at Graham High School in Graham ISD
- Stephanie Stoebe, a reading teacher at Round Rock High School in Round Rock ISD
- Steven Singleton, a biology teacher at Randall High School in Canyon ISD
The finalists were selected by a panel of judges who represent the state's four teacher organizations. The judges were: Noel Candelaria of the Texas State Teachers Association; Holly Eaton of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association; Ana Pomar of the Texas AFT; and Cheryl Buchanan of the Association of Texas Professional Educators.
The six finalists will now be invited to Austin for interviews on Sept. 10 before a larger judging panel, which will determine the top elementary and secondary teacher. One of the top winners will also be selected to go forward to be considered for National Teacher of the Year honors.
The Texas Elementary and Secondary Teacher of the Year, as well as all of the regional Teachers of the Year will be honored at a luncheon and awards ceremony on Oct. 14 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin.