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I received my Masters in Education in Guidance and Counseling from UHV in 1983, and have spent the last 29 years teaching at Calhoun High School in Port Lavaca. I was recently named Region III Secondary Teacher of the Year for 2005-06, and have earned a few other awards along the way, including a James Madison Memorial Fellowship to pursue graduate studies in political science or history. It was this fellowship that enabled me to earn my M.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech in 2003.
Gennie Burleson Westbrook
Port Lavaca, Texas
Two-time University of Houston-Victoria graduate Mitzi McAfee is enjoying her year as president of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.
McAfee was sworn in as president of TEPSA at the organization’s annual convention during the summer in Austin. But long before that, she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from UHV in 1980 and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction in 1991.
“I had some amazing, cutting-edge professors and lots of hands-on experience,” she said. “My degrees from UHV prepared me well for my current duties.” Read more....
A graduate of the University of Houston-Victoria’s School of Education & Human Development was highlighted earlier this year in the first annual letter of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Cesar Alvarez, who earned his master’s of education in administration and supervision from UHV in 2006, met the Gateses in October when they visited Lee High School in Houston, where Alvarez is an assistant principal.
“I want to close this letter with a story about one person we met when we visited some schools in Texas last year,” Bill Gates wrote in the letter, issued in January. “At Lee High School in Houston, we met a principal named Cesar Alvarez. Cesar told us about a student who had come to school as a freshman three years before and was in a gang. Read more...
A 2002 University of Houston-Victoria alumna was the 2007-2008 Elementary Teacher of the Year for both her school and school district.
Sandra Wicker Consilio, who earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from UHV, was recognized by her peers as Teacher of the Year at Jane Long Elementary School in Freeport, and then selected over the winners at seven other elementary schools as Elementary School Teacher of the Year in the Brazosport Independent School District.
The former Victoria resident now lives in Lake Jackson and teaches fourth-grade science and social studies.
"My professors at UHV were personable and so helpful with preparing me to teach," Consilio said. Read more...
A Houston-area principal named a finalist in the 2008 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award is also an alumna of the University of Houston-Victoria. Beth Dow, principal of Velasquez Elementary School in Richmond, was a Houston-area finalist in the elementary school principal category. She was awarded her Master’s of Education degree in administration and supervision in 1996 from UHV in the first class to go through the program in Sugar Land.
As a finalist, Dow was given $1,000 plus a $2,500 grant for her school. She will now go on to compete statewide for $10,000 and a $25,000 grant for her school. Dow was selected out of some 1,000 nominees for the award. Contestants were nominated by H-E-B employees, customers and community members, and then sent a package asking them to share their professional experiences, educational philosophies and accomplishments both in and out of the classroom.
UHV featured prominently in Dow's responses. "I cannot speak highly enough of UHV," Dow said. The personal relationships developed with her professors, especially professor Nora Hutto, helped her become the principal she is today, she said. Read more...
University of Houston-Victoria graduate Patti Shafer will be the first principal of the new WoodCreek Junior High School in Katy Independent School District. “It’s exciting to be able to open up a school, hire your staff, start new traditions that you know will last, and help these students be successful in their futures,” Shafer said. “It’s quite an exciting adventure.” Shafer is hiring 69 employees to staff the new school for its opening for the 2008-2009 school year.
Shafer earned two master’s degrees in education from UHV. The first in 1985 focused on curriculum and instruction, which allowed her to become certified to teach special education. The second one in 1993 focused on administration/supervision and allowed her to become an assistant principal at Patti Welder Magnet Middle School in Victoria.
Without UHV being in Victoria, she said she probably wouldn’t have gotten either master’s degree. Read more...
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