Karen Morman wanted a career path that would change lives for the better, give children hope and truly make a difference in the world. That’s why she became a teacher. Morman has received the state’s top teaching award for her outstanding performance.
Morman, a reading specialist at J.W. Webb Elementary in McKinney ISD, was named the 2012 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year and will also represent the state in the national Teacher of the Year competition as the Texas Teacher of the Year.
Morman was named the winner at a luncheon earlier in October at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin. She will receive a $5,000 cash award. Also honored at the event were four additional state finalists who each received a $1,500 award and 34 Regional Teachers of the Year who received a $500 award.
Texas State Board of Education member George Clayton, who is also an academic coordinator at North Dallas High School in Dallas ISD, chaired the selection committee and called the duty one of the great joys of his time on the board. He said all of the candidates were outstanding and the committee’s decision was a difficult one.
“Listening to the finalists made me very proud to be an educator myself. Their remarks inspired me to inspire others to enter the teaching profession,” Clayton said. “I extend my warmest congratulations to them. They are true examples of what a professional educator should be.”
In her application, Morman writes: “As I glance at the myriad of student notes that mark my journey as a teacher, it reinforces my belief that teachers are the most important factor to success in the classroom. One student’s note pulls at my heartstrings when she shares that reading has been difficult for her in the past, and thanks me for helping her enjoy reading. It is a teacher’s positive attitudes, high expectations, and the joy for learning that is modeled in the classroom that will make the difference in students’ lives.”
Texas Association of School Administrators President Rod Townsend was also on the selection committee and said the experience was “the best day I’ve ever had in education.”
As Texas Teacher of the Year, Morman will submit letters of endorsement and eight essays on topics ranging from personal teaching philosophy to issues facing education. A National Selection Committee will meet in December to choose four national finalists. In April the National Teacher of the Year will be introduced by the President and honored in a series of events in Washington D.C. Historically, all state Teachers of the Year attend a reception with the President in the White House Rose Garden.
The Texas Teacher of the Year program is a joint project of the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Association of School Administrators this year.