TEA News Release 2


TEA News Releases Online                                                                                                               Sept. 19, 2013

State Board of Education to honor the 2013 Heroes for Children  


AUSTIN – The State Board of Education (SBOE) announced today that 17 Texans who have provided collectively more than 100 years of volunteer service to Texas public schools will be honored with the Heroes for Children award at the SBOE meeting on Friday.

The Heroes for Children honorees are selected by the State Board members and recognized for volunteering their time, talents and skills to help improve the public schools in their communities. Each hero will receive a certificate of honor, a copy of the resolution scheduled for board approval, and photographs commemorating the ceremony. Each hero will also have his or her name engraved on a plaque that is permanently displayed at the Texas Education Agency.

The board will recognize these school volunteers in a ceremony on Friday at 9 a.m. in Room 1-104 of the William B. Travis State Office Building, 1701 N. Congress Ave., in Austin.  The State Board of Education meeting and award ceremony will be broadcast live online.

Recipients of the 2013 Heroes for Children award (along with a brief description of the contributions each has made to Texas schoolchildren) appear below:

  • Kathy Carskadden (Hondo ISD – SBOE District 1)

Carskadden is a volunteer in the Hondo ISD, who works with groups of students needing a little extra help on their English Language Arts lessons. As a volunteer, she is fulfilling her lifelong dream of helping those students who were “falling through the cracks.” 

  • Susan Jacobs (El Paso ISD – SBOE District 1)

Jacobs, the second SBOE District 1 volunteer honored this year, is described as one who puts the needs of the community before herself. As president of the Franklin High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association (PTSA), Jacobs dedicated countless hours to making each school year a success for the high school students. She is called the driving force behind the PTSA for the past four years despite a life-threatening illness.

  • Eloisa Mireles (Brownsville ISD – SBOE District 2)

Mireles has been a volunteer in the district since 1990 and has volunteered at all levels – from elementary to high school. She has served on the Parent-Teacher Association, the district’s Parent Advisory Committee, Superintendent’s Scholarship Committee and was chair of the district’s School Health Advisory Committee.  

  • Kimberly Aldrich (Judson ISD – SBOE District 3)

Aldrich, one of two volunteers to be honored for SBOE District 3, is a volunteer at Wagner High School in the Judson ISD. She has worked tirelessly for the Wagner Cheer Team making sure the program is affordable and accessible for all the participants. She has created props, designed materials, raised money, driven carpools and provided many items for the team with funds from her own pocket.

  • Eulla Krueger (Southwest ISD – SBOE District 3)

Krueger, the second honoree for District 3, has been a volunteer since 1976 in the classrooms, special events, and extracurricular activities. She currently serves on the Southwest ISD Education Foundation as the key organizer of the annual Classic Golf Tournament and Las Vegas Casino Night, two events that raise funds for classroom grants.

  • Maria del Carmen Rivas (Galena Park ISD – SBOE District 4)

A volunteer at North Shore Elementary School, Rivas works with struggling bilingual first graders and in the Life Skills classroom. She also helps with collecting “picture day” money, filling in for lunch duty, helping children get to the nurse’s office, chaperoning field trips, assisting with morning and afternoon dismissals, distributing Backpack Buddy meals for needy children, and delivering Christmas gifts to needy families.   

  • Melanie Smith (Richland Springs ISD – SBOE District 5)

Smith works with the students who are on the Richland Springs ISD academic UIL teams.  She assists the UIL coordinator with administrative tasks, coaches speaking events in grades 2-12, assists with the background preparations for One Act Play competitions, and will often use her own money to buy the necessary items so students can participate with pride in their chosen events.  

  • Brette Machiorlette (Houston ISD – SBOE District 6)

A current student at the University of Texas, Machiorlette is honored for her work as both a high school and college student in creating and launching the Reading Aces literacy program in the Houston ISD and in Austin. The program provides reading mentors to at-risk elementary school students. In the four years since starting the program, Machiorlette has recruited over 150 high school volunteers from eight public and private schools to help more than 300 at-risk children at 10 Houston community centers and elementary schools.

  • Demetrius Moffett (West Orange-Cove CISD – SBOE District 7)

Described as an exceptional role model, Moffett volunteers each week as part of the Build Great Readers Community Partnership at West Orange-Stark Elementary School.  Moffett works with the students on reading skills, vocabulary, pronunciation and comprehension. Uplifting and encouraging, he stresses the importance of reading and a good education. He also finds time to serve on the high school’s site-based decision making committee and is an advisory board member of the high school’s National Academy Foundation local governance committee.

  • Ann Prochaska (Conroe ISD – SBOE District 8)

Prochaska is a Bush Buddy, a volunteer at Barbara Bush Elementary School who mentors at-risk students.  She works with struggling students to help them achieve their highest potential.  She consistently attends and supports the Bush PTO meetings, Sock Hop, Field and Safety Days, Science and Technology Nights, and other special events.  She is also involved in a variety of community activities including promoting recycling and providing blankets to the needy.

  • Roger Waldrep (Texarkana ISD – SBOE District 9)

Described by one student as a true superhero, Waldrep has worked for the past 17 years with the students of Texarkana High School, supporting both academic and extracurricular activities.  He acts as a mentor, father figure, a friend and as an advocate for education – encouraging students to further their education beyond high school.  He teaches life lessons of commitment, perseverance, spirit and positive attitude.  

  • Doug James (Leander ISD – SBOE District 10)

James is the chief organizer and proponent of a program to supply 3,200 Leander ISD elementary school students with backpacks full of school supplies.  He is also responsible for the phenomenal growth of an award winning Literacy Partner program which counts 250 literacy partners and 20 mentors from 15-faith based congregations of various denominations in 21 elementary schools.  

  • Thomas P. Andress, Jr. (Arlington ISD – SBOE District 11)

Andress has been a volunteer at Venture School for 22 years.  Five days a week he works with math students helping them to understand the complexities of algebra and pre-calculus.  For the 2012-13 school year, Andress devoted more than 500 hours of guidance and help.  He is regarded as a valued assistant by the school’s teachers and helps students to better grasp and to understand challenging concepts.

  • Ron Green (Richardson ISD – SBOE District 12)

Sixteen years ago, Green began volunteering in a remedial reading program at Prestonwood Elementary School. From there he also started working with the RHS Offstage Inc., a booster club that supports the Richardson High School Theater magnet program. He has also volunteered for the past seven years as an algebra tutor helping Algebra I and Algebra II students. 

  • Sharon Johnston (Irving ISD – SBOE District 13)

As the volunteer president of the Irving Women’s Network, Johnston has been a constant advocate for the area’s homeless students. She is one of five founding members of the Advocates for Homeless Teens, a group dedicated to creating housing options for teens who have no place to live.  She is also the founder for The Main Place, a store with new clothing for teens in homeless situations.

  • Ray Guttenfelder (Joshua ISD – SBOE District 14)

Guttenfelder, a 90-year-old retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, volunteers four days a week at North Joshua Elementary School. He works with struggling readers in kindergarten through sixth grade. He also helps the teachers grade the daily math quizzes, and works with the students on their multiplication problems. Guttenfelder happily provides the students each morning with his words of wisdom.

  • Uwe Zeizinger (Wichita Falls ISD – SBOE District 15)

Zeizingeris a volunteer at Rider High School. A retiree from the German Air Force, he started volunteering to learn more about the American school system. He provides adult guidance for numerous students and also works with special needs students providing them with extra tutoring. In addition, Zeizinger mentors a student from Germany who attends the school.

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