A&M-Texarkana Teacher Candidates Earn Prestigious Recognition

Published: February 14, 2014

A&M-Texarkana Teacher Candidates Earn Prestigious Recognition

Photo - Left to Right - Shannon Gallagher, Amy Soileau, Tony Berg, Samantha Drabble

Two juniors and two seniors, who are enrolled in the Teacher Preparation Program at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, were selected recently as Quest for Quality: Exceptional Teacher Candidates by the prestigious Center for Research, Evaluation & Advancement of Teacher Education (CREATE) made up of a consortium of over forty institutions across the state of Texas.  The senior students include Mr. Tony Berg and Ms. Amy Soileau, who were nominated for exemplary work in Early Childhood through 6th grade. Juniors nominated were Ms. Shannon Gallagher, Special Education, and Ms. Samantha Drabble, Secondary Mathematics. 

Teacher candidates were nominated by university faculty and district cooperating teachers.  Candidates were required to demonstrate exceptional knowledge in their subject area and evidence of exceptional knowledge of quality teaching practices including creation of a positive and engaging classroom environment.  Nominations were blind reviewed by experts across the state and evaluated on specific criteria.Tony Berg’s instructor, Professor of Elementary Education, Dr. Jauquita Hargus, nominated Mr. Berg for his knowledge of research-based practices and the ability to improvise to meet the needs of his students. Mr. Berg’s cooperating teacher, Mrs. Laura Gross, 4th Grade teacher at Pleasant Grove Intermediate, states it is Mr. Berg’s use of technology, initiative and creativity that make him an exceptional teacher candidate. 

Amy Soileau was nominated by the A&M-Texarkana’s Teacher Preparation Program Director, Sara Langford. Ms. Langford states Ms. Soileau deserves recognition as she “made a difference by going the extra mile to become a part of the campus.”  Her cooperating teacher, Ms. Valarie Phillips, Kindergarten teacher at Theron Jones Early Literacy Center, commented on Ms. Soileau’s knowledge of teaching and her ability to “model respect for the students all through the day.”

Samantha Drabble was nominated by A&M-Texarkana Assistant Professor and Education Chair, Dr. Sara Lawrence, commenting on Ms. Drabble’s desire and ability to internalize and apply complicated educational processes with a “surprising level of sophistication.”  Ms. Drabble was also nominated by A&M-Texarkana instructor, Ad-Interim Clinical Faculty of Mathematics, Mr. Chris Sinquefield, for her content knowledge in mathematics stating, “Samantha, distinguished herself as a student capable of lateral thinking, oftentimes making an observation that gave the class insight towards a solution, said Mr. Sinquefield.”

Shannon Gallagher was nominated by her A&M-Texarkana education instructors, Dr. Sara Lawrence and Professor of Special Education, Dr. Martha Harris. Dr. Lawrence states Ms. Gallagher “exudes generosity and appreciation for others that will have a positive impact on creating and maintaining a positive classroom environment that includes collaboration among students and among other professionals.”  Dr. Harris acknowledges Ms. Gallagher’s  “passion to serve and value the uniqueness of each student.”