A&M-Texarkana Education Department “Pins” Future Educators in Ceremony

Front row left to right: Madison Cox, Elizabeth West, Cynthia Vargas, Brittany Upchurch, Heather Clark, Christina Brown, Brianna Black, Taylor Mercer - Middle row left to right: Sarah Evans, Shaeleigh McGlamery, Hannah McElroy, Alexandria Sterling, Carmen Ramirez, Madeline Parish, Maria Olvera, Sandra Miller, Isis Wilson - Back row left to right: Dr. Sara Lawrence, Dr. Abbie Strunc, Ms. Melba Foster, Dr. Kelly Cordray, Dr. Jan Murdock, Dr. Trisha Ray, Ms. Laura Currey, Ms. Debora Shidemantle, Dr. Eunji Cho

The faculty members of Texas A&M University-Texarkana’s education program gathered in full academic regalia recently for a ceremony welcoming 33 new students into the university’s teacher preparation program. The students had an apple-shaped pin placed on them and heard words of advice from guest speaker Chad Pirtle, Superintendent of the Pleasant Grove Independent School District. The pinning ceremony took place in front of a large crowd of family and friends as well as TAMUT faculty and staff members.

Students officially enter the teacher preparation program around their junior year and are pinned during their first semester in the program. “The pinning ceremony is a celebration of their decision to become educators and their admission into the program,” said Assistant Professor of Education Dr. Abbie Strunc.” The students pinned in the ceremony were Brianna Black, Christina Brown, Heather Clark, Madison Cox, Sarah Evans, Hannah McElroy, Shaeleigh McGlamery, Taylor Mercer, Sandra Miller, Maria Olvera, Madeline Parish, Carmen Ramirez, Alexandria Sterling, Lauren Upchurch, Cynthia Vargas, Laurie West, and Isis Wilson. Not present for the ceremony were students Joni Adams, Victoria Baker, Emily Chevalier, Mandy Cook, Michae’lann DiMaggio, Alexis Elledge, Norma Lopez, Paola Martinez, Jonathan McKay, Ashley Nipper, Maria Reyna, Bailee Shenold, Faith Simmons, Ashlen Walton, Meridith Weaver, and Cendy Zuniga.

The TAMUT teacher preparation program utilizes high admissions standards, rigorous coursework, and quality field experiences in conjunction with strong partnerships between the university, school districts, community colleges, and other entities to prepare candidates for successful careers in the teaching profession. Among teacher preparation programs, TAMUT has the highest rating in the region for 5-year retention rates of new teachers.

Texas A&M University offers a bachelor’s degree in elementary education as well as degrees in content areas of English, Mathematics, Biology, History, and Kinesiology for students interested in teaching middle school or high school. Students may earn a master’s degree in Instructional Technology, Education Leadership with Principal Certification, and Curriculum and Instruction. A&M-Texarkana also offers the area’s only doctoral program in education, featuring the Doctor of Education in Education Leadership.

In addition to degrees offered A&M-Texarkana also has an Alternative Certification Program (ACP) for those who have a bachelor’s degree and would like to become certified to teach. The ACP offers 39 approved certification areas.

To learn more about the teacher preparation program at A&M-Texarkana contact Dr. Abbie Strunc, Assistant Professor of Education and Chair of Teacher Education at abbie.strunc@tamut.edu or 903.223.3030.


About Texas A&M University-Texarkana:
As a member of The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M University-Texarkana is a comprehensive regional university that provides students with academically challenging, engaging and rewarding educational experiences through quality teaching, scholarship, student support services, co-curricular programming, research, and service.


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