Redwater Independent School District (RISD) took top regional honors with Region VIII Education Service Center (ESC) naming RISD teachers, Courtney Beck and Tanya Terry, as Regional Elementary and Secondary Teachers of the Year, respectively. They will now be part of a group of 40 regional teachers of the year to be considered for one of six state finalists.
Courtney Beck, with Redwater Elementary School, is starting her 18th year of teaching and her eighth year with RISD. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University – Texarkana.
Beck has a love and passion for teaching. “I realize that students come to school with different backgrounds, different experiences and different needs,” she said. “My hope is to make each student feel that they belong, they matter and they can do anything they set their minds to.” Beck also encourages other teachers to don’t give up, help is a knock away. “It is important to count on your colleagues. After all, they are the only ones that truly know exactly what you are feeling and going through. Remember why you became a teacher – to see the light in your student’s eyes and the smile on their face when they finally get what you are teaching them.”
Tanya Terry has 17 years of experience in teaching and is going into her sixth year at Redwater High School. She serves as the English Department Chair and is a Dual Credit Instructor. Terry holds an Associate Degree in Secondary Education from Texarkana College, along with a Bachelor and Master Degree in Secondary Education from Texas A&M University – Texarkana.
“I believe that every child has the ability to learn and that every educator’s responsibility is to meet a child where he or she is at the moment,” said Terry. “My philosophy in the classroom is no failures. If a child fails, I believe that I have failed the child.” Terry’s goal in the classroom is to help every child to not only see his or her academic potential but also to instill kindness and respect for humanity. She believes in working diligently alongside her students until each one reaches his or her dreams and consistently encourages her students to see the achiever within themselves. Terry wants to inspire her students that all dreams are possible with integrity and a goal driven mindset, for she believes at the end of the day, her students’ successes are her successes.
Since 1969, the Texas State Teacher of the Year (TOY) Program has honored excellence in classroom education and provided a forum to highlight many outstanding educators whose efforts and example have inspired their students, their colleagues and the communities they serve.
As the Region ESC Teacher of the Year, Beck and Terry will be recognized during the TEA State Board of Education Teacher of the Year Banquet in Austin in October. They will serve as travelling ambassadors for public education to speak for, motivate and exemplify the contributions of the teacher profession along with helping to identify and recruit teachers.