Excellence in Teaching

 Board Recognizes Outstanding Correctional Educators

“I enjoy teaching in the corrections environment because of the great potential to make a significant difference in people’s lives,” explains teacher Joe Pine, winner of WSD’s 2012-2013 Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching Award. “Education makes a difference in reducing recidivism, and I am proud to be part of the process.”

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Pine, who teaches the Computer Maintenance Technician course at the Dominguez State Jail in San Antonio, provides earnest enthusiasm, an amazing variety of teaching techniques, a positive classroom environment, and daily real-life challenges to reach his students. As a result, he was also named the Correctional Education Association’s Region V Teacher of the Year (for Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana).

Pine was honored at a meeting of the WSD Board of Trustees in Austin, along with WSD regional finalists Dorothy Thomas and Donny Lowrance. Thomas is a high-energy literacy instructor at the Telford Unit in New Boston, and Lowrance is an innovative Career and Technical Education instructor, teaching Auto Specialization Engine Performance at the Wallace Unit in Colorado City.

“I know our students receive training that ensures greater employment success and encourages positive behavior,” Pine says. “This reduces prison costs because the men become productive tax-paying citizens, instead of returning to prison and costing taxpayers more money. As teachers, we’re in the business of helping change lives.”

The Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching Award is named for Dr. Lane Murray, the first superintendent of WSD. Every two years, a rigorous selection process begins at each campus, ultimately resulting in the selection of finalists from WSD’s three regions and a winner. These teachers embody some of the best correctional educators in Texas, and they have proudly represented WSD at prestigious conferences and mentored fellow teachers at special trainings.

 

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WSD Excellence in Education Information and Forms


Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching 2014-15 - Introduction

Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching 2014-15 - Award Selection Process

Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching 2014-15 - Nomination Questionnaire

 

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WSD in Images

An offender at the Polunsky Unit prepares for graduation after earning his GED through the Windham School District.
Offenders often experience academic success for the first time in a Windham classroom.
Vocational and academic skills are integrated in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, such as this Small Engine Repair class in Huntsville, Texas.
Texas State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill congratulates GED recipients during Spring, 2014, ceremonies. “I am very impressed with the program and with the commitment of the staff and teachers,” she said.
Female offenders in Gatesville, Texas, study to improve their literacy skills during a WSD academic class.
Auto specialization students in a West Texas prison learn auto maintenance skills, preparing themselves for future employment as professional mechanics.