The pinnacle of success in a school district is built on a strong foundation of staff expertise and professional learning the promotes both 21st century learning environments as well as engaging students in quality instruction. Natalia ISD has created an Emerging Leaders program that focuses on the district providing current employees with the ability to seek Graduate level degrees in related fields of education. Partnering with Texas A&M at San Antonio, Natalia ISD will provide this opportunity to a cohort each year to ensure that the staff members possess the cutting edge practices that will foster positive outcome for our students. Current trends in education ask that educators think outside of the box when delivering lessons as well as the creation of student content and extra-curricular opportunities. Therefore Natalia ISD is taking a major step in the right direction by assisting staff who are highly motivated to increase their educational abilities to in turn give their passion and dedication back to the students, parents and community of Natalia ISD.
The four participants selected in the first cohort of Emerging Leaders were selected based on a rigorous application and interview process. Each one describing how Natalia ISD has provided them with many positive memories and a desire to give back. During this process the selection committee was able to build a greater understanding of why the participants applied and how they could have a positive impact on the students of Natalia ISD by continuing their professional education.
Karen Johnson – Currently a teacher who works with students at Natalia Elementary of all ability levels. She has a strong passion for assisting students to perform at their highest potential. Mrs. Johnson is able to share many stories about her students and shares a strong bond with the students and their families. She will pursue a Masters in School Guidance Counseling.
Vanessa Garcia – Currently a third grade teacher at Natalia Elementary School, Ms. Garcia expects her students to give their best each and every day. Her students publish a classroom book every year and focus on finding the best manner to differentiate her lessons to ensure that every student is being academically and socially successful. She will pursue a Masters in School Administration.
Jaime Escobar – Currently a High School Math teacher, Mr. Escobar has an ability to deliver exciting lessons that promote a love for math within his students. Often, students describe him as a caring teacher, who focuses on teaching the students math, rather than teaching math to the students. His classroom is a positive environment where students feel respected and have the room to express their learning each day in class. He will pursue a Masters in School Administration.
Stephen Davis – Currently a coach and teacher at Natalia HS and DAEP, Coach Davis uses positive reinforcement as a means to assist students in reaching their goals. He works with each of his students to improve their levels of performance by working hard and believing that they can achieve at high levels. Coach Davis has a strong belief in the positive impacts of physical fitness and he will pursue a Masters in Kinesiology.