Outstanding Teachers from Texas High Schools to Receive Texas Exes Teaching Awards at The University of Texas at Austin

Ten high school and two elementary teachers from throughout Texas will receive the 2009 Texas Exes Teaching Award for Outstanding Teachers given by The University of Texas at Austin's alumni association, the Texas Exes.

The teachers will be honored during the Conference on Texas Excellence in Education Thursday, Feb. 19, and Friday, Feb. 20, at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

The Texas Exes awards recognize teachers who are supportive of their students, who bring credit to the teaching profession and who are held in the highest regard by their current and former students, fellow teachers, administrators, students' parents and community. The Texas Exes, in collaboration with the university's College of Education, have administered the awards since 1987, honoring 251 teachers through the years.

The high school teachers were nominated by their school principals. Nominations for elementary teachers come from the 20 Regional Service Centers across the state. A committee of alumni volunteers, former recipients and College of Education faculty chooses the award winners. Each honoree receives $2,250, a specially commissioned bronze sculpture, many other honors and recognitions, and is invited to an all-expense-paid two-day Conference on Texas Excellence in Education.

Teachers selected for the 2009 Texas Exes Award for Outstanding Teachers and their areas of teaching are:

  • Alan Barkemeyer, business education, Rosebud-Lott High School, Rosebud-Lott ISD, The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Award
  • Bonnie Blum, kindergarten, West End Elementary, Bellville ISD, The Suzan and Julius Glickman Award
  • Todd Clearwater, band, Klein Oak High School, Klein ISD, The Houston Texas Exes Chapter Award
  • Mike Ferguson, U.S. history (AP), Hebron High School, Lewisville ISD, The Mrs. Harold B. Myers Award
  • Kimberly Fudge, calculus (AP), Richland High School, Birdville ISD, The Gordon Appleman Award
  • Jim Furgeson, U.S. history and law-related education, McCallum High School, Austin ISD, The Lillian B. Rhodes Award
  • Donna Gabrysch, biology, chemistry, West Hardin High School, West Hardin County Consolidated ISD, The Jane Johnson Wilson Award
  • Adriano M. González, chemistry, Business Careers High School, Northside ISD (San Antonio), The Glaxo Award
  • Dora Alicia Newell, third grade, Thigpen-Zavala Elementary, McAllen ISD, The Verna Rogers Award
  • Thadious T. Poláek, English, Flatonia Secondary School, Flatonia ISD, The Lillian B. Rhodes Award
  • Penny Smeltzer, statistics (AP), Westwood High School, Round Rock ISD, The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Award
  • Brenda Vanek, mathematics, Judson High School, Judson ISD, The Lillian B. Rhodes Award