Home »  For Members »  Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight

  • Nick Solis
    Del Valle ISD
    October 27 2014

    A teacher at Hillcrest Elementary in Del Valle ISD, Solis won HEB’s Excellence in Education Award for Elementary Leadership!

  • Angela Quebedeaux
    Del Valle
    November 20 2013

    “They saw that I was truly in it for making things better,” Angela Quebedeaux, Del Valle Middle School association representative, says.

  • Courtney Thomas
    September 17 2013

    She’s a third generation TSTA member who attended her first NEA Representative Assembly when she was 8.

  • Rick Beaule
    August 14 2013

    Rick Beaule is an elementary music teacher in Killeen ISD. “I chose to join the Texas State Teachers Association because I believe every teacher, every employee, every person has a basic human right to have a decent wage, decent working conditions, and to be free to do the job they have chosen to do. I believe TSTA and NEA give us the best opportunity and the best chance to achieve those rights.”

  • Daniel Lopez
    July 23 2013

    This year, Daniel Lopez decided to take his TSTA membership to the next level by attending the Emerging Leaders Conference.  "It's time for me to step up and make changes," he said. 

    Lopez came to learn how to improve the working environment for his colleagues and the learning environment for his migrant students at Donna High School. "We're there to help kids: to get them to the next level, to go to college and become somebody. If we cannot work together, how can we expect those kids to make it?"

  • Marisa Maher
    Dripping Springs
    July 3 2013

    Marisa Maher, a coach and business teacher in Dripping Springs ISD, was named TSTA's Ermalee Boice Instructional Advocacy Award winner at the 2013 state convention.

  • Leonor Terrazas
    May 28 2013

    Leonor Terrazas, who will join the TSTA Board as an ESP at large member in 2013-2014, urges you to nominate an outstanding support professional member for the Ronnie Ray ESP Advocate of the Year Award.

  • Betty Flores
    Library assistant,San Benito
    May 2 2013

    “TSTA is a family,” Betty Flores says. “When one hurts, we all hurt.” Now close to retirement, Betty has been involved with TSTA since the beginning of her career four decades ago.

  • Lonnell Davis
    April 16 2013

    "Every professional should be able to live off their salary," said Lonnell Davis, a bus driver for Austin ISD for 15 years. "I shouldn't have to get a part-time job and have my kids suffer." Davis attended TSTA's statewide ESP Conference in Houston on April 14, 2013.

  • Brandon Swaringim
    TSTA Student Program
    March 26 2013

    "We can't just sit back and let the system create us," Brandon Swaringim, president of the TSTA Student Program, says. "We're supposed to create the system. A lot of people have it backwards -- they just sit by and complain."

  • Jennifer Batchelor & Anna Randals
    February 22 2013

    They started the TSTA Student Program chapter at Texas Wesleyan University a year ago with four members and $20 in the bank. Jennifer Batchelor and Anna Randals talk about why it's important to join TSTA.

  • Ruidoso Retreat
    October 24 2012

    For more than three decades, the Lubbock Educators Association has sponsored a retreat for TSTA Region 2F in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Attending this year were members from Lubbock, Amarillo, San Antonio, El Paso, Aspermont, Houston, and Austin.

  • Petra Rodriguez
    Austin ISD
    August 27 2012

    "If you see something, such as a policy, you want to change, it all starts at the local level. I’m learning how to do that at the grassroots level and impact people in the community. I’ve met so many wonderful, like-minded people from across the state (in TSTA) who’ve shown that we do have a common purpose, and that is educating our students and getting the best treatment for teachers…so that we can better influence the lives of our kiddos.”

  • Linda Flores
    August 10 2012

    Linda Flores of El Paso Teachers Association shares what she learned at the summer Emerging Leaders Conference: "We're not alone. We all kind of share the same issues. (TSTA) is not only there when you're in trouble, it's there to support you."


  • Linda Estrada
    Donna ISD
    July 2 2012

    Linda Estrada, a secretary in Donna ISD and member of TSTA’s Board of Directors, says, "Can you imagine what changes we could make if we were to all come together? We just need to lose that fear. Through NEA, through my state association, all the training I got, it gave me the confidence and helped me get rid of the fear.”

  • Loryn Windwehen
    North East Teachers Association
    May 23 2012

    Loryn Windwehen, a science teacher at Harris Middle School in North East ISD (San Antonio), won TSTA's Ermalee Boice Instructional Advocacy Award in 2012. "To be a powerful teacher and a memorable educator for these kids, especially in this day and age, you have to show you're excited about your job even on days when you're exhausted. They feed off our energy, whether it's negative or positive."

  • Sean Redmond
    Alief TSTA/NEAAlief
    May 7 2012

    Everyone needs a voice. You know the TEAM concept -- Together Everyone Achieves More? That's really true with TSTA.


  • Richard Martin
    ESP memberCypress-Fairbanks ISD
    April 16 2012

    The elementary kids, they are so impressionable. That’s really what touches my heart, is when I have an opportunity to talk to them. Sometimes the teachers will just shut down what they’re doing and have us explain to the students what it is that we do, and they have a better understanding that we’re not just the maintenance department, we’re actually there to provide for them.

  • Arturo Villanueva
    Fifth grade teacherYsleta ISD
    March 27 2012

    Arturo Villanueva, a teacher at Mission Valley Elementary, spoke at the Save Texas Schools Rally in Austin March 24. Click to hear his comments.

  • Maria Reyna Mendoza
    Bilingual third grade teacherAustin ISD
    March 8 2012

    No matter what's happening outside...in the classroom, we can be happy, and we can enjoy, and we can sometimes forget about the serious, difficult problems outside in our lives.

  • The Lorax: watch video
    Honorary memberTSTA/NEA
    March 6 2012

    We’re making him an honorary member for visiting three Texas schools on March 1-2 with NEA’s Read Across America Tour – McShan Elementary School in Dallas and Rodriguez and Metz Elementary Schools in Austin. This short video is from the Austin leg of his tour. To see photos of Read Across America celebrations, see http://www.flickr.com/photos/tstapublicaffairs/sets/72157629133226652. For more information on Read Across America, see www.nea.org/readacross.

    watch video

  • Montserrat Garibay
    Prekindergarten teacherAustin ISD
    January 27 2012

    I think that pre-k really works

    "I take the time to do 20 home visits the first two weeks of school. It is a lot of work, but I invest the time because I want to build very strong relationships with the parents."

    Montserrat Garibay teaches a bilingual pre-kindergarten class at Lucy Read Pre-kindergarten Demonstration School in Austin ISD. She serves on the executive board of Education Austin. Read more about her in the winter 2011 Advocate.


  • Imelda C. Pena
    RecruiterBrownsville, TX
    July 1 2011

    I've been the top recruiter for the past five years. I love recruiting. Whenever I go to stores or anywhere around, I meet somebody and then ask them, 'Do you belong to the Association of Brownsville Educators?' They tell me, 'No, what is that?' Then I tell them the reason is you never know if somebody will try to get you in trouble, like parents, co-workers or even students nowdays. That's how I recruit people, by going to different places. During the summer that's what I do, recruit, and I recruit during school time, too -- but after school hours.

  • Onashka Hernandez
    Abilene, TX
    July 1 2011

    This is my first year in Abilene. Previous to this, I was working in Austin, and I was a member of Education Austin. My mother has gotten older and needs help, needs taking care of, so I left Austin and moved to Abilene. When I was hired, I was told I was being hired with stimulus money and that the stimulus money was going to come to an end but that other positions were probably going to become available, and I could be able to get into one of those positions. I don't think the administration had any idea what was coming down the pike, and so here it is nine months later, 10 months later, and I'm being laid off or nonrenewal of contract, because I'm technically a probationary teacher, since this is my first year with Abilene ISD. You ask me what I'm going to do next year. I have no idea. I have no idea. I've been teaching for 16 years, and I just really don't know.

  • Lorenzo Hernandez
    Public Relations OfficerHarlingen, TX
    July 1 2011

    I joined TSTA to better myself, learn leadership skills, and also help fellow teachers and ESPs throughout Texas and my local.

    I am the public relations officer for Harlingen (TSTA), and I am the head custodian at Dishman Elementary. I joined TSTA to better myself, learn leadership skills and also help fellow teachers and ESPs throughout Texas and my local. I like where I work because it's a learning experience, and I see kids doing stuff I used to do when I was in school, and I'm like, 'Man, that's not good. Don't do that.' Been there, done that. (I can be) a positive role model for the kids.

  • Serena Cheng
    TSTA-Student Program
    July 1 2011

    What I really like about TSTA is the ability to travel around and actually get to see what TSTA and NEA have to offer outside of just the Student Program bubble and outside of the really tiny part of TSTA that usually everyone in the schools sees. (They don't usually) see stuff like the House of Delegates or our Connections Conferences or the Representative Assembly. Those are opportunities that I think that, once students get to see those, they are truly amazed at how big this organization is, and how much people put their efforts and time into it, and how much they really care and try to be there and support you.

  • Robyn Ford
    TeacherDenton, TX
    July 1 2011

    What I love about teaching is I love children, and I love giving them the information that I have as an educator, but most importantly, I love touching the future and helping to build in them a lifelong love for learning and for promoting their society. Through TSTA, we have a voice that allows us to band together and to work together and to promote that education that we know will help ensure the safety and the quality of our future.


  • Beth Huckabee
    Texas Teacher of the YearFlour Bluff, TX
    May 23 2011

    Beth Huckabee’s first few weeks of teaching were a crash course on the importance of class size limits.

    “It was a disaster!” Huckabee, this year’s Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year and TSTA Ermalee Boice Instructional Advocacy Award winner, said.

    “I waltzed into a situation with 40 percent repeating students. I had six classes, five preps and a seventh period health class of 42 students,” she said. “I went home crying the first six weeks.”

    As a high school and college student, she had the opportunity to help teach her peers, and she enjoyed it so much that it shaped her career path, but this was very different. “Failure was a new experience and an excellent tutor," Huckabee said. "I learned that knowing the material was not enough. I needed to know my students."

    Fortunately, her principal, Ramiro De La Paz, recognized the futility of trying to teach 42 students; he divided her health class in half and taught the second class himself.

    “Suddenly instead of ending the day frustrated, I was able to teach. I would never have gone back that second year if it hadn’t been for him,” Huckabee said.

    With her classes finally at a manageable level, Huckabee gave herself an assignment: to learn something about every student. “My goal became to visit with each student every two weeks about something that really interested them. I also incorporated real world examples that affected them into my presentations.”

    Read More in the Advocate