2 Travis Faculty Members Recognized as Gomez & Gomez 2022 Dual Language Exemplary Teachers

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Two members of the faculty at Travis Primary have been recognized as Gomez & Gomez 2022 Dual Language Exemplary Teachers, Sulphur Springs ISD ESL Director Craig Toney announced at the December school board meeting.

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Sulphur Springs ISD Board of Trustees and administrators recognize Lidia Mejia and Karen Miranda for honors they received through the dual language program.

Both Lidia Mejia and Ana Karen Miranda received the distinguished honor after a recent evaluation of the program, which uses the research-based Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Enrichment Model. The DLE program teaches students to become literate in Spanish and English through language arts and reading instruction of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) curriculum. Students are also taught science and social studies in Spanish and mathematics in English. Families must prepare for a minimum six-year commitment to the program.

The program was created by Richard Gomez, who along with an associate spends two days on the campus evaluating school’s implementation of the program at all schools using the Gomez and Gomez Model across 38 states. The evaluation included walk-throughs which test students’ proficiency, and the fidelity and strength of the program — how kids, staff and campuses are doing.

Lidia Mejia receives a round of applause as SSISD Board of Trustees President Craig Roberts presents her with a certificate recognizing her as a Gomez and Gomez Exemplary Teacher.

“He gives out Exemplary Teacher Awards for teachers that earn it, and it is very, very difficult to earn an Exemplary Teacher in a dual language program. He walks in with a clipboard with a checklist on this side and a checklist on that side,” Toney said. “You don’t get Exemplary Teacher unless everything is there — classroom components, writing samples that are done in every subject every days, their whole following hte lesson plans cycle — just hte fidelity of the program. So to get an honor to where you are recognized as an Exemplary Teacher when he comes to visit is a major accomplishment. This year as a dual language program we are so happy to have two teachers who hit it for the first time this year. That is definitely worth celebrating so we are very excited for these two ladies,” Toney explained.

Lidia Mejia and Ana Karen Miranda were recognized at the Dec. 12, 2022 SSISD Board meeting with certificates, presented by SSISD Board Of Trustees President Craig Roberts for attaining Exemplary Teacher honors from Gomez.

Students’ writing and teachers’ efforts helping them through the writing process was what captured the evaluators’ attention most, said Toney

Lidia Mejia watches as Ana Karen Miranda receives a round of applause as SSISD Board of Trustees President Craig Roberts presents her with a certificate recognizing her as a Gomez and Gomez Exemplary Teacher.

Mejia is a kindergarten teacher who “does a fantastic job” setting students up for success, better enabling them to write 1/3-1/2 a page each, in both English and Spanish, according to Toney. The amazing writing by the students was cited in Mejia’s evaluation, Toney noted.

Karen Miranda has the challenge of teaching third grade, which includes preparing students for STAAR testing.

“She continues to not just help our kids perform academically — that’s the challenge of a dual language program is we’re not just trying to get these kids to be successfully academically, but they are also learning a second language throughout the whole process. For her to be able to do all of that and be an Exemplary Teacher in our Dual Language Program ,” Toney noted.

Toney said the ladies’ achievement would not be possible without their campus leadership, and recognized Principal Michelle Wallace. He also noted that Miranda was previously the student of one of the teachers present, making Miranda a Sulphur Springs graduate who is “representing Sulphur Springs very well.”

“These ladies are doing fantastic work,” Toney added. “Major accomplishments. I cannot emphasize that enough. These two ladies are amazing. They’ve done a great job.”

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Author: Faith Huffman

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