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Excellence Honored in Education

Alumni, faculty and friends of the TCU College of Education gathered to honor exceptional educators and leaders on Tuesday, Apr. 30. The college gave the first Excellence in Education award 25 years ago, then led by Dean Douglas Simpson. Dean Mary Martin Patton started at TCU the same year, and she received a surprise award – the inaugural Excellence in Higher Education Leadership award honoring her service to TCU, the College of Education and the broader education field. Many educators and leaders were nominated, and these awards were announced at the event:

Jennifer Fletcher M.Ed. ’18 received the Viktor Frankl award in counseling. She earned her Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor Intern and works as a Counseling Associate at The Fountains Counseling Center in Crowley, Texas. During her time at TCU, she initiated and facilitated a graduate student orientation for new counseling students as a way to welcome them and provide mentoring needed for success.

Charles Erwin M.Ed. ’16 received the Excellence in Educational Leadership – Early Career award. He was the first Principal Fellow to be appointed as a principal. He serves at Keller ISD’s Timberview Middle School and served as a site mentor for Cohort V Principal Fellow Justin Hennig.

Hilda Caballero M.Ed. ’00 received the Excellence in Educational Leadership award. She serves as Executive Director for Fort Worth ISD’s elementary schools leadership and has consistently participated in the Principal Fellows selection process and served as a mentor for students in the year-long residency in Fort Worth schools.

Erin Tracy M.Ed. ’08 received the Early Career Award. She is a third grade teacher at Worth Heights Elementary in Fort Worth ISD and was hand-selected to take part in a large grant initiative there. Colleague Christina Barrett nominated Tracy, saying that “she is an enthusiastic educator and leader. “She is an innovator that infuses dyslexia strategies in all subject areas and her passion for students and their success is evident.”

Mary-Mac Elliott ’71 M.A.T. ’77 received the Excellence in Education award. She has 40 years of experience in education, much of that time spent teaching history at Trinity Valley School. She started the school’s annual eighth grade trip to Washington D.C., now in its 29th year, and has received many awards, including Top Teacher of 2016 from the Fort Worth Business Press. Her former student Eden Beebe said, “I first met her my 7th grade year at Trinity Valley School when I was placed in her Texas History class, and thirty years later I look back and can still remember the way she made me feel as her student. She was given the gift of being an unbelievable middle school teacher.”

Dean Mary Martin Patton received the Excellence in Higher Education Leadership award, presented by Don Mills, who praised her leadership of the College of Education for 10 years, her 25 years of service to TCU, and her nearly 50 years of experience in education in five states. She officially stepped down at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

To learn more and view past winners, please visit our Excellence in Education page. View more photos from the event on the college’s Facebook page.