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Paschal Connection Counts

Back row: Andrew Manks, Austin Wilkey, Madeline “Kitt” Sechrist, Rebecca Barrett, Andrew Schnitizius Front row: Linda Antinone, Thuy Nguyen, Lauren John Ehrlich, Caitlin Kuisis, Heather Denton Not pictured: Monica Esquivel

The connection between TCU and Paschal is as close as the two campuses, especially in the Paschal Mathematics Department. Student teaching supervisor Dick Allie has worked in education for nearly 50 years, yet he noticed that he has never seen something like eight TCU alumni working in a Paschal math department of 21 faculty.

Department Co-Chair Linda Antinone mentored five of the department’s TCU alumni through the schools’ student-teaching partnership. Antinone said Paschal hired student teacher Lauren Ehrlich in 2008, and the trend continued from there.

“Our department is extremely close and they support each other,” Antinone said. “[The TCU teachers] are very prepared, teaching our highest-level classes, and they’re comfortable with leadership,” she said.

Heather Denton exemplifies Antinone’s statement. In 2009, Denton earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Education, and started teaching at Paschal. She continued teaching while earning her Master of Education degree at TCU and now serves as Department Co-Chair with Antinone. She said TCU teachers now are just as prepared as she was upon graduation.

“We love hiring student teachers on from TCU,” Denton said. “They come here fully prepared and ready to be a teacher in the classroom.”

Paschal Principal Terri Mossige earned her Master or Education and Doctorate in Educational Leadership at TCU and received the 2016 Excellence in Education award for her contributions to the field of education and involvement as an alumna. She estimates that there are more than 20 faculty who are TCU alumni and said the TCU relationship has made a difference for both schools.

“Most of our student teachers come from TCU,” Mossige said. “I never have any concerns with TCU teachers, and it’s good for the university to apply learning concepts.”

The TCU-Paschal connection reaches far beyond student teaching. Education students observe classes at Paschal and other Fort Worth ISD schools beginning their first semester. The TCU College Advising Corps helps students from Paschal among others to apply for college and financial aid. And the Paschal Writing Camp, organized by Dr. Jan Lacina helps struggling writers from Paschal and gives TCU teachers real-world experience. And the English department may soon outpace the math department’s TCU alumni numbers.

Beyond the College of Education, Paschal has worked with the College of Science & Engineering, Neeley School of Business, Counseling & Mental Health Center, LEAPS, Frog Camp and many other TCU colleges, programs and students.

“We hope to continue to utilize partnerships with TCU to benefit our kids and the community,” Mossige said.

Or as alumna Heather Denton put it, “purple has to stick together.”