Return to Headlines

Teach Denton Initiative Named Finalist for State Award

Denton ISD’s Teach Denton initiative, an innovative approach to finding future educators in areas of need, has been named one of five finalists for the 2018 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Star Awards.


The initiative is collaborative educational project between the district, Texas Woman’s University and North Central Texas College that helps find, develop and nurture current students into fields in education.


“We saw a consistent underrepresentation of minorities and teachers in specific educational fields and tried to come up with a way of connecting all the dots to lead talented students into these areas to become teachers,” said Dr. Richard Valenta, deputy superintendent for Denton ISD. “The truth is the best way to fill these needs is to grow your own and we’ve found excellent partners in helping us achieve this pathway for students with NCTC and TWU.”


Teach Denton is the only Star Award finalist that has a school district partnering with institutions of higher learning on an education plan. The five finalists were selected among 36 nominations submitted to the High Education Coordinating Board.


“Your program and the students, faculty, administrators and other staff who have created, developed and carried it out are providing valuable services to Texas and its people by helping us close gaps in education,” said Dr. Raymund A. Paredes, Texas Commission of Higher Education.


The goal of the Star Awards is to recognize exceptional contributions toward increasing student postsecondary attainment level, increasing the number of students completing degree programs from institutions of higher education, increasing the number of programs with marketable skills and the implementation of programs that ensure undergraduate student debt does not exceed 60 percent of first-year wages.


The five finalists will be recognized, with the winner announced, at the 18th annual Star Award Ceremony on Friday, Nov. 30, in conjunction with the 2018 Texas Higher Education Leadership Conference in Austin.


The finalists include:  

  • Alamo Colleges: Palo Alto College – Project Access
  • Houston Community College – HCC’s Weekend College: A Template for Degree Completion for Working Adults
  • Teach Denton Integrated Collaborative – Teach Denton: Supporting Teacher Pathways and Teacher Effectiveness
  • Texas A&M International University – Service-Learning at Home and Abroad
  • The University of Texas at Tyler – Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences Program (BAAS)