Pastor Mark Lang, Lubbock Dream CenterPastor Mark Lang
Lubbock Dream Center

Pastor Mark Lang is the Texas Classroom Teachers Association’s 2012-13 Friend of Education in the private citizen category. He was selected as a statewide award recipient based on a nomination by the Lubbock Classroom Teachers Association.

In its nomination of Lang, Lubbock CTA praised him for his leadership at the Lubbock Dream Center, a nonprofit organization that offers designed to make a difference in the lives of the people in Lubbock.

Among those programs are an after-school leadership training program at O.L. Slaton Middle School, which Lang developed with the help of Communities in Schools, and an after-school fellowship program at Bean Elementary School called the Bean Beach Club, which Lang teaches. In addition to offering positive reinforcement, anti-bullying and conflict resolution programs, the Bean Beach Club provides students with backpacks and school supplies at the beginning of the school year, giving Bean students “a sense of eagerness to begin school,” according to Lubbock CTA.

During the summer, Lang also facilitates karate and other fitness-related programs for neighborhood students. In the winter, he and Dream Center volunteers collect and distribute coats, clothing and food to the students, and they ensure that each one receives a special Christmas gift.

According to his colleagues at the center, Lang “possesses a great love for kids and an amazing ability to communicate and touch their hearts.” And according to Lubbock CTA, he’s also a great supporter of teachers: “Throughout the year, Mark and his team … go above and beyond to make the teachers feel special by providing meals and gifts that encourage and celebrate.”

The Friend of Education awards have been presented since 1976, with winners selected by the TCTA Legislation Committee. The awards are given in two categories, private citizen and public official, to honor those who have made a significant contribution to public education in Texas. Recipients must be judged to be true friends of education, educators and students as demonstrated by their leadership, actions and support.

Lang was honored Friday, Jan. 25, during the first business meeting of the TCTA Representative Assembly during the 2013 TCTA Convention. Watch video of Lang accepting the award.

See a complete list of TCTA's 2012-13 award winners.