Joy Lin
Math Curriculum Specialist
Linder Elementary
Austin ISD

Joy Lin, the mathematics curriculum specialist at Linder Elementary School in Austin ISD, is TCTA's 2013-14 Innovator of the Year. TCTA annually presents its Innovator of the Year Award to recognize innovative, outstanding work that has produced recognizable results in the classroom, school or district.

Austin CTA, a local affiliate of the statewide TCTA, nominated Lin for the award “because Joy has made great efforts to show the world that science doesn’t have to be boring, and that science is in everything we do.”

Lin has worked almost exclusively with at-risk students since she was hired by AISD in 2005. She served as the science department chair at the Travis County Juvenile Detention Center and as the special education department chair at the Ann Richards School before joining the faculty of Linder Elementary.

“She believes the best way to teach math and science is by using real-life examples students can relate to,” says fellow AISD teacher Zachary Savoie. “She consistently puts in many extra hours after school to come up with out-of-the-box methods to explain complex math and science theories.”

In 2012, Lin was chosen as one of 18 winners of the national “Lessons Worth Sharing” contest sponsored by TED and Kohl’s Cares. TED subsequently asked her to do a six-video lesson miniseries that engages students by making a connection between physics and super powers, such as flying and invisibility. Since the series launched in 2013 it has been featured in more than 100 online science magazines and websites.

TCTA will honor Lin and other award winners June 26, 2014, at an awards luncheon during the TCTA annual convention in Fort Worth, where educators from across the state will participate in continuing education seminars, elect leaders for statewide positions within TCTA, and vote on TCTA’s legislative and policy positions.