Public Official

 

TCTA's Friend of Education in the Public Official category is State Senator Jose Menéndez. Menéndez was chosen for his long history of supporting, filing and passing pro-education, pro-teacher legislation during his service in the Texas House and now as a newcomer to the Texas Senate.

Menéndez filed legislation that would have reduced standardized testing in grades three through eight to the minimum required by federal law, and served as the Senate sponsor for HB 1783, a successful TCTA-initiated bill regarding a teacher’s right to report crimes. The selection committee also acknowledged his support on the issue of teacher salaries: he filed legislation to increase salaries by $4,000, and attempted to amend a bill that would have eliminated the state minimum salary schedule for teachers to restore the schedule (the bill did not pass).  He was a strong supporter for retired school employees as well, filing a bill that would have increased benefits for many retirees. He was a consistent voice for public education, and fought against the numerous proposals on the Senate floor that would have been harmful for students and teachers.

Private Citizen

 

The TCTA Friend of Education in the Private Citizen category is Mr. Terry Dalton. The Lubbock CTA nominated Dalton for the award for his “significant contribution to our community schools.” Dalton, chief analyst for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, also serves on the Board of Directors for the West Texas Running Club (WTRC), and has committed many hours to sharing his passion for running and fitness with Lubbock school students.

“His dedication to our schools is vital,” said Donna Corbin, nominator from the Lubbock CTA. The nomination describes Dalton as “one of the biggest cheerleaders for kids,” and praises his leadership in promoting wellness through his work with children’s agencies and organizations.

 

TCTA has presented its Friend of Education awards since 1976. TCTA members from across Texas who serve on the association’s Legislation and Professional Rights and Responsibilities Committees select winners in two categories: public official and private citizen. Recipients must be deemed true friends of education, educators and students, as demonstrated by their leadership, actions and support.