Fall 2016

ATPE News is the official publication of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, the largest educator association in Texas. The magazine addresses the most important issues affecting public education in the state. Learn more at

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Page 30 of 43

2015-16 AWARDS ATPE honored educators, students, ATPE leaders, and friends of Texas public education at summit. Judy Coyle Texas Liberty Award This award, ATPE's highest honor, is presented to individuals who demonstrate superior service to public education. This year the Judy Coyle Texas Liberty Award was presented to Bill Haley, a former Texas state senator. A native of Center, Texas, Senator Haley is a graduate of TCU, where he earned a degree in history and government along with his teaching certificate. After graduation, Haley taught public school for more than a dozen years. He was elected state representative in 1978 and chaired the House Committee on Public Education from 1981 to 1987. During his time in the House, Haley helped enact some of the most sweeping reforms in Texas education since the 1940s, including bills to increase public school funding and the curriculum reform of 1981. He authored what is arguably the most extensive education bill in Texas history: House Bill 72. Filed in 1984 during a special session on funding for education and roads, House Bill 72 created the 22-to-1 class-size limit, no pass/no play for student athletes, and the first state-funded pre-K programs in Texas; enhanced graduation requirements; increased funding for economically disadvantaged school districts; and instituted a pay raise for teachers. After being elected next to the Texas Senate, Haley chaired the Senate Administration Committee and was vice chair of the Senate Education Committee from 1991 to 1993. Upon leaving the legislature, Haley became a lobbyist who represented ATPE for many years, and he has continued to teach at the college level. Charles Pickitt Educator of the Year Award The ATPE Educator of the Year Award has been re-named to honor Charles Pickitt's extraordinary contributions to ATPE. These awards recognize ATPE members who demonstrate exceptional or innovative capabilities in their respective educational fields. Administrator of the Year Gary Schepf, Irving ISD Gary Schepf has been the coordinator of career and technical education for Irving ISD for four years. Finalists: Deann Lee, Millsap ISD, and Jennifer Orona, Fort Worth ISD Associate of the Year Kay Deckerhoff, Willis ISD Kay Deckerhoff is a computer lab paraprofessional at AR Turner Elementary in Willis ISD. She has worked in education for 22 years. Finalists: Lisa Cook, Dickinson ISD, and Hilda Martinez, Mission CISD Elementary Teacher of the Year Celena Miller, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD Celena Miller works at Pharr-San Juan- Alamo ISD's Cesar Chavez Elementary as a science lab teacher. She has been in the education field for eight years. Finalists: Robin Hurt, Irving ISD, and Terri Pitts, North East ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year Carrie Becker, Lewsville ISD Carrie Becker is the Lamar Middle School technology educator and math team coach in Lewisville ISD. She has spent 17 years in the education field. Finalists: Kim Grosenbacher, Boerne ISD, and Linda O'Brien, Jasper ISD Special Services Educator of the Year Alice Hartlaub, Corpus Christi ISD Alice Hartlaub is a speech language pathologist in Corpus Christi ISD (home campus Montclair Elementary). She is a 32- year education veteran. Finalists: Kathy Brown, Bay City ISD, and Gidget Belinoski- Bailey, Willis ISD ATPE NEWS 31 Bill Haley with ATPE's Governmental Relations team

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