UHV alumna receives exceptional teacher candidate award
When University of Houston-Victoria alumna Blair Kelly first joined a classroom as a student teacher, she wasn't doing it for recognition but to make sure children were prepared to lead successful lives.
Her hard work and dedication as a student teacher recently earned her the honor of being named an exceptional teacher candidate by the Quest for Quality Teacher Preparation in Texas project.
She is one of only 36 student teachers across the state and the first UHV education student to receive this recognition.
The project is a collaboration between the Center for Research, Evaluation and Advancement of Teacher Education and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Its purpose is to highlight exceptional quality in university-based teacher preparation in Texas. Those selected for the award must demonstrate exceptional teaching skills in subject content depth, lesson planning, modifying lesson plans to meet diverse student needs and creating and maintaining a positive and engaging classroom.
Kelly graduated in May from UHV with a bachelor's in early childhood education. She won't be teaching full time this year for personal reasons but plans on teaching second-grade science or reading in the future.
Kelly said being a mother has changed her outlook on the type of teacher she wants to be.
Kelly said it isn't just academics that are important to teach in a classroom.
Kelly served as co-president of the UHV chapter of the international education honor society Kappa Delta Pi her senior year. Alpha Zeta Lambda was established in 2011 and has more than 90 active members in Victoria and Fort Bend County.
Even though she's graduated from UHV, she is remaining active by serving a second term as co-president. Kelly has organized various fundraisers and literacy events in Victoria and Katy since she joined the honor society.
Kelly also volunteers at the Victoria Children's Discovery Museum and as a docent at the Museum of the Coastal Bend.
She is using her skills as a student organization leader at her new job this summer working for UHV Student Life and Services. The department is implementing a new online system for campus organizations called JagSync. Kelly helps with the programming and testing of functions within JagSync and has trained other student leaders and departments on how to set up items within the system.