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Cooperating Teachers

Spring 2021 Cooperating Teacher Spotlight

CT Spotlight 

Melanie Drews - Gattis Elementary/Round Rock ISD, Brenda Mosher - Hill Country Middle School/Eanes ISD, Monica Watson - Anderson High School/Austin ISD, Anne Macharia - Westwood High School/Round Rock ISD, Karen Guerrero - Crockett Early College High School/Austin ISD

UTL 101 - Melanie Drews

This has been a year of incredible challenges for anyone involved in the education of students.  Teachers, staff, parents and administrators have been asked to take on more than ever before.  This year as our UTL 101 students met with their CTs via Zoom they had the opportunity to have meaningful conversations and learn more not only about the struggles and realities of teaching during a pandemic, but the joys and successes that came with this new learning environment.  This year we give special thanks to Melanie Drews for her participation as a Cooperating Teacher in the UTeach-Liberal Arts Program.  Not only did she take on the challenges of teaching her own students but she took on the role of mentor to our future teachers.

Melanie currently teaches 2nd grade at Gattis Elementary in Round Rock ISD and for the past 9 years has hosted UTL 101 interns. She has demonstrated master teaching for interns who were fortunate enough to be in her classroom to observe and this past year she has shared strategies that have helped her successfully reach her students online. Interns have shared that as a mentor Melanie has been open, honest, transparent and generous in sharing her teaching experiences.  The one word that is used again and again by interns to describe Melanie is inspiring.  “Ms. Drews is totally inspiring!”  Our interns are amazed at her energy, her commitment to her students, her caring, her creativity and her passion for teaching.  She gives great advice, coaches and mentors new interns in a supportive and collaborative way that inspires them to be better.  Melanie realizes that these interns are the rookies and she meets each one where they are and nurtures them to bring out their best.

Melanie Drews has done so much to support our future teachers and continued that support during a very challenging school year.  On behalf of our entire program, I would like to thank her for the inspiration she has given both her students and for mine.

UTL 202 - Brenda Mosher

Brenda Mosher teaches English at Hill Country Middle School in Eanes ISD.

Brenda has been teaching over 30 years and has been honored with many District awards.  She has been Teacher of the Year several times during her career.  Over the 30 years, Brenda has amassed a resume filled with presentations and workshops throughout Central Texas.

The UTeach students who have been lucky enough to have her as their mentor write evaluations that have common themes running through them:

  • Mosher is a brilliant teacher who demonstrates the building blocks of a strong teacher: patience, knowledge and a sublime teacher persona
  • She cares about her students and tries very hard to build relationships with them
  • Interns hope to be half the teacher she is

UTeach-Liberal Arts is fortunate to have teachers like Brenda working with us.

UTL 640 English - Monica Watson

“Ms. Watson was the mentor I needed as a student teacher.  She was always understanding and was someone I could trust.  She answered the many questions I had at the beginning of my placement and acted as a model of those answers so I didn’t have so many questions anymore.  Ms. Watson is a very patient and caring person toward her students and me…. I followed her lead on classroom norms and expectations and had the pleasure of collaborating with her in addition to being given the freedom to create my own lessons.  She gave the perfect amount of balance between the two.  I hope many more student teachers get to work under Ms. Watson.” Kayla Fry, Spring 2021 UTLA Graduate

Monica Watson currently teaches English II and both AP/IB English III at Anderson High School in AISD.  Monica has hosted UTLA students for the past fifteen semesters, nurturing and guiding 11 of our preservice teachers as they worked to expand their pedagogical understanding and skills and gain confidence in their ability to facilitate adolescents’ intellectual, emotional, and social growth.  Students placed in Monica’s classroom for these many years consistently praise her ability to create a safe, welcoming space for all students, and this remained the case in 2020-21 despite how difficult it can be to create community in a remote or hybrid learning environment. Watching Monica in action with her high school students inspires her interns to think critically about what more they can do to support all learners.  We are incredibly grateful for Monica Watson’s continued commitment to the UTLA program and to the students of AISD.

UTL 640 LOTE - Anne Macharia

Anne Macharia is one of those educators who you talk with and it feels like catching back up with an old friend.  She has a way of making those in her presence feel seen, heard and like they are the most important person in that space at that time.  Because of her warmth and strong relational capacity, Anne pulls the absolute best from each UTeacher who has the privilege of learning from her.  She has been consistently described over the years by various UTeachers as patient and understanding, pushing them to exceed their own expectations through her expertise in coaching, passion for her native language of French and her genuine concern for the UTeacher’s individual growth. UTeach students regularly insert Anne into our seminar discussions as we walk through Zaretta Hammond’s Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain, reflecting on examples of a warm demander.  Anne masterfully models keeping every student actively engaged by ensuring that her content is inclusive.  She addresses current social situations and creates space for each of her students’ lived experiences as they learn and develop their cultural lenses through the study of French.  UTeach is so fortunate that Anne Macharia is among the amazing LOTE educators who are actively shaping the next generation of teachers.

UTL 640 Social Studies - Karen Guerrero

Karen Guerrero teaches UT OnRamps History, Government, and Economics

at Crockett Early College High School and she has graciously welcomed UTeach interns and student teachers into her classroom for 7 years.  As a mentor, she models a style of teaching that inspires confidence in our preservice teachers, leading them to do their best.  This ability was especially evident during this pandemic school year, when all students, including ours, were forced to learn in situations that were less than ideal. Karen’s kind and welcoming approach to teaching demonstrated how a skilled teacher can build a sense of community, even when the students are represented by black boxes on a zoom screen. 

As her student teacher stated this spring, “Ms. Guerrero really shines in her relationships with students.  She does not patronize or talk down to them. Her classroom is a relaxed and welcoming space, where students feel free to be themselves and ask questions without fear of rejection or mockery.  I was especially impressed at her handling of “difficult” students.  She was never flustered, never angry, but always calm and good-humored, adeptly redirecting them toward the task at hand.  She is also relentless when it comes to student success, tracking down those who have fallen behind and not letting up until they are on the path to recovery.  Her students clearly adore her, and I’m sure her calm and steady presence has provided a sanctuary for many of them over the years.  I know I would have loved to have had Ms. Guerrero as a teacher when I was in high school, and I hope one day to provide students a classroom as warm and inviting as hers.”

Thank you, Karen, for welcoming our UTeachers into your classroom, and for modeling the kind of learning environment we wish all teachers to create for their learners.

Spring 2020 Cooperating Teacher Spotlight

2020 Spotlight

Top Row - Stacey Shapiro – Zilker Elementary/Austin ISD, Christianne Cecil – Dailey Middle School/Del Valle ISD, Diana Adamson – McCallum High School/Austin ISD. Bottom row - Courtney Diranieh/Austin High School/Austin ISD, Melissa Prepster – Gorzycki Middle School/Austin ISD. To find out more about each teacher, please click on their name.  

Spring 2019 Graduation - Cooperating Teachers Honored

Spring 2019 CT Spotlight Winners

Cooperating Teachers are pictured above, clockwise from the top left. Sylvia Burcham – Brentwood Christian School, Liesl Patteson – Vandegrift High School/Leander ISD, William Shoaf – Kealing Middle School/Austin ISD, Hiroko Fukuhara-Karch – Liberal Arts and Science Academy/Austin ISD, Kat Kelley – Austin High School/Austin ISD. To find out more about each teacher, please click on their name.  


Spring 2018 Graduation - Cooperating Teachers Honored

Spring 2018 CT Spotlight Teachers

Cooperating Teachers are pictured above, clockwise from the top left. Peggy Zahm – Gattis Elementary/Round Rock ISD, Richard Horn – Connally High School/Pflugerville ISD, Kris Campos – Cedar Park High School/Leander ISD, Jaclyn Fallin – Crockett High School/Austin ISD, James Wyatt – Murchison Middle School/Austin ISD.   

Spring 2017 Graduation - Cooperating Teachers Honored

172 CT Spotlight

Cooperating teachers are pictured above, clockwise from the top left. Kim Denning-Knapp - McNeil High School/Round Rock ISD, Terry Williams - Lamar Middle School/Austin ISD, Josephine Skaer - LASA/Austin ISD, MilyBett Llanos-Gremillion - Westwood High School/Round Rock ISD, and Will Barrera - Allison Elementary/Austin ISD. 


Spring 2016 Graduation - Cooperating Teachers Honored

Cooperating Teacher Spotlight

Cooperating teachers are pictured above, clockwise from the top left. Isabel Ahearn-Ortega Elementary, Yolanda Melendez-Fulmore Middle School, Becky Stewart-Brentwood Christian Academy, Stacy Webster-Academy for Global Studies/English, Jennifer (JJ) Melgar-Westwood High School/German), Hellen Barczi-Hendrickson High School/Social Studies.