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Cooperating Teachers

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.  

UTL 101 - Introduction to the Teaching Profession
Sylvia Burcham, Brentwood Christian School

A UTeach-LA 101 CT,  has a special challenge…taking on a student intern that has not yet committed to the field of education…a student who is simply exploring the possibilities.  You never know what kind of intern will walk into your classroom…they are the rookies.   Despite this uncertainty, for the past 12 years, our 2019 CT 101 Spotlight, Sylvia Burcham has enthusiastically welcomed 101 interns into her classroom.

When asked to describe Sylvia as a mentor, 101 interns consistently used phrases like, “extremely kind, attentive to my questions, provided excellent feedback, amazing at classroom management as well as encouraging and helpful.”    One student wrote, “Even when I messed up, she responded with grace and was so positive.  She was always very supportive and incredibly knowledgeable about teaching.”

Students assigned to her classroom mention that Sylvia, “gave great constructive criticism in a very respectful manner and made me feel welcome in her classroom. “  She is described as being “very helpful and professional and she provided an excellent model of a productive classroom.”  “She is a gem of a teacher.”

When speaking of mentors, Maya Angelou stated, “In order to be a mentor, and an effective one, one must care.  You must care…care about what you know and care about the person you’re sharing with.”  It is obvious that Sylvia is a teacher who cares…not only about the students in her classroom but the students that will become our future teachers.

It is with deep appreciation, that we thank Sylvia Burcham for her support of the UTeach-Liberal Arts program. Back to top.

UTL 202 - Introduction to Teaching Middle School
William Shoaf Kealing Middle School, Austin ISD

William has been with the program since 2008. During that time, he has mentored about 20 students averaging one student every semester for the last eleven years.   

Some of the lucky students were able to observe one of his elective classes.  They were super excited because they were either going to be in his Conspiracy Theory class or his class on World War II films.   

One student wrote,  “Mr. Shoaf is such an empowering teacher.  He was so inspiring that when he had class discussion, I felt like one of the students and wanted to contribute to the discussion.”  Another student wrote, “Mr. Shoaf’s ability to engage students is amazing.” 

In summary the UTeach program is a top teacher education program because of teachers like William.  One student put it best when he said, “Mr. Shoaf was willing to let me make mistakes so that I could learn from them but he always made me feel confident when I messed up.” Back to top.

UTL 640 - Teaching in Secondary Schools, Languages Other Than English
Hiroko Fukuhara-Karch, Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Austin ISD

Hiroko is the epitome of a supportive Cooperating LOTE Teacher. She hosts aspiring Japanese teachers from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School in Austin ISD. Hiroko intentionally creates a welcoming classroom environment that is an effective learning space for both her students and aspiring teachers. Walking into her classroom, expect to hear students chattering, focused on tasks that they are engaging in collaboratively, as laughter and excitement are the buzz. However; don’t expect to readily understand any of the banter or discussions as they are all in Japanese! It is a refreshing retreat into what it feels like to be immersed in another country when walking into the learning space that Hiroko has crafted for those who enter. Students eagerly communicate with each other and learn together through speaking, listening to, reading and writing in Japanese. With Hiroko, student teachers learn the art and science of creating learning spaces that promote language acquisition and language learning without the need for English. When students leave this classroom experience, they are being prepared to function with the Japanese language and in Japanese cultures. This takes purposeful, focused and relentless support, of which Hiroko supplies on a daily basis for those who are privileged to grace her classroom. It is an unforgettable experience that propels our aspiring UTeach Japanese Teachers in the clear direction of teaching proficiency. Hiroko, thank you for being a training space for all who enter your classroom! Our UTeachers genuinely appreciate the experience with Hiroko. Hiroko is spotlighted because she offers the balanced and appropriate amount of support and push to grow UTeachers in becoming solid LOTE educators. Back to top.

UTL 640 - Teaching in Secondary Schools, ENGLISH
Kat Kelley, Austin High School, Austin ISD

“Kat Kelley cares so much about her students, her peers, and anyone who may need her help. Kat's support as my cooperating teacher has been invaluable to my growth as an educator. Her compassion translates into her ability to create an equitable and caring classroom. She is everything a model teacher should be and more.”

Claire Zimmerman, Spring 2019 UTLA Graduate

 “When I push myself to be a better teacher, in my mind I’m pushing myself to be more like Kat. She is an unequivocal advocate for every student in her room and manages to create a classroom environment of respect and high expectations while remaining kind to all her students. As a cooperating teacher, she scaffolded my interactions with students in a way that supported and encouraged me.”

Grace Worm, Dripping Springs HS ELA Teacher & Spring 2014 UTLA Graduate

Kat Kelley teaches Pre-AP English II and AP English III in the Academy for Global Studies and Peer Assistance, Leadership, and Service (PALS) at Austin High School in AISD. Ms. Kelley is a 2009 graduate of UT Austin and the UTeach-LA program. In the last seven years, Kat has mentored ten UTLA students during their high school internship and/or student teaching semesters. Like Claire and Grace, Kat’s students and colleagues are consistently impressed with her ability to create a welcoming, respectful community of learners and her drive to reach and support all students. They are further inspired by her unwavering commitment to cultivating empathy in others.We consider ourselves lucky to call Kat Kelley both a product of and cooperating teacher for the UTeach-Liberal Arts program. Back to top.

UTL 640 - Teaching in Secondary Schools, SOCIAL STUDIES
Liesl Patteson, Vandegrift High School, Leander ISD

This year’s social studies spotlight teacher of the year is Liesl Patteson from Vandegrift High School in Leander ISD. She teaches US History and is the Social Studies Department Chair.

In the past, UTeach-Liberal Arts had face-to-face training sessions for cooperating teachers. At one of those training sessions, Liesl said, “ I love this program and I am willing to be a cooperating teacher whenever you need me.” Those words were magic to our ears and she has been a cooperating teacher for UTeach-LA ever since. Because of this relationship, Liesl has helped mentor and prepare UTeach-LA students who would eventually become teachers across Texas, in her own district, and on her campus. Another reason Liesl was chosen was because of her willingness to take on this responsibility while at the same time teaching all levels of US History and holding leadership positions on her campus. It takes a committed teacher to know that they must not only teach the students they are given each year but also to prepare those students who will be taking their place one day. UTeach-LA thanks Liesl Patteson for supporting our program and the future of social studies. Back to top.

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.