Kit Price Blount, LeoTeach Director, arrived at TAMU-Commerce in August, 2013, following appointments at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (13 years) and Angelo State University (7 years). Her experience in higher education includes over 25 years of teaching geoscience courses, facilitating faculty development, and writing and implementing funded initiatives primarily in support of STEM pre-service and in-service professional development. Her undergraduate degree in Earth Sciences with secondary teacher certification is from Wittenberg University (Ohio); Master’s degree from DePauw University (Indiana); Ph.D. in Physical Geography (geomorphology) from Indiana State University. She enjoys participating on a Mars geological mapping team (funded by NASA), traveling to the shore (any shore is great, but especially the coast of Maine!), and quilting when time permits.
Donna Tavener, LeoTeach Advisor, has over 38 years of experience in education as a public school STEM teacher, department chair, coach, university clinical instructor and director of educator certification. She has served as advisor in the LeoTeach program since October 2011. She has been recognized as the Hunt County Science Teacher of the Year, Commerce ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year and is a member of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Athletic Hall of Fame. Ms. Tavener received both her BS and MS from Georgia Southwestern State University and completed coursework for principal certification from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She enjoys all types of sporting events and reading.
Carole Walker, LeoTeach Support, came home in 1995 from the Duval County (Florida) Public Schools to teach teachers to teach at East Texas State University, now A&M-Commerce. In Jacksonville, she held a number of school and district leadership roles including directing two Magnet Schools Assistance Program multi-year grants totaling almost $20 million. Carole’s most recent grant experience is with the OELA funded ¡Listo! grant.
Her doctorate is from the University of Florida where her dissertation concerned teaching behaviors associated with the academic achievement of gifted and academically talented African American students. Her in-depth experience with undergraduate teacher education, leadership of the NET CPDT Centers Council, and the Greenville ISD Bright Beginnings induction program has been helpful as LeoTeach took on new life within the Curriculum & Instruction Department in late March 2013.
Teacher research is a passion. During the last year of ¡Listo!, she guided teachers in Garland and Greenville ISDs through their investigations to determine the impact of their self-selected innovative practices on the engagement and achievement of the English Learners in their classes. They shared their results at the Second Annual Action Research Colloquium at A&M- Commerce in March 2011 where they said of their research experiences:
It is great to be involved in a culture of research. Being there was very motivating.
Alfonso Casares, Spanish Teacher, Lakeview Centennial High School
It is a validation of the hard work we put in. We received positive responses and great feedback. Chris Cuadra, Science Teacher, LCHS
Our students need to be involved in the colloquium also.
Mary Grace Bagaoisan, ESL Teacher, LCHS
I got to answer questions about something that I am really interested in. Commerce was good practice for TESOL. ELL Teachers, South Garland HS
I thought of a teacher as artistic and imaginative. Research has made me a more reflective practitioner. Loryfel Pabelona, ELL Teacher, SGHS
People are intrigued to know. This is very simple, but so powerful.
DeShawn Garner, Science Teacher, LCHS
Carole worships at First United Methodist Church and is a Lay Member of the North Texas Annual Conferences; follows the Rangers, Mavericks, and Cowboys, loves the Florida Gators and Miami Dolphins; is looking forward to vacations on the beach at Pawleys Island, S.C. in July, on Cape Cod in August, and at the US Open in NYC Labor Day weekend with her grandchildren Ryan, Evan, and Brooke and their parents Ron and Lara Davis. At work and at play she is richly blessed.