Press Releases

OCTOBER 17, 2017
CONTACT: MICHAEL L. GILLETTE at (512) 440-1991

San Antonio Educator Earns Statewide Teaching Award

Ryan Sprott of the International School of the Americas in San Antonio has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 James F. Veninga Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award by Humanities Texas.

U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro will present the award to Sprott in a ceremony at the Education Service Center Region 20 in San Antonio at noon on Friday, October 20. The presentation will take place during a Humanities Texas professional development workshop on the U.S. Constitution for secondary social studies teachers.

Humanities Texas’s annual statewide awards encourage excellence in teaching and recognize Texas classroom teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development and extracurricular programming. The organization received nearly 700 nominations for the 2017 awards. The James F. Veninga Award is reserved for the teacher who receives the highest rating from the panel of judges.

Sprott, who earned his doctoral degree in education in 2016 and has been teaching for twelve years, teaches EngWhap, a blended AP world history and pre-AP English language arts course at ISA. Sprott is also the dean of the social studies department.

Sprott’s interdisciplinary course, which he designed with one of his colleagues in the English department, provides students with a real world environment in which to learn world history and English and creates a space where students can address contemporary dilemmas while using historical evidence. Sprott extends learning outside of his classroom as well, designing trips to local historical sites, museums and public art institutes and even leading a yearly week-long trip through New Mexico along the Camino Real.

“The humanities provide a dynamic nexus through which students can connect their learning across academic disciplines and with the world beyond the school walls,” said Sprott. “I teach humanities so that students, through exploring these connections, are better positioned to make positive local and global impacts.”

“A passionate, creative teacher can change the trajectory of students’ lives,” commented Congressman Castro. “With his dynamic humanities curricula and commitment to expanding students’ horizons, Dr. Sprott is developing the next generation of engaged, community-minded San Antonians. I look forward to presenting him with this well-deserved honor and thanking him for his work inspiring students and educators alike.”

“Humanities Texas is pleased to recognize the achievements of Ryan Sprott and The International School of the Americas,” said Humanities Texas Executive Director Michael L. Gillette. “Sprott inspires and motivates his students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Sprott will receive a $5,000 cash award, with an additional $500 for ISA to purchase instructional materials.

Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.

Humanities Texas is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Teaching Awards. Additional information about Humanities Texas and its teacher award program is available at

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Ryan Sprott.

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