We are pleased to showcase two more 2018 Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award recipients and their recent award presentations. Each award-winner received $5,000, with an additional $500 for their respective schools to purchase humanities-based instructional materials. Read more about these amazing Texas teachers below!
Texas State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. and Humanities Texas board member Dr. Nolan Perez presented Linda Salinas with a 2018 Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award during a ceremony at Harlingen High School on January 21, 2019.
Salinas currently teaches U.S. history, AP European history, and a web technologies class. She is also the social studies department chair.
"What I love most about the study of humanities is that it is interwoven with all subjects," stated Salinas. "By providing a well-rounded education and developing students' communication and critical thinking skills, we are creating individuals who have a greater appreciation and understanding of humanity."
For Salinas, leadership outside of school is as important as students' performance in the classroom. She and her students work hard to support literacy and education in their communities. Last year, they collected donations to purchase Little Free Libraries and hosted book drives to create small lending libraries across the city. As the assistant director of the school's drill team, in addition to teaching her students how to dance and work as a team, Salinas teaches them how to be responsible members of the local community.
"Mrs. Salinas is one of the best educators I have seen in my twenty-two-year career in education," said Imelda Munivez, principal of Harlingen High School. "Over the course of her nine-year career, she has maintained her passion and love for students—taking her teaching to the next level every year and astounding our entire Harlingen CISD community."
On February 23, 2019, Humanities Texas Coordinator of Public Programs Kelsi Tyler presented Kristian Lenderman with the 2018 Julius Glickman Educational Leadership Award, a new Outstanding Teaching Award category that celebrates teachers who demonstrate exceptional leadership in the educational field.
Lenderman, who taught Texas history, world geography, and English language arts for five years in the classroom, transitioned to a position as the Turnaround Opportunities Through Active Learning (T.O.T.A.L.) facilitator for the System of Care Department in Spring Branch ISD in 2018.
"Humanities teachers have a huge responsibility—not only do we need to teach the reading, writing, and history standards, we have to push our students to develop the skills that make them successful participants in our democracy," stated Lenderman. "My greatest accomplishments as a teacher have been those moments where students recognize and act upon their own power."
Even before beginning her new position as T.O.T.A.L. facilitator, Lenderman was a restorative justice lead and behavior coordinator. In those positions, she provided direct support to struggling students and coordinated a team of teachers to intervene on their behalf. Under her leadership, her middle school nearly eliminated suspensions and fostered a successful learning environment for its students.
"Kristian truly exemplifies the best in our profession," commented Northbrook Middle School Principal Sarah Guerrero. "Her commitment to work for a better world, continuous pursuit of learning, and high expectations and love for students leads her to continuously reflect on student needs and how she can redesign the school experience to better meet their needs."