Press Releases

DECEMBER 18, 2017
CONTACT: MICHAEL L. GILLETTE at (512) 440-1991

Texarkana Teacher Receives Statewide Award

Humanities Texas is pleased to announce that Nicole Brisco of Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana is one of thirteen recipients of the 2017 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.

State Representative Gary VanDeaver and Humanities Texas Program Officer Sam Moore will present Brisco with her award during Pleasant Grove High School’s Holiday Luncheon on Wednesday, December 20.

Humanities Texas presents annual statewide awards to 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.

In her 19 years at Pleasant Grove High School, Brisco has taught honors, pre-AP and AP classes in subjects ranging from art surveys to design, drawing and sculpture.

“Ms. Brisco has a profound talent and knowledge of the humanities, but more importantly she is an expert in her craft of teaching students at high levels of creativity,” said Principal Mendy Sharp. “She is a pillar of Pleasant Grove High School and our school district and represents our history of excellence at the local, state and national level. She and her students have truly made an impact on the arts around the world.”

In addition to classroom teaching, Brisco speaks at state and national art education professional development programs, sharing information on visual culture and curriculum-building with fellow educators. She is also a division chair for the National Art Education Association, a position she has held since 2010. That same year, Brisco won the Secondary Educator of the Year award from the Texas Art Education Association.

“The humanities set into motion ways for students to consider our world, learn empathy for others and process ideas,” said Brisco. “As a public school art educator, I knew I wanted to find students’ gifts and challenge their abilities in real and unique ways. I challenged myself to become an innovative educator who would build students up with their gifts and push them further than they had been pushed in the traditional classroom.”

“It is my privilege to present Ms. Nicole Brisco with her 2017 Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award,” said Rep. VanDeaver. “Ms. Brisco’s artistic talent is amazing, but the real treasure is in the love of art that she instills in her students. That will be her legacy for generations to come."

“Humanities Texas is pleased to recognize the achievements of Nicole Brisco and Pleasant Grove High School,” said Humanities Texas Executive Director Michael L. Gillette. “Brisco inspires and motivates her students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Brisco will receive a $5,000 cash award, with an additional $500 for Pleasant Grove High School 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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Nicole Brisco.

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