News and Information
Thacker receives prestigious Robert H. Elliott Award
Tarleton State University
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 9, 2011
STEPHENVILLE, Texas—The College of Education at Tarleton State University honored one of its student teachers for his outstanding efforts in the classroom during the fall 2011 practicum.
Stephen M. Thacker, a native of Cleburne, was presented with the Robert H. Elliott Memorial Award during the college’s “Reflections” ceremony, held Friday, Dec. 9 at Tarleton’s Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center auditorium. The ceremony is designed to honor Tarleton’s student teachers, highlight their most memorable moments throughout the school year and recognize student teachers who demonstrate outstanding qualities in the classroom.
Thacker, who will graduate from Tarleton on Dec. 17 with a bachelor of music degree with an all-level music certification, recently completed his student teaching assignments with the Fort Worth and Aledo ISDs under the guidance of Dr. Gary Westbrook, assistant professor of music and director of Tarleton’s athletic bands.
As part of Thacker’s practicum, he student-taught fifth-grade music at Aledo ISD’s Stuard Elementary School under the supervision of cooperating educator, Vickie Mason, and secondary music at Fort Worth ISD’s Paschal High School with mentor teacher Bryan Wright, director of bands.
“Stephen teaches with much confidence and authority, and teaches beyond his years,” said Westbrook. “He is an effective teacher and knows how to plan effective lessons with specific strategies geared for student achievement. During his student teaching, Stephen has definitely developed an outstanding rapport with his students and has helped motivate them to learn.”
During his academic career at Tarleton, Thacker has participated as a percussionist and led the percussion section as caption head for “The Sound and The Fury,” the university’s marching band. He also was a member of Tarleton’s wind ensemble, jazz band and “Foul Play,” a group of student musicians who perform during the men’s and women’s basketball games.
This fall, Thacker was admitted as a percussionist for the U.S. Army Bands and is scheduled to report Jan. 17, 2012, for Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, S.C. He will then attend the Army School of Music’s 10-week program in Norfolk, Va.
The Robert H. Elliott Memorial Award is presented annually by the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction to teacher certification majors who demonstrate the potential for excellence in the classroom.
The award was developed by Elliott’s friends and colleagues in memory of his enthusiasm for education and his devotion to students. The veteran educator and administrator served public schools for many years in Colorado before joining the faculty at Tarleton in 1981. He was a professor in the Department of Education & Psychology and supervisor of the student teacher program at the time of his death in 1990.
Through a long and distinguished career, Elliott never forgot that the primary purpose of the school was to serve the learning and developmental needs of children and adolescents. The award bearing his name is presented after each student teaching session to recognize students who exemplify Elliott’s beliefs and dedication. He shared a keen interest in the accomplishments of student teachers, recognizing practicum in teaching as the most important event in the professional development of young teachers.
Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System
Contact: Kurt Mogonye