Four student teachers receive Elliott Memorial Award

Robert H. Elliott Award Winners

Tarleton State University

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Four student teachers at Tarleton were recently honored for their outstanding qualities in the classroom by the university’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and were presented with the Robert H. Elliott Memorial Award.

The award’s namesake, Robert H. Elliott, taught in the Tarleton education and psychology department from 1981 until his death in 1990. During that time, Elliott became head of the university’s student teacher program. Following his passing, the award was developed by friends and colleagues in memory of the veteran educator’s enthusiasm for education and devotion to his students.

Elliot shared a keen interest in the accomplishments of interns, recognizing practicum in teaching as the most important event in the professional development of young teachers. Through a long and distinguished career, he never forgot that the primary purpose of the school was to serve the learning and developmental needs of children and adolescents.

The award is presented at the conclusion of each long semester and is awarded to students who exemplify Elliott’s beliefs and those who have shown dedication to the profession of education.

This year’s Early Childhood-6th grade certification level award winner, Brianna Smith of Northlake,Texas, served as a 3rd grade student teacher at Burleson ISD’s Norwood Elementary school under the guidance of Bailey Morris. Smith pursued and recently graduated from Tarleton with a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies with an EC-6 teacher certification.

“Brianna not only meets expectations but excels at them,” said Morris. “Student success is her number one priority. She does whatever it takes to ensure that all students learn, even students not in her class. She makes our campus more positive and effective, and is constantly engaging in some type of professional growth.”

Cheyenne Cook, a student teacher from Stephenville, was selected as the recipient of this year’s 8th-12th grade secondary level certification level award winner. She recently completed her student teaching at Granbury ISD’s Crossland Ninth Grade Center where she taught 10th grade English-Language Arts under the supervision of Kim Dove.

“Cheyenne goes above and beyond what is expected of her each day,” said Dove. “Even during her observation hours, she came to observe twice a week for five hours each, instead of once a week. In her student teaching, Cheyenne has seamlessly taken over the classes for longer than expected and she has done an excellent job of engaging her students, re-teaching and assessing their understanding.”

This year’s All-Level Special Education award winner, Carla Bernal of Comanche, Texas, served as a 4th grade student teacher at De Leon Elementary school under the direction of Crystal Stipes. She recently earned all-level special education certification from at Tarleton.

“Carla displays an exceptional desire for her students to be successful,” said field supervisor Darleen Hearne. “She is willing to go the extra mile to discover strategies and means that facilitate the students’ learning. Carla is a ‘born teacher’ and thrives on researching effective strategies, motivational techniques and differentiating activities of high interest to illicit student participation, while addressing the individual learner.”

Kyndall Trnka, a student teacher from Caldwell, Texas, is this year’s recipient of the All-Level Physical Education award. She recently completed her student teaching at Stephenville ISD’s Central Elementary school where she taught Kindergarten physical education under the supervision of Adam Phillips.

“Kyndall is highly advanced in her ability to relate to students and teachers,” said Phillips. “Her passion for teaching and for her students is evident. She works hard and pursues excellence in everything she does.”


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Kurt Mogonye

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Four student teachers receive Elliott Memorial Award - Media Relations - Tarleton State University