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Parker Teacher Selected For Texas ASCD 2019 T.E.A.C.H. Award For Outstanding Achievement

Rutherford to be recognized at the awards ceremony

Aaron Parker’s fourth-grade math and science teacher, Jennifer Rutherford, has been selected by the Texas ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) as the recipient of the T.E.A.C.H. Award (Texas Educators Achieving Classroom Honors).

Nominated for the award by her principal Kristin Hughes, it recognizes Rutherford for her innovative efforts in the classroom that impact the students she teaches and inspires other educational professionals. 

Eligibility requirements were for teachers with less than five years of classroom experience who teach PK-12.  The criteria included effective classroom teaching practices, one who serves as a mentor and inspiration to students and challenges students to achieve at a higher level. 

Rutherford, who initially worked in the criminal justice field, felt the call to education and began her teaching journey four years ago at Parker. She has taught third through fifth-grade science, served as the campus webmaster and technology support and served on the Campus Improvement Committee, Campus Leadership Team, and TEKS Resource System Cadre. 

“Mrs. Rutherford makes herself available to her students before and after school for help,” said Hughes in her nomination of Rutherford. “She cares about the whole child; not just academics. Mrs. Rutherford looks for root causes as to why students struggle. She will dig through historical data prior to RTI meetings on specific students to find why they are struggling.” 

Hughes noted specific instances with students in Rutherford’s classroom where she analyzed their behavior, learned their triggers and developed trusting relationships with the students. In both instances, there were noticeable improvements in teacher-student relationships and their learning behaviors. 

Hughes said, “Not only does Mrs. Rutherford build relationships with each one of her students, but she goes above and beyond to make learning fun and exciting for her students.”

Last spring, Rutherford recruited other teachers on her campus to help with after school ‘Boot Camp’ tutorials. She enlisted any student who wanted to attend, decorated a room like a military base learning camp and provided dog tags for each of the students. Dressed as a drill sergeant, she and the other teachers tutored on a regular and consistent basis. The students had fun learning, grew academically and had test scores to prove it. 

Rutherford will be honored at Texas ASCD’s All-Attendee Breakfast and Award Ceremony on Tuesday, October 29, during the 2019 Annual Conference at the Irving Convention Center.