Gary Strickland, of Coleman ISD, named finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year

AUSTIN, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - The Texas Association of School Administrators today announced the 6 finalists for Texas Teacher of the Year, and one of them is from Coleman ISD.

Gary Strickland of Coleman High School has been announced as a finalist for Texas Teacher of the Year. The TASA chose 6 educators, 3 elementary and 3 secondary, as their finalists from the pool of 40 Regional Texas Teachers of the Year.

The elementary finalists include Amy Hooten of Paris ISD, Andrea Lucas of San Antonio ISD and Marissa Torres of White Settlement ISD. The secondary educators include Tara Bordeaux of Austin ISD, Andrea Garza of United ISD and Gary Strickland of Coleman ISD.

Mr. Strickland has been in education for 15 years, and currently teaches Physics, Research and Design (Rocketry) and Integrated Physics and Chemistry. Under his direction, the Coleman High School Rocketry Team qualified for the National Team America Rocketry Challenge in Washington, D.C. in 2016.

Coleman ISD Superintendent Skip McCambridge says of Mr. Strickland: “Gary has not only a passion for his subject but a stronger passion for his kids.  He believes “failing to try” is worse than “trying and failing”.  He would make a great ambassador to represent everything that is right in public education.  We are fortunate and proud to have Gary on our staff.”

Gary Strickland had this to say in a release from the TASA:

“Our role as educators is more complex now than ever,” said Strickland, who teaches physics, scientific research and design, biology, and integrated physics and chemistry at Coleman High School in Coleman ISD. “Yes, we must be content experts, but we must understand that content knowledge is ubiquitous; a student doesn’t need a teacher to learn facts. They do need us, however, to help them process their new knowledge. They need a guide and a mentor to help them create new mental models and synthesize this new information.” Strickland became a teacher in 2002, after 20 years of self-employment in the agriculture and pest control industries.

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