Posted on November 10, 2023 by Frances Sanchez

November 7, 2023 - COEHD welcomed the first class of Charles Butt Scholars, who received awards of $8,000. The Charles Butt Scholarship supports future Texas public school teachers through their academic careers to increase the number and diversity of high-quality Texas teachers.

 The five recipients include three clinical teachers working at local area schools in districts where COEHD's teacher residency programs have long-standing partnerships. The other two recipients are freshmen committed to fulfilling their teacher certifications and giving back to their community.

 "It wasn't until my sophomore year of college when I decided to become a bilingual teacher. I made this decision based on my experiences during my field placement experience where I got to go into an elementary classroom for one day a week," said David Pavon Sanchez, scholarship recipient and clinical teacher. I remember my first classroom being a normal monolingual class, and liking it, but it wasn't until I stepped into a bilingual classroom that I fell in love with those kids. I realized how much I related to them. With a lot of students being immigrants and newcomers, I knew I wanted to be in those classrooms."

Sanchez is a senior completing his degree in Bilingual Education and using his award to help offset the cost of tuition.

 "This year, I am doing my clinical teaching, where I will be in the classroom four days a week. By receiving these funds, I no longer have to worry about working full time, doing my clinical teaching, and also being a full-time college student," said Sanchez.

 Charles Butt Scholars must demonstrate a commitment to teaching in Texas public schools, maintain a 3.0 GPA once selected, maintain full-time status, enroll in a scholarship-eligible program like the one in COEHD, and complete the required certification exams. Upon graduation, scholars must teach in a majority economically disadvantaged school (where more than 50% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch) or in a shortage of subject areas such as math, science, bilingual, or special education.

"I am doing my student teaching in a split class that has kindergarten and 1st grade. I like it because I am able to see the differences between both grade levels. When you work with younger kids it is really amazing to be able to see their progress from the beginning," said Giselle Ochoa, scholarship recipient and clinical teacher. "Some students start the school year with no knowledge of letters and are now able to identify and sound out a few letters. I enjoy being able to experience their growth and see what ideas they come up with. They can be so creative, and sometimes they even teach me new ways of doing something."

The scholarship program comes with exclusive access and membership to affinity groups that help them with networking, job placement, or additional training. And can select their mentor from the Charles Butt Mentorship Program, which is a wonderful resource to pair with the COEHD faculty and staff who have also assisted them through their clinical journey.

The Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers is now accepting applications for its next class of award recipients. More information about their eligibility requirements can be found here. Students interested in or needing more information about the teacher certification process can visit the Office of Professional Preparation & Partnerships or the Academy for Teacher Excellence .

— Frances Sanchez