Posted on May 14, 2024 by Katelyn Juarez

Charles Butt Scholars Giselle Ochoa, David Pavon Sanchez, and Evelyn Martinez at the Teacher Induction Ceremony.

Charles Butt Scholars Giselle Ochoa, David Pavon Sanchez, and Evelyn Martinez at the Teacher Induction Ceremony.

SAN ANTONIO – The first cohort of Charles Butt Scholars, including Evelyn Martinez, Giselle Ochoa, and David Pavon Sanchez, will graduate this Friday, May 17 at the Alamodome. They are the inaugural graduates of the scholarship from UTSA’s College of Education and Human Development, receiving their degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration of EC-6 Bilingual.

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.

Specifically, Pavon Sanchez has used the scholarship to help cover the cost of tuition and has allowed him to take a step back from his full-time job to focus on his studies and clinical teaching.

Pavon Sanchez aspired to be an educator because he wanted to be the teacher he never had. “I want to be there to support all the newcomers’ kids like I was,” explained Pavon Sanchez. “I remember feeling scared of being an immigrant, so now becoming an educator I want to make sure the immigrant students and newcomers feel safe in my classroom.”

Pursuing a bilingual teaching degree was important for Pavon Sanchez, “I feel like being bilingual is a superpower, so I wanted to put it to work. I also see it as a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it becomes, so I wanted to improve my Spanish.” Working with Spanish-speaking kids is ideal for Pavon Sanchez as he sees himself in them.

Pavon Sanchez has signed his letter of employment with North East Independent School District as a bilingual teacher and is hoping to teach 1st grade.

A Charles Butt Scholar 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, the 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.

The Charles Butt Scholarship program provides exclusive access and membership to affinity groups that can assist with networking, job placement, additional training, and the selection of a mentor from the Charles Butt Mentorship Program.

The next class of Charles Butt Scholars are anticipated to graduate in 2027.

— Katelyn Juarez