Teacher Named Winner for HEB Education Award

High School Teacher Named Winner for H-E-B Education Award
Posted on 05/07/2020
Photo: H-E-B NewsroomIn the midst of these challenging times, Clear Lake High School Career and Technical Education Teacher Laura Dunham was thrilled to receive some special news this week.

She has been awarded the 2020 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award in the Rising Star-Secondary category after being named a finalist for the award back in February. Please click here for H-E-B’s video profile of Dunham's teaching philosophies and her incredible work inside the classroom.
 
In its 19th year, the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards program spotlights best practices and celebrates the passion and creativity of Texas educators. H-E-B announced the winners during a virtual Toast to Texas Teachers organized by the #TeachersCan initiative in celebration of National Teacher Appreciation Week. Winners receive $5,000 and their schools receive a matching $5,000 grant.

Clear Lake High School Principal David Drake is proud of Dunham and not surprised at all.

“She is an excellent teacher and passionate about her kids,” he said. “I think that’s what the secret to success is for her classes.”

Dunham received a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with a major in interior design and then worked in interior design and architecture for 10 years before obtaining her teaching certification in family and consumer sciences at the high school level. This is her fifth year teaching overall and her third year teaching at Clear Lake High School.

“My goal as a teacher is to make class fun, no matter what we are covering that day,” she said. “I think of dynamic ways that I can engage the students and help them to lead their learning.”

She says that when students feel comfortable in a space, that is when they can truly learn. This is evident in how they feel about her.

“She’s really great at being intentional and I’m genuinely inspired by it,” said Clear Lake High School senior Kristyn Theriot. “She teaches lessons beyond the classroom that I’m going to take into my daily life.”

Dunham engages students by building relationships with them and encouraging them to learn through hands-on experiences.

“There are a lot of careers where you really get your hands dirty and a lot of kids don’t know that they have those skills within them,” Dunham said. “It’s really neat to see that creativity spark as they learn to sew or draw and how they find a new passion through that.”

It turns out her students are just as passionate about learning from her as she is about being their teacher.

“I can’t tell you the impact she has made because it’s so much larger than our school and herself,” Theriot said. “She’s so much more than a teacher.”
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