HOUSTON – Oct. 3, 2018 – Tuesday morning started like a regular school day for two Spring ISD teachers and their students but quickly became something extra-special when Tyler Ervin, Houston Texans running back, along with representatives from First Community Credit Union and the Stars in the Classroom competition, made a surprise visit to their classes.
Tara Brown, a special education teacher at Meyer Elementary School, and Coach Detrick Jones, a physical education teacher at Cooper Elementary School, were each nominated by one of their students and were among only 10 teachers selected in the Houston area as “stars in the classroom” for going above and beyond for their students.
“Coach is the best coach that I’ve ever known, and he gives the school opportunities and stuff to look forward to,” said A’yanna Collins, a third grader at Cooper Elementary who nominated Jones with help from her mother.
Cooper Principal Leticia Gonzalez agreed that Jones met the criteria for the award.
“Coach Jones is an excellent choice for this reward because he is very student-centered. He goes above and beyond in trying to bring outside experiences into the classroom for students. And he does it all the time. There is never a time when he is not doing something for the children,” Gonzalez said.
Brown, who was reading to her students when the group visited her class, was pleased that special education was being recognized. She has been working with Lilyana Saldana, the student who nominated her, since she was three years old. Saldana is now in the fourth grade, and her mother is grateful to Brown for going above and beyond to make students feel included.
“Giving trust to someone with your kids is hard but even more so when your child cannot communicate or needs a lot of extra care that only moms feel we can do,” wrote Soledad Lara in Brown’s nomination. “My daughter is overjoyed to see Mrs. Brown in school and comes home happy.”
Made possible through a partnership between the First Community Credit Union and the Houston Texans, the online competition is now in its eighth year.
Nancy Trennel, senior vice president of marketing for First Community Credit Union, remembers when the idea for the recognition was first implemented. She said that coming from a family of teachers gave the program personal meaning for her.
“It was really important from a personal perspective and a credit union perspective for us to find a way to give back,” Trennel said.
Each teacher received a commemorative custom game ball; two tickets to a Houston Texans home game, including parking and sideline passes; a $500 donation to the school district in their honor; and a $200 Palais Royal gift card. In addition, the students who nominated them each received a football, and the principal of each school received a custom commemorative football for their school.