Texas Science Teachers Honored for Classroom Innovations


Norma Burke, a pre-AP biology teacher at Early College High School in Houston, was the overall winner of the 2018 Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching, presented today during a special luncheon at TexMed 2018.

Mrs. Burke also took first place in the high school category. She will receive $5,000 for being the overall winner and an additional $6,000 for the high school award. Her school will receive a $2,000 resource grant to enhance science classroom learning.

“I believe that all students should have an opportunity to explore and feel wonder about what they are doing,” Mrs. Burke said. “My passion as a teacher is having students succeed not only in my classroom, but in life.”

Overall, 11 Texas science teachers won Ernest and Sarah Butler Awards for Excellence in Science Teaching for their creativity and passion for teaching science.

TMA honored three first-place winners, one each selected from elementary, middle, and high school entrants. The first-place winners received their awards during TexMed. Three second- and two third-place awards, and three rookie awards (given to science teachers with fewer than five years of teaching experience) will be presented in upcoming hometown ceremonies. 

First-Place Winners:  

  • A’ndrea Fisher – Freiheit Elementary School, New Braunfels  
  • Julie Frey – Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth  
  • Mrs. Burke – Early College High School, Houston  

Second-Place Winners:  

  • Christi Fuchs – Hunt Elementary, Cuero  
  • Megan Ngo – W.P. McLean Middle School, Fort Worth  
  • Anne Marie Wakefield – Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston  

Second-place winners each receive a $4,000 cash prize, and their schools receive a $1,000 resource grant.

Third-Place Winners:  

  • Kelly Suarez – J.C. Thompson Elementary, Haslet  
  • Usha Devathosh – North Houston Early College High School, Houston

TMA gives each third-place winner a $2,000 cash prize and a $1,000 resource grant for the school.

Rookie Award Winners:  

  • Hannah Cotten – Hill Elementary, Austin  
  • Julia Julian – Lamar Middle School, Austin  
  • JoAnna Rogowski – IDEA College Preparatory Mission, Mission  

Each rookie award winner receives a $1,500 cash prize, and the school receives a $1,000 resource grant.


These awards are made possible thanks to a grant from TMA Foundation and its Ernest and Sarah Butler Endowment for Excellence in Science Teaching. 

Last Updated On

May 21, 2018

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