Model Teachers Honored in Washington, DC

Texas Teachers, Counselors and a Principal Invited to Nation's Capital

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Princeton, NJ (September 4, 2012) —

This press release is also available in Spanish.

Five outstanding educators from Dallas, Irving and San Antonio, Texas are visiting the nation’s capital September 5-9 under the auspices of Dallas-based Parents Step Ahead Teacher Ambassador initiative. The program recognizes the efforts of these ambassadors in encouraging parents to engage in the education of their children.

Founded in 2006, Parents Step Ahead (PSA) has conducted parental engagement programs in the Greater Dallas area and in San Antonio, reaching more than 25,000 parents and guardians. Participants in the Washington, DC visit have excelled in the Teacher Ambassador program supported by Educational Testing Service (ETS) of Princeton, New Jersey, whose K-12 Division is headquartered in San Antonio.

Parents in PSA programs learn about parenting with love and logic, the roles of guidance counselors, the importance of tests, test-taking skills and reading to children, and information to help build a college-bound culture in the home, among other child-rearing topics. Each year PSA honors outstanding parents or guardians who have made a difference in the educational and personal development of children. The program is also supported by national and local companies.

While in Washington, the five model educators will have meetings with their delegations in Congress, and will tour the White House, the Capitol and the Pentagon. ETS officials will host them at the ETS offices in Washington.

A highlight of the visit will be their participation in the 9th annual Latina Style magazine National Latina Symposium on September 6 in nearby Arlington, Virginia. Following last year’s event, Latina Style President and CEO Robert Bard will recognize these outstanding models of school engagement with parents.

“We congratulate the educators selected for this year’s program,” said Lupita Colmenero, founder and chair of the board of directors of PSA and publisher of El Hispano News in Dallas. “And we salute ETS for its vision in believing in and supporting our model of parental engagement.”

Bard noted that “the presence of these outstanding teachers at our annual Latina symposium allows us to underscore the importance of education to Latinos. That will be a highlight of the entire day’s agenda.”

The Ambassadors selected for the PSA Washington visit are:

  • Demarius Howard, Counselor, Jack Singley Academy, Irving
    Melanie Maine, Counselor, Sam Houston Middle School, Irving
    Lorraine Mantei, Principal, La Academia de Estrellas, Dallas
    Sherqueena Myles, Teacher, Urban Park Elementary, Dallas

Also joining the group is María del Rosario Siller, Principal of Cable Elementary School in San Antonio. Parents Step Ahead has extended its program to Cable in partnership with ETS’s K-12 Division headquarters in San Antonio. ETS, furthermore, is conducting research at the school as part of its efforts to better understand the needs of the 5.5 million English learners in the nation’s public schools.

Yvette Donado, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of ETS, will attend the Latina Style symposium and host a luncheon for the teacher ambassadors. “We all know that parents must play a greater role in their children’s education,” she said. “For several years now, PSA has demonstrated the effectiveness of its model. We salute the Teacher Ambassadors and thank Latina Style for recognizing them.”

About Parents Step Ahead

Parents Step Ahead is a Texas-based initiative with the vision of becoming national and setting the standard as the leading program to increase parental involvement. Our mission is to recognize, educate, enable and empower parents to take a proactive role in the educational and personal development of their children. Parents Step Ahead works in partnership with school districts, corporations and community organizations to offer a series of school-based programs for parents. To learn more about Parents Step Ahead, please visit our website at www.parentsstepahead.org.

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org.