Trinity University's Murchison Tower. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Trinity University will be awarding their prestigious Trinity Award for Excellence in Teaching to two of 19 finalists announced in this year’s competition.

A blue-ribbon panel of business and civic leaders as well as outstanding students from Trinity’s education department will review each of the finalists in depth, and announce the two winners at a ceremony on April 29 at Ruth Taylor Concert Hall on the Trinity campus. All finalists will receive $2,500 in cash and a crystal apple from Tiffany & Co. Prizes are co-sponsored by H-E-B and the San Antonio Express-News.

Trinity’s education department is a nationally recognized leader in teacher training, and has produced some of the city’s most innovative educators. The Trinity Award focuses on both outstanding teaching and educational leadership, encouraging the promotion of best practices and innovative thought in the field.

Nominations for the award come from the 21 districts affiliated with the Center for Educational Leadership.

This year’s finalists include:

  • Michelle Candland – special education teacher at Alamo Heights High School
  • Michael Gillette –AP US History teacher at Boerne Samuel V. Champion High School
  • Pamela Blair – 5th grade ELA teacher at Indian Springs Elementary School in Comal ISD
  • Janette Chall – 2nd grade teacher at Harmony Elementary School in East Central ISD
  • Leah Goff – 4th grade teacher at Fort Sam Houston Elementary School
  • Bridget Williams – 8th grade math teacher and math department chair at Terrell Wells Middle School in Harlandale ISD
  • Teresa Pena- adult years vocational instructor at Judson Secondary Alternative Campus
  • Patrick Button – 2nd grade teacher at Lackland Elementary
  • Javier Melendez – 5th grade teacher at Bulverde Creek Elementary School in North East ISD
  • Carol Marie Hudson – kindergarten teacher at Henry T. Brauchle Elementary School in Northside ISD
  • Deborah Wells – 1st grade teacher at Randolph Field Elementary School
  • Dora Alicia Garcia – 1st grade teacher at Martin Luther King Academy in San Antonio ISD
  • Stacy Reed – 8th grade science and Pre-AP science teacher at J. Frank Dobie Junior High School in Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD
  • Amber Simpson – master teacher at SSG Michael P. Barrera Veterans Elementary School in Somerset ISD
  • Mary Ann Ochoa – 2nd grade bilingual teacher at Five Palms Elementary School South San Antonio ISD
  • Katherine Lujan – collaborative learning facilitator of science and math at J.L. Matthey Middle School in Southside ISD
  • Yara Schutter – 1st grade teacher at Southwest Elementary School
  • Robyn Borth – middle school reading and language arts, upper school transitions, and American History teacher and cheer coach at The Winston School of San Antonio
  • Calvin W. Lambert – Senior Naval instructor- NJROTC at Uvalde High School

These teachers have been recognized for their exceptional commitment and willingness to go above and beyond their job descriptions in serving their students. They were recognized in a reception on March 23 at Trinity University.

Top image: Trinity University’s Murchison Tower.  Photo by Scott Ball. 

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Bekah McNeel

Bekah McNeel is a native San Antonian. You can also find her at her blog,, on Twitter @BekahMcneel, and on Instagram @wanderbekah.