5 Rice master’s students receive Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers

The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation recently announced that five students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies are among 100 recipients of the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers.

The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation recently announced that five students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies are among 100 recipients of the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers.

Rice’s Glasscock School, housed in the Anderson-Clarke Center, is the leading university continuing education program in Houston. It offers Master of Arts in Teaching programs as well as principal and teacher certifications, among its many personal and professional development opportunities.

The inaugural cohort was chosen from a pool of 350 candidates through a competitive selection process, which included a written application, interviews, group activities and a demonstration teaching lesson. All scholars are committed to teaching in high-needs Texas public schools or in hard-to-fill subject areas. They will receive an $8,000 scholarship during each year of their studies, as well as ongoing training, mentorship and networking opportunities facilitated by the foundation.

The scholars who are attending Rice are Steffanie Alter, Ashley McDonald, Rachel Omerza, Heather Schweikhardt and Christen Smajstrla.

“Teaching is one of society’s most important professions, and strong teachers are critical to the future of Texas,” said Charles Butt, founder of Raise Your Hand Texas and the Holdsworth Center and chairman and CEO of H-E-B. “I am thrilled to welcome this first cohort of Charles Butt Scholars and believe this initiative is an important first step in encouraging our best and brightest to consider a career as a teacher.”

The scholarship is part of the Raising Texas Teachers initiative, a 10-year, $50 million project designed to support university-based teacher preparation programs in addressing the needs of 21st-century students, elevate the status of the teaching profession and inspire top students to pursue teaching.

As a leader in teacher preparation in Texas, Rice is one of 10 premier university programs chosen to partner with Raising Texas Teachers in its inaugural year. Over time, the scholarship program will grow to include at least 500 scholars annually and expand to include leadership development opportunities for the state’s top high school students interested in a career in education, according to the foundation.

“Teachers are our greatest hope for the future of this country,” said Judy Radigan, director of the Glasscock School’s Education Department, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. “Teachers who work in our public schools with the changing demographics of our young people and the challenging needs of these students deserve our well-informed attention. We are working with our partner universities collaboratively to grow strong teacher-preparation programs.”

For information about the Glasscock School’s Education Department and its Master of Arts in Teaching programs, principal and teacher certifications, go to http://education.rice.edu.

The Glasscock School is the leading university continuing education program in Houston. Its mission is to advance Rice’s commitment to educational outreach by providing lifelong personal and professional development opportunities to the larger community. Established in 1967, the school welcomes more than 20,000 enrollments into its programs each year. For more information, go to http://glasscock.rice.edu.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.