13:37 PM

Bound For Success: UHD Kingwood Students Awarded at State Convention


By Sheryl E. Taylor

It seemed that the COVID-19 pandemic would put a damper on the Texas State Teachers Association-Aspiring Educators’ 64th Annual State Convention for 42 UHD Kingwood students. 

For the Austin convention, these students were prepared from their paid registration fees to assigned hotel roommates to team T-shirts to carpool assignments.  

Thanks to the Coronavirus, the convention was cancelled. 

Fortunately, Texas State Teachers Association-Aspiring Educators (TSTA-NEA) decided to conduct a virtual conference via Zoom for these aspiring educators. 

Among the 42 students, the following students received honors at the 64th TSTA Annual State Convention:  

  • Outstanding Student Leader: Monica Ordonez  

  • 2nd Place Scrap Book: Tania Garcia and Yakelin Flores  

  • 2nd Place Website: Monica Ordonez 

  • 2nd Place Newsletter: Monica Suastes and Yakelin Flores  

Two students were elected as 2020-2021 District III officers of the TSTA-Aspiring Educators:  

  • President: Clayton Fisher  

  • Vice President: Jessica Blue 

Additionally, Dr. Susan Nelson, urban education faculty member and advisor of the Be A Teacher Club at the Kingwood campus also was honored this year as Outstanding Local Advisor. Nelson joined the UHD faculty in 2012. 

“Since my first convention in 2015, UHD-Kingwood students have received several awards,” said Nelson. “These TSTA-AE awards are representing the best of the Texas Aspiring Educators from many state colleges and universities. And, this year, our student Monica Ordonez received the biggest award of the convention. TSTA-AE give students opportunities for its members to make meaningful connections with not only on campus, but also at the regional, state and national level. 

As members of the Be A Teacher Club at the Lone Star College-Kingwood campus, these students also are members of the National Education Association (NEA) and the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA).

The Texas State Teachers Association-Aspiring Educators (TSTA-AE) is a professional education organization with chapters located all over Texas. As the student-led version of TSTA, which is for certified teachers, the organization is also affiliated with the National Education Association (NEA) with 3.2 million members nationwide.  

TSTA-AE is dedicated to educating future teachers on the latest issues within Texas legislation and advocate for changes in laws, new testing methods and improved ways of communication between parents, teachers, students and communities. Also, the TSTA-AE also serves as a network for pre-service educators by coming together to share ideas, thoughts and concerns about issues in Texas schools as well as providing outstanding and memorable pre-professional experiences and opportunities to dedicated future teachers. 

“Our students are bound for success,” said Nelson. “Can you imagine a group of 42 college students wanting to spend a weekend in professional development sessions? Amazing! 


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.