WT to Celebrate World Teachers’ Day by Honoring Professors, Lighting Up Campus

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CANYON, Texas — A trio of outstanding educators at West Texas A&M University are being honored in conjunction with World Teachers’ Day celebrations.

Campuses across The Texas A&M University System are recognizing World Teachers’ Day on Oct. 5 by illuminating iconic buildings and landmarks. At WT, those will include The Original Texans sculpture and the Haywood Spirit Tower on the Charles K. and Barbara Kerr Vaughn Pedestrian Mall, and The Eternal Flame monument in Victory Circle.

At WT, Drs. Teri Bingham, Sang Hwang and Russell Miller all have been selected as the newest winners of the Liz and John Mozola Faculty Excellence Award.

“Each recipient of the Liz and John Mozola Faculty Excellence Award has demonstrated teaching excellence and a commitment to the preparation of exemplary future teachers,” said Dr. Eddie Henderson, dean of WT’s Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences. “The Mozola Faculty Excellence Award recognizes the critical importance of faculty expertise and teaching effectiveness in the preparation of future educators.”

The award was established in 2018 to recognize teacher educators, those who prepare future instructors and train them to provide exemplary education in their eventual classrooms. Currently, WT produces 75 percent of all teachers and administrators in the Panhandle area.

Bingham, Hwang and Miller teach primarily in the College’s undergraduate program of pre-service teaching candidates, Henderson said.

“They are making a positive impact on future teachers every day in both face-to-face and online classes,” Henderson said.

Each of this year’s honorees are passionate about educating future educators.

“Seeing the light in a student’s eyes as they gain an understanding of a concept is the greatest reward I experience as a teacher,” said Bingham, a professor of education who joined WT in 1993. “The Mozola Award acknowledges the contributions I am making in WT’s educator preparation program, and I am grateful for their generosity. The Mozolas’ kindness and thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.”

“After 22 years of teaching at WT, I truly learned that educators are not simply delivering lessons or pedagogies to students but being role models as a lifelong learner in life,” said Hwang, also a professor of education “This award was a big surprise to me, and I will devote myself to fulfilling dreams of inspiring future educators.”

“I am honored and humbled to receive such an award,” said Miller, director of WT’s teacher preparation program and the Lanna and Bob Hatton Professor of Education. “I am thankful to the Mozolas for their generosity and recognition of the important role that teachers play in the development of our community’s youth and future. It has been the highlight of my career to help prepare a new generation of teachers as they pursue the greatest profession on earth.”

World Teachers’ Day was conceived by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in 1994. The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements and draw attention to the voices of teachers who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind.

WT was founded as a teachers college, and training educators is still a vital mission of the University, as laid out in its long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2022 — has raised more than $110 million.

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