Submitted by Mary Katherine Marchall, TSHA
The Texas State Historical Association is pleased to announce the 2018 Texas History Day Teachers of the Year—Junior Division (middle and junior high): Ms. Frances Garcia of Stillman Middle School of Browsnville ISD and Senior Division (high school) Ms. Bianca Porras of Valentine ISD. Both recipients were honored with this award due to their promotion of Texas History Day in their classrooms and school districts for more than ten years. They will be the Texas nominees for the MacGregor National History Day Teacher of the Year.
Frances Garcia is an outstanding teacher who instills in her students a love of History. She is the driving force behind the success of the History Day Program at Stillman Middle School. She has rallied her fellow teachers to support their students as they create successful projects. Under her leadership as History Department Chair, the program at her school has advanced from having marginal success to being the Brownsville ISD History Day success story. Most importantly, she is loved immensely by her students. Ms. Garcia has dedicated herself to promoting the love of learning in her students and in bringing out the best within her students and her peers.
Bianca Porras has been using the History Day program in Valentine ISD for the past 10 years. She promotes history at every level and brings quality projects and students to the regional, state, and national levels. She has made the best out of few resources and the very small school district in which she resides. Big Bend Regional Coordinator Caroline Foxx of Alpine ISD said, “She deserves to be recognized for an outstanding job. She was once my student in Valentine and I am so very proud of her for continuing on the history fair legacy.”
Ms. Porras was also selected by the TSHA Education Committee to be the recipient of the DeBoe Award, which is given to the overall outstanding Texas History Day Teacher in the state. The committee was moved by Ms. Porras’ participation as a student, and further realization of the program’s great value through her continued commitment of using Texas History Day in her own classroom.
Ms. Garcia and Ms. Porras will be honored on April 27, 2019 at the 2019 Texas History Day State Contest held at The University of Texas at Austin and The Bullock State History Museum. The announcement of the winner of the MacGregor National History Day Award will be held during the National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland in June.
TSHA administers the National History Day Program in Texas serving more than 68,000 middle and high school students across the state each year. For more information, please visit www.TSHAonline.org.