University of Houston-Clear Lake graduate student Krystle D. Smith and undergraduate Latitia M. Maldonado were named recipients of the 2012 Dr. Patricia Potter Wilson School of Education Outstanding Graduate and Undergraduate Student Scholarships.
“We commend these two students who have distinguished themselves with their academic excellence and demonstrated leadership both on campus and within the community. We’re pleased to recognize them with this prestigious honor,” says School of Education Dean Dennis Spuck.
Smith received a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction last semester, and she will complete her Teacher Certification 8-12 Life Sciences in December 2013. She is currently an intern in the Santa Fe Independent School District teaching ninth-grade Advanced Placement Biology.
Active in several campus organizations, Smith served two semesters as the liaison representative between the UH-Clear Lake Texas State Teacher Association-Student Program and the university’s Student Government Association. She was active in the Student Council for Exceptional Children and the National Society of Leadership and Success, where she earned a lifetime membership. She also interned at the Galveston Bay Foundation where she helped the organization create and write an updated high school curriculum.
Smith explains that watching a family member’s personal struggle to complete high school was the reason she entered the teaching profession.
“The teacher needs to embrace the leadership role and to encourage all of her students that they can reach their dreams. They can go to college, and they can better their life regardless of how there life is right now,” she says.
Maldonado is an intern at McWhirter Elementary School in the Clear Creek Independent School District where she teaches first grade. She will graduate in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with EC-6 Generalist Certification.
Prior to returning to school to obtain her education degree and certification, Maldonado held multiple leadership positions in the work force. She was the office administrator for an orthopedic surgeon for seven years, served as secretary in the Clear Creek Independent School District’s special education department for six years. She also held the position of children’s church director at the West Bay Assembly of God Church for 10 years.
Maldonado says she has always enjoyed working with children, and she entered the field of education to make a difference.
“I want to be a leader to the children in the classroom, but I also want to develop leaders outside the classroom so they can take it with them when they walk out those doors,” she says.
The endowment creating the scholarships was established 15 years ago by UHCL School of Education Associate Professor Emerita Patricia Potter Wilson and her husband Wendell Wilson, a retired captain for Delta Airlines.
Retired educator Patricia Wilson is also a community leader, business owner and author. She frequently serves as a member of various organizations and boards inHouston and theClearLake area. Wendell Wilson is also an avid community supporter, who enjoys working as a volunteer for non-profit organizations in the Clear Lake and Galveston areas.
Smith and Maldonado were recognized at a small reception hosted by UH-Clear Lake President William A. Staples with the Wilsons, Spuck, family and friends present. In addition to the scholarships, the two students were presented a plaque by the Wilsons. Their names have also been added to a permanent wall plaque on display in the Dean’s office suite.
For more information about UH-Clear Lake’s School of Education, visit http://soe.uhcl.edu. To find out how to create a scholarship at UH-Clear Lake, call the Office of University Advancement, 281-283-2021.
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University of Houston-Clear Lake’s School of Education offers course work and field experiences toward more than 65 different degree or certification programs, including one doctoral program, eight master’s programs, six professional certificates and the teacher certification program, certifying in more than 40 specializations and teaching fields. For more information about the School of Education, visit http://soe.uhcl.edu.