WSD - Windham School District

Top Correctional Educators Honored in Austin 2015

November 11, 2015


(HUNTSVILLE) -- Excellence in teaching was recently recognized within the state prison system as the Windham School District (WSD) Board of Trustees honored three outstanding correctional educators during its meeting in Austin. The three finalists in the 2014-2015 WSD "Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching" initiative were nominated by their peers and selected through a rigorous screening process. The Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching Award is named for Dr. Lane Murray, pioneer superintendent of the WSD, which was formed in 1969.

As employees of WSD, these educators teach vocational, academic or behavioral management classes to eligible offenders within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). WSD employs more than 550 certified teachers at 92 prison and state jail sites.

Board of Trustees Chairman Dale Wainwright congratulates 2014-2015 Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching Award winner Jody Addy of Abilene during the Board’s October meeting

"It is a privilege to recognize the WSD ‘Excellence in Teaching' finalists as some of the best correctional educators in the state," said Chairman Dale Wainwright of the WSD Board of Trustees, which is also the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. "Their nomination and selection say a lot about professionalism, creativity and devotion to teaching."

Award winner Jody Addy works with offenders at the Robertson Unit in Abilene, teaching a computer-assisted literacy course to help prepare students to take their GED test and ready themselves for future employment. She is a 20-year veteran of correctional education.

Correctional educator Martha Estrada of El Paso is honored by Board of Trustees Chairman Dale Wainwright as a Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching Award finalist.

"I believe the cruelest thing you can do to students is to accept excuses for why they can't better themselves," Addy said. "After 20 years of teaching, I am still amazed by the difference made when students attain their GEDs. They stand taller, speak and act more maturely, and gain a peace and a confidence they have never demonstrated before. Education is a critical component of successful rehabilitation and reintegration into society. I am proud to be a part of this vital process."

The other recognized finalists and their nominating units are literacy teacher Martha Estrada of Sanchez State Jail (El Paso) and Cognitive Intervention instructor Brent Frailicks of the Moore Unit (Bonham).

Brent Frailicks of Bonham, one of the top three correctional educators in the Windham School District, is congratulated by Board Chairman Dale Wainwright during ceremonies in Austin.

"What you do every day in our classrooms in TDCJ has tremendous impact for our state, and we thank you," Chairman Wainwright told the teachers. "Please let Windham employees statewide know we appreciate the work they are doing every day to help men and women incarcerated in TDCJ change their lives and prepare to return to their families and communities. It's not easy to do this, and we will continue to applaud and support you."