TDCJ Public Information Office - Austin woman receives 2013 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award
TDCJ Public Information Office, April 5, 2013
Judith Dullnig - 2013 Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award
This honor (Governor's Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award) is referred to as the Judy Burd Award in memory of Judy Burd, WSD volunteer coordinator and lifelong educator. Pictured from left to right is Connie McMurrey, WSD representative; recipient Judith Dullnig and WSD Division of Instruction Director Veronica Casanova.
AUSTIN WOMAN RECEIVES GOVERNOR'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
(AUSTIN) – Judith Dullnig was presented the Governor's 2013 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award today in recognition of her dedication to helping offenders incarcerated within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Vice Chairman Tom Mechler and Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) Executive Director Brad Livingston during a ceremony held in Austin. Dullnig is one of 20 recipients from across Texas recognized for their efforts to help state offenders and those who are on parole or probation.
"Each of this year's award recipients personify a selfless dedication to helping offenders succeed both while incarcerated, and once they're released," said Livingston.
Dullnig, an approved volunteer for more than nine years, facilitates the Women's Storybook Project of Texas at six female units in cooperation with the Windham School District (WSD). The program allows incarcerated mothers to share a recording of themselves and a book with their child. The mother reads the book as though she is reading to the child and is allowed to write a personal note inside the cover of the book. The tape and book are then mailed to the child. This program allows incarcerated moms to bond or keep an established bond with their child or children while in prison.
Dullnig's Award is names the WSD Judy Burd Award in memory of Judy Burd, an educational volunteer coordinator and lifelong educator. Dullnig is one of thousands of concerned volunteers who donate many hours of their personal time every year with the goal of changing the lives of convicted offenders, and aiding and comforting their victims. Annually, approximately 18,000 volunteers make 163,000 visits to criminal justice facilities and work with offenders who are on supervision, donating over 526,000 hours of service.
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Message from WSD Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter: Thank you to the WSD Board of Trustees! - While January is School Board Recognition Month, the Windham School District thanks the Texas Board of Criminal Justice for serving year round as its School Board. These nine governor-appointed volunteers tackle the challenging job of governing one of the largest – and most unique -- school districts found in Texas.
Preparing tomorrow's workforce for industry: TIC training manager explains benefits of WSD partnership - "As a company, our partnership with institutions like Windham is imperative because we are so short handed in the industry. We have to look everywhere we can to provide any amount of training that helps us get somebody to where they need to be overall to benefit our company. The training program that WSD has gets them a step closer to where we need them to be.
A message from Superintendent Dr. Clint Carpenter & Martha Fields, Interim Director of Instructional Division:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has proclaimed October 2017 as “Principals Month” in Texas. Across the nation, states are taking the time to thank principals for their dedication to creating student success and school safety. Windham School District principals are no exception!
Principals are expected to be educational leaders, disciplinarians, community builders, spokesmen, budget analysts and guardians of policy mandates and initiatives. Principals set the academic tone for their schools and work collaboratively with teachers to set performance objectives and maintain high curriculum standards. Despite the challenges of working within the physical confines of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, these educators provide the leadership, hard work and vision required to help their adult students rebuild their lives and reach for second chances.
We are sincerely grateful to WSD principals for the daily hard work, expertise and passion they share to help others transform their lives. They are making a difference every day! Please tell them “Thank you!” for a job well done!
WSD Principals… and district staff meet at “Blueprint Training” in Navasota to map out plans for focused leadership strategies, improved learning experiences and a successful year for Windham students and programs.
To celebrate and promote reading about the importance of Black History Month, Windham libraries created special library sections full of material about and by famous and historical black people.
Several Windham teachers also decorated their classroom doors with photos, quotes and art in the form of well-known black artists, singers, actors, and historical figures.
The theme of this year's Black History Month is Black Migrations, which focuses on the move from the south to the north made by people of African descent in the early twentieth century.
The Huntsville Item
By Tom Waddill, Feb 25, 2018
Students stay alert in Terry Murray's classroom. They have to, otherwise they might get hit on the head by a flying football.
A literacy teacher in the Windham School District, Murray uses a football — her squishy Sam Houston State Bearkat model — to call on her students. She asks a question, then tosses the ball to a student.
"When they catch the ball, it's their turn to shine," Murray said with a smile.
And shine they do.
Students never get bored in Terry Murray's literacy classroom. For 3 1/2 hours each day, they work on assignments and learn things they didn't learn in school the first time they were there. Murray prepares her students to take the test for a GED degree.
"When I tell them they passed (the GED test), it's amazing. It's just amazing," Murray says. "Some of the guys literally kiss the ground. Some of them cry. It's very rewarding."
Residents young and old — inmates who read and write on a wide range of levels — enjoy the educational experience in Murray's classroom inside the Estelle Unit, which is located about 20 miles north of Huntsville.
Most of the students in Murray's class accomplish their No. 1 goal. They earn their General Education Development, or GED, degree.
"The guys realize then that they're going to leave here with something they didn't have before. Some of them have never felt success before, and after they pass that test, they feel like they've accomplished something. And they have."
Proudly, Terry Murray says, "I love working for Windham. This is probably the most challenging and rewarding job I've ever had. Every day is a different day. I tell my students, 'Don't give up.' My motto is, I'm fair, I'm firm and I'm strict. I don't take no for an answer. Some of the students who are reluctant to learn, I tell them to give me three weeks. If they give me three weeks, their attitudes will change."
Murray has been teaching in the Windham School District since 1991. She started her career in Madisonville, then jumped to Willis where she taught reading and math to special education students.
After seven years in Willis, Murray started looking for a job closer to her Huntsville home. In the Windham District, which are the schools inside Texas prisons, she found what she was looking for and more.
"I love working for Windham," Murray said proudly. "This is probably the most challenging and rewarding job I've ever had. Every day is a different day. I tell my students, 'Don't give up.' My motto is, I'm fair, I'm firm and I'm strict. I don't take no for an answer.
"Some of the students who are reluctant to learn, I tell them to give me three weeks. If they give me three weeks, their attitudes will change," she added. "Just give me a chance. That's all I ask."
Murray's boss says it's amazing to watch this teacher work her magic.
More than 25 years into her career with the Windham School District, Terry Murray says she's still enthused and energized by her job teaching residents in the Texas prison system. Many of Murray's students come to her class unfamiliar with success. Most leave her class with a General Education Development, or GED, degree and a newfound confidence they can take with them when they get out of prison.
"I send all of my newly hired teachers to observe in Ms. Murray's class because of her exceptional classroom management skills and because of how she masterfully guides her students to achieve excellence in education," said Frieda Hamer Spiller, a principal in the Windham School District who works in the Ferguson, Goree, Holliday, Huntsville and Wynne units.
"Teaching at the Estelle Unit for the past 20 years or so, Terry has impacted the lives of multitudes of students in her literacy class," Spiller added. "She has guided well over 400 of these students who have achieved their GEDs. Not only is Ms. Murray dedicated to teaching the resident population and helping her students achieve society's minimal educational standard, but she also sets high academic standards that her students strive to attain."
Using some of the same tools she employed as a youthful teacher in Willis, Murray makes her students at Estelle feel special. Some of them don't stop with their GEDs; many of Murray's students keep pushing and start pursuing a college education.
TDCJ Warden Wayne Brewer (right) and Major Kevin Smith congratulate
WSD teacher Terry Murray on being named an outstanding educator for Walker County.
"First, you've got to make the students feel worthy," Murray explained. "They've got to feel like, 'I can do this,' then you can begin a lot of cooperative learning. In my classroom, they learn to work together. When they get out in the real world, they've got to be able to do that.
"They come into class timid and withdrawn and leave out with knowledge and power that cannot be taken away."