McLeod Named State of Texas Teacher of the Year

Chris McLeod Named State of Texas Teacher of the Year
Posted on 10/21/2022
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Brazoswood High School’s Rocket Engineering teacher, Chris McLeod, was just named as the 2023 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year!


“Master teachers not only impact their students, but also their school and their community,” said Superintendent Danny Massey. “Chris McLeod is a master teacher. He serves as a facilitator that empowers his students to work individually and collaboratively to learn and solve challenging problems. He’s always there to guide and assist them as much as they need, but he allows his students to question assumptions, to seek out diversity of thought and to continue to develop their own critical thinking skills.”


McLeod was first named as Brazoswood’s Teacher of the Year last school year. Then in May, he was announced as the district’s Teacher of the Year. He went on to be named as a finalist and then Region 4 Teacher of the Year during a banquet held in Houston. And in August he was named as one of six state finalists. 


As part of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) process for selection as Texas Teacher of the Year, the six finalists were interviewed by a panel of judges composed of representatives of educational leadership associations, community and business leaders, a member of the State Board for Educator Certification, a member of the State Board of Education, and prior Texas Teachers of the Year. Chris was announced as the winner during an awards ceremony held on Friday, October 21 during a banquet to honor the 40 Regional Teachers of the Year at Kalahari Resort Resort & Convention Center in Round Rock, Texas. 


As Texas Teacher of the Year, Chris McLeod will have the opportunity to compete in the National Teacher of the Year program. The National Teacher of the Year is announced in the spring by the president during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House and is honored at special events in the nation’s capital. The National Teacher of the Year takes a year’s sabbatical from classroom instruction and serves as a roving ambassador for the teaching profession.


Brazoswood Principal Rita Pintavalle stated, “After a short time in Chris’s classroom, you can easily see the connections he makes with his students and how they are hooked from the moment they enter his classroom. He takes individual students and creates high functioning collaborative teams, all within a few month’s time.”



Chris McLeod, Brazoswood High School, Brazosport ISD, Background Chris McLeod teaches 10th-12th grade rocket engineering at Brazoswood High School in Brazosport ISD (Clute, Texas). During his 11-year career in education, he has taught physics, chemistry, engineering, and a host of other science courses as well as student council and teen leadership. McLeod’s classroom is a place of collaboration and “organized chaos” as groups dive into research, design, and fabrication, with teams routinely meeting with local industrial and manufacturing businesses as they develop their rockets. His students have hosted design reviews with professionals from Blue Origin, SpaceX, NASA, Dow, BASF, and many other companies. His teams have consistently earned praise on their research and design of high-power hybrid rockets and are often in communication with university rocketry teams. “One of the highlights of my year is taking students to NASA for design reviews,” McLeod said. “Students have spent months coding computer models to predict the dynamic behavior of a rocket. However, they still have a hurdle to cross before building anything — a full-fledged review with an engineering panel at the Johnson Space Center. In this moment, those students must prove their work to the professionals. No classroom, no lecture, no teacher help — it is student and engineer, discussing, planning, and proving their system with people currently working to send astronauts back to the moon. How cool is that?” McLeod earned his BS in Marine Science from Texas A&M University. He currently serves on a safety review board for the Spaceport America Cup — an international university rocket competition.


We are so proud of Chris McLeod for this incredible achievement. We wish him the best in the national competition!

 


 

The Texas Teacher of the Year program has honored excellence in classroom education since 1969. The program, facilitated by TASA since 2011, annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching. In 2015, Texas Teacher of the Year Shanna Peeples of Amarillo ISD became the second Texas teacher to be named the National Teacher of the Year. Learn more at tasanet.org/awards/texas-teacher-of-the-year 


The Texas Teacher of the Year program operates with financial support and in-kind contributions from the following:

 

Premier Sponsors

H-E-B

Imagine Learning

TASA


Platinum Sponsors

Raise Your Hand Texas

The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB)


  Gold Sponsors

Amplify

Capturing Kids’ Hearts

Centric Learning

ClassLink

Texas AFT

 


Silver Sponsors

Association of Texas Professional 

Educators (ATPE)

Texas Association of Secondary 

School Principals (TASSP)

Texas Classroom Teachers 

Association (TCTA)

Texas Elementary Principals and

Supervisors Association (TEPSA)

Texas PTA, Texas School Public 

Relations Association (TSPRA)

Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA)



TASA is the professional association for Texas school superintendents and other administrators. The mission of the organization, which focuses on professional learning, advocacy and member engagement, is to promote, provide and develop leaders who create and sustain student-centered schools and develop future-ready students.



Texas Teacher of the Year, Chris McLeod
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