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Dr. Russell receiving Teacher of the Year Award

The Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) named Dr. Alissa Russell the Teacher of the Year at the 2016 Texas Charter Schools Conference earlier this month. Dr. Russell of Life School’s Oak Cliff campus, received her award at a luncheon with keynote speaker Governor Greg Abbott and Deputy Commissioner A.J. Crabill in attendance.

“On behalf of TCSA, I congratulate Dr. Russell for this well-deserved award. Teachers are the backbone of our schools and critical to the success of students. It is vital that we celebrate the hard work of teachers like Dr. Russell who invest their lives in students,” said David Dunn, Executive Director for TCSA.

Dr. Russell is an educator with 13 years of teaching experience who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn. She uses Socratic Seminar, differentiated group modeling, and peer partnership grouping as innovative instructional practices in her mathematics classroom. She works to ensure each student in her classroom receives a customized instructional approach based on his or her individual needs. Dr. Russell is the secondary mathematics department head and works as an instructional coach for her peers to maximize instructional effectiveness. Additionally, she is a committed volunteer within her community.

“Dr. Russell has served the students of the Life School Oak Cliff campus for the past eight years with dedication and commitment. She serves as a sponsor for the senior class, National Honor Society, as well as the Step Team. She has a heart for students,” said Brent Wilson, Superintendent of Life School. “Life School is proud of Dr. Russell’s accomplishments. Dr. Russell has been named Life School’s Secondary Teacher of the Year, Oak Cliff Chamber Teacher of the Year and now Texas Charter Schools Association Teacher of the Year. Congratulations Dr. Russell!” 

This is the first year for TCSA’s Teacher of the Year program, which honors one outstanding educator from across the State of Texas. The award recognizes charter educators who advocate for charters at the local level, are innovative in their approaches to educating all students, and serve as a leader on their campus and within their community. TCSA is the statewide membership organization for effective charter schools of all types, representing nearly 250,000 students at 629 open-enrollment charter school campuses.

About Life School
Life Schoolopened as an open-enrollment public charter school in 1998 and has campuses in Oak Cliff, West Dallas, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Red Oak and Waxahachie. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Life School earned the highest rating of five stars from the Texas Comptroller Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST), which recognizes school districts and campuses for excellence in resource allocations that contribute to high academic achievement and cost-effective operations. Life School’s mission is to train leaders with life skills for the 21st century by establishing strong academics, character training and a parenting program.


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