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Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School

Online 2021

The Institute for Teaching Excellence Middle School educator professional development sessions include: Science, Math, and Social Studies.  Our Institute for Teaching Excellence for English is the same week as TCU’s AP English Institute. To register for the Institute for Teaching Excellence High School Classes or any Institute for Teaching Excellence English Class, please visit the AP website.

• TEA has granted training approval funding for attending TCU’s Institute for Teaching Excellence for all Middle School and High School Participants. To read more information, please click here.

Dates:  July 6-8, 2021

Time: 8:00 – 4:30 online

Tuition Rate for the 3-day Institute: Early Registration: $400 (until April 30); Standard Registration: $450 (beginning May 1, 2021)

Click to download the MS ITE Registration Form 2021.

Click to register online or click below on the individual session to register.

 Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School Mathematics


Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 6th Grade Mathematics with Stacy Hughes

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 7th Grade Mathematics with Mark Cox

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 8th Grade Mathematics Christie Fish


Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School Science


Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 6th Grade Science Barry Rose

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 7th Grade Science with Brooke Schuster

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 8th Grade Science with Todd Abronowitz

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School Biology with Wendy Howe


Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School Social Studies

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 6th and 7th grade Social Studies with Chad Smith and Katie Turner

Institute for Teaching Excellence: Middle School 8th grade U.S. History with Barrett Doke

Click here for the ITE: MS Social Studies course description.


Barrett Doke has taught 8th grade Pre-AP U.S. History and 11th grade AP U.S. History for 14 years. He has worked for Rice as a Cooperating Teacher to train and mentor new teachers and as a Content Specialist in Educational Technology for the Rice University Master of Arts in Teaching program. With support from his administration and PTO, he helped create and co-lead a Chromebook initiative for the 8th grade Vanguard program at his current school, T.H. Rogers School.

Chad Smith is the AP World History teacher at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. As a MacArthur teacher, he has taught on-level, honors, Pre-AP, and AP classes in both US and World History. He also coaches several academic teams, including Academic Decathlon and UIL Current Events. Chad is also an official reader, grader of the free response portion of the AP test, for the College Board and has presented at the AP National Conference. When the Coronavirus forced schools to shutdown in March 2020, Chad worked with the College Board to produce daily videos for students and teachers in a series called AP Live and you can find Chad in your AP Classroom by watching the AP Daily Videos for Units 4 and 5.

Katie Turner teaches AP Psychology and World History Honors at MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas. In 2019, Katie was named the Irving ISD District Secondary Teacher of the Year. In her six years at MacArthur, she has taught on-level, honors, Pre-AP, and AP classes in Geography, World History, Sociology, and Psychology. She has also been a coach for UIL Social Studies and Academic Decathlon for several years. Katie has served as a new teacher mentor, PLC lead, curriculum writer, and PD instructor for Irving ISD since 2016. This year Katie and her students created the Psych Social club – a club dedicated to encouraging exploration in the fields of sociology and psychology. Katie is passionate about bringing creativity, intention, and passion into the classroom to help students step out of their comfort zones and reach new heights.

Christie Fish is currently a math educator in Burleson, TX working with 6th grade math as well as Algebra I.  She came to Kerr Middle School in 2012 and her experience also includes 6th grade Honors and 6th grade Accelerated Math which covers 3 years of curriculum. ~Before moving to Texas, she was a teacher in Colorado for 16 years teaching all grades of middle school math as well as Academic Enrichment, but spent the majority of her time in 8th grade math and Algebra I.  She earned her BS in Mathematics from Colorado State University – Pueblo and has an MA in Teaching from Grand Canyon University.  She has served as a math department head, mentor and committee member for curriculum development here in Texas as well as in Colorado. ~Christie has a passion for teaching and for kids and builds great relationships with her students.  She has the desire for kids to enjoy math and truly understand the concepts.  She not only believes in the power of “yet!” but that students need to be challenged beyond their comfort level to truly grow and learn.  She believes that students should be allowed to do problem solve in a variety of ways as long as they can explain and justify their methods and thinking.  Math should be creative, challenging and full of possibilities– not just memorizing facts and rules!

Stacy Hughes is a 6th grade math teacher from Burleson, Tx, working at a traditional middle school that serves grades 6-8. She just finished her 24th year in education, having taught 10 years as a GT teacher in Hernando County, FL, 3 years as a mild-to-moderate learning disabilities teacher at Morrison Academy in Taichung, Taiwan, and finally 11 years in Burleson ISD teaching elementary GT and 6th grade math.  She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Missouri State University, her master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington and an additional master’s in Educational Leadership from UTA. ~Stacy has been the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program District Co-Director since 2014 and has partnered with TCU through TCU’s community outreach. SSEP is a district-wide experiment design program in which chosen teams send their experiment to the International Space Station.  To date six experiments have completed their mission, and the 7th will be on the ISS this summer. Stacy believes students should know how their brains are wired to look for patterns to learn, and that homework and classwork is part of building those patterns.  She uses the ideas of embracing struggle, knowing where to put your energy, and analyzing mistakes to teach students how to persist in patient problem-solving and how to persevere in math.

Todd Abronowitz currently teaches all levels of chemistry at Parish Episcopal School in Dallas. Previously, he was the lead AP Chemistry teacher for Dallas ISD. Prior to this, he taught at John Paul II High School in Plano (and served as science department chair) for five years. He has also taught at Creekview High School, in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD for 8 years, South Garland High School (Garland ISD) for six years. He has served as the lead chemistry teacher at Creekview High School. Since starting his teaching career in 1990, he has taught regulars chemistry, honors chemistry, Pre-AP Chemistry and Advanced Placement Chemistry. He has started three AP chemistry programs, at South Garland HS, Creekview HS, and most recently at John Paul II HS. He is involved with several professional organizations: Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT), Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas (ACT2), and the American Chemical Society. He has presented workshops at several STAT Conferences for the Advancement of Science Teaching and Southwest Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society. He has presented at two-day conferences and one-day conferences for the College Board and been the presenter for APSI in Texas and Arkansas. He served as a State Chemistry Textbook Review member for Texas in 2001. He was co-founder of a Traveling Science Show that performed across the DFW Metroplex. He wrote his own laboratory manual and study materials for use in his AP chemistry class. Mr. Abronowitz has received numerous awards including NMSI All-American Teacher of the Year 2012, Schulz Award for outstanding high school chemistry teacher from the DFW section of the ACS, Radio Shack National Teacher Award, Associated Chemistry Teachers of Texas Teacher of the Year in 2000, and Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year 1996.

Wendy Howe has served in education for over 25 years in many different roles including public K-12 school, private school,  Montessori Pre-K and Kindergarten as well as community college and university.  Her primary teaching experience has been in public school secondary sciences.  Wendy has a passion for students of all learning styles, and enjoys designing learning experience for students that meet the needs of every child.  In addition to working with traditional students, Wendy has extensive experience with EL, GT, STEM and At-Risk students. ~Wendy’s current as an instructional coach role includes developing and supporting teachers through coaching, PLC facilitation, and formal professional learning sessions.  Wendy also works directly with the teachers in the STEM and Gifted Academies for GCISD.  Wendy also provides support for teachers new to the district including zero year teachers. Wendy also leads the development of district science curriculum, assessment and lesson design for the district and facilitates the analysis of data. ~Wendy has also had many opportunities to work outside of the school setting and travel extensively by presenting at conferences such as the Texas Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching (CAST), DFW Metroplex Mini-CAST, T-STEM Conference and out of state STEM conferences.  Wendy has also traveled as a consultant for Thinking Maps, Inc. delivering staff development in science, STEM and mathematics. ~Wendy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Texas Teacher Certifications in Biology, Chemistry, Composite Science, ESL and Special Education as well as a Master’s degree of Education for Science Teaching.  

Brooke Schuster has been an educator for 15 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Baylor University and a Master’s degree from UT Arlington in Curriculum and Instruction, Science Education.  Brooke has taught high school science, served as an instructional coach, and is currently teaching middle school science.  She has learned so much from countless hours of professional development as well through the many experiences that come with teaching a diverse group of students. Brooke thinks that teaching middle school is the best-kept secret and is really enjoying all of the work that makes teaching middle school a challenge and a joy. 

Barry Rose retired from teaching in 2021 after 36 years of teaching. This included 12 years of 6th grade Science, 2 years of 7th grade Science and 21 years of 8th grade Science. His last 3 years was teaching STEM to all students grades PreK though 5th at Riverchase Elementary in Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District. He has been Science Fair coordinator, Safety Patrol Advisor, Student Council advisor,  Campus Improvement Council member, Science Department Chair, and Science Instructional Facilitator with 15 years of curriculum writing experience. In addition, he has also been part of the district Webmasters committee, Instructional Technology Committee, and trained other teachers in the use of technology. ~ He attended the Teacher in Space training program held at the Huntsville Space Camp in conjunction with the University of Alabama in 1988.  In 1991, he was chosen for the NASA Educational Workshop for Elementary Science Teachers and became a nationally certified teacher of science for both elementary and middle schools by the National Science Teachers Association.  Mr. Rose was also the director of a Space Science program through Texas A & M University’s Gifted and Talented Institute’s summer program called the Galveston Island Adventure for 6 years. Mr. Rose has been an NTTI Master Teacher for 5 years and was awarded the Secondary Teacher of the Year by KERA in 2001.

Sara Tipton has 17 yrs of experience in education. 13 of those years were spent in the classroom, mostly at the middle school level where she has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade science along with biology. After she left the classroom she became an instructional coach for the science department at Grand Prairie High School. She planned and provided weekly professional development for the department and coached teachers on the implementation of the PD in their classrooms. This year she is currently serving as an assistant principal at Grand Prairie High School.  Sara is a strong instructional leader and experienced presenter that is committed to the growth of teachers. During her career she’s been Teacher of the Year, Top 12 finisher for FWISD Tech Idol, a finalist for Teaching Chair for Excellence in Middle School STEM, and Principal Fellow through Texas Tech University.

* Pre-AP is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the development and delivery of the Institute for Teaching Excellence professional development workshop.