Celebrating Excellence with the TRC: Past, Present, Future
June 17 – 19, 2014 | Renaissance Austin Hotel
Randy Bomer, Ph.D.
Chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education
The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Bomer’s research investigates the ways teachers leverage the knowledge and interests that children and youth bring to school in order to grow as readers and writers. He studies how, especially for students from poverty and ethnic and linguistic minorities, this strengths-based way of teaching is important to allow students to develop literate identities and self-efficacy with reading and writing. For example, some children develop strength at writing before they become good at reading, and teachers help children transfer that initial strength toward reading. In other studies, youth bring knowledge of their outside-school uses of reading and writing – church, extracurricular activities, transnational migration – and the teacher helps them study these unofficial literacy practices in order to make connections to the academic kinds of reading and writing demanded in school. These areas of research on student learning also lead Bomer to examine the ways teachers learn to assess and teach from students’ existing strengths, the kinds of curricula that can allow space for student knowledge to enter the conversation, and the educational policies that either advance or impede such curricula and instruction.
Randy Bomer is Professor and Chair of Curriculum & Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin, where he also directs the Heart of Texas Writing Project. Formerly a middle and high school teacher, he has consulted with urban school districts across the USA. Prior to coming to UT, he taught at Indiana University, Queens College of the City University of New York, and was for five years the co-director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. He is a former president of the National Council of Teachers of English.
Representative Marsha Farney, Ph.D.
Representative, District 20
Texas House of Representatives
Marsha Farney was elected in 2012 to represent District 20 in the Texas House of Representatives. Rep. Farney’s district consists of Burnet, Milam and the northern portion of Williamson County including Georgetown, the County seat, and Sun City.
Rep. Farney earned her BS and MS degrees in education from Texas A&M, Commerce, and her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas, Austin. She also earned additional certifications qualifying her to serve as a counselor and principal.
Prior to her election to the House of Representatives, she was elected to the District 10 seat of the State Board of Education serving 16 counties and 1.8 million residents. An award winning former classroom teacher, middle school and high school counselor, and adjunct professor at Texas A&M University, Commerce, Rep. Farney has relevant experience at every level of public education. She brings the unique perspective of a public school parent and an experienced educator to her role as a State Representative.
An active civic and philanthropic leader in her community for many years, she has served as a board member for several organizations including the Seton Williamson Hospital Women’s Foundation Board, The Williamson Museum, The Main Street Advisory Board and the Chisholm Trail Communities Foundation. Rep. Farney enjoys supporting organizations that make a difference in the lives of children such as the Children’s Advocacy Center and the Boys and Girls Club.
Rep. Farney is a fourth generation Texan with familial roots dating back to when Texas was a young Republic. She and her husband, Bryan, reside in Georgetown and enjoy spending time with their three children and two grandchildren.
Chair, State Board of Education
SBOE District 8
Barbara Cargill, a science educator from The Woodlands, was appointed chair of the State Board of Education by Gov. Rick Perry on July 1, 2011 and was re-appointed to a full two-year term on Feb. 1, 2013. Her appointment was unanimously confirmed by the Texas Senate on Feb. 20. Cargill will serve as board chair through Feb. 1, 2015. A Republican, Cargill was first elected to a four-year term of office on the board in November 2004 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2012. She represents the Houston area and Southeast Texas. She has served as chair and vice chair of the board’s Committee on Instruction. Cargill has also been a member of the Committee on Planning.
Cargill is the founder and director of Wonders of the Woodlands Science Camp, which has been operational since 1995. WOW! Science Camp provides creative, hands-on learning to more than 1,200 children each summer. The camp is an outreach program of The Woodlands United Methodist Church.
Cargill has worked in the field of science education for more than 25 years. Before founding WOW!, she taught biology in the Garland and Hurst-Euless-Bedford school districts between 1982 and 1991. During her years with the school districts, Cargill actively supported extra-curricular activities through work that included serving as the drill team sponsor, cheerleader sponsor, senior class sponsor, instructor for SAT preparation courses, and CARE team counselor for at-risk students. More recently, Cargill served on the Commission for a College Ready Texas.
In recognition of her outstanding teaching, Cargill received the Thanks to Teachers National Excellence Award, the National Audubon Society Award, and the A.J. Sales Educational Award. Recognized as an innovative science educator who is committed to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) training, Cargill recently was invited to participate in the Iditarod Winter Education Conference, which is held in conjunction with the iconic Alaskan dog race. Cargill will also participate in the Iditarod Ceremonial Start, riding in a three-to-four mile parade with an official Iditarod musher. Currently, Cargill works closely with teachers through professional development training and consulting work. Her passion for children motivates her to work in area schools by doing Science Outreach Programs. In addition to her work with science education, Cargill volunteers for many things such as Interfaith of the Woodlands, Habitat for Humanity, and the Woodlands United Methodist Church Family Promise program.
She holds a Masters of Science in Science Education from Texas Women’s University and an undergraduate degree from Baylor University.
As a member of the State Board of Education, Cargill represents about 1.7 million Texans who reside in Brazos, Grimes, Houston, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Walker counties.
Math and Science Partnerships State Director
Texas Education Agency
Stacey Avery received the TRC Distinguished Service Award in 2013 at the TRC Nineteenth Annual Meeting.