Dallas Rotarians Honor Teachers

Awards go to Thomas Jefferson, G.B. Dealey, Jill Stone educators

The Rotary Club of Dallas celebrated three Dallas ISD educators, including two teachers in Preston Hollow.

During its Teacher of the Year ceremony on Aug. 10, the club presented $2,500 checks and commemorative plaques to David Newhouse, Jill Emery, and Natalie Hebert.

“For the past 30 years, the Rotary Club of Dallas has recognized outstanding teachers who practice the Rotary motto of Service Above Self in working with their students,” club president Rachael Jones explained.  

Here’s what the club touted about these educators:

David Newhouse, a ninth-grade P-Tech social studies teacher and chess coach at Thomas Jefferson High School, monitors students’ daily progress with apps and creates competitive videogames to teach historical facts. He is committed to twice-yearly home visits and uses translator apps to keep parents aware of students’ progress. Through a study conducted with parental consent, he determined that some students were coping with adverse childhood experiences. That information helped teachers adapt their styles to meet those needs better.

Jill Emery, a Texas Education Agency Exemplary Honors Algebra Teacher at G.B. Dealey Montessori and International Academy, made videos for KERA and Dallas ISD that helped students maintain and improve their math skills during the COVID shutdown. She also created Algebra Olympics, a competitive program to help students review skills and prepare for the STAAR test. While serving as faculty sponsor for the National Junior Honor Society, Emery has helped recognize the volunteer service of faculty, staff, and students with the Presidential Volunteer Service Awards, which she has also received. She also developed a mentoring program where eighth-grade students become “Math Buddies” to help struggling sixth graders improve their math skills.

Natalie Hebert, an art teacher at Jill Stone Elementary at Vickery Meadows, uses art projects to teach problem-solving skills to pre-K through fifth-grade students.

“There is no wrong way to produce art as each student’s vision is different,” she explained. “This gives them confidence in other academic areas.”

As a volunteer, she raised funds for and coordinated art projects for the hundreds of immigrant teenage boys housed for several months at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in 2021. This year, she created an art show for her students – with an invitation in eight languages – to bring parents into the school to see their students’ work, many visiting for the first time. She also created art programs that drew students into the neighborhood public library, which resulted in many immigrant families getting library cards.

Jones said, “It is heartwarming and reassuring to see the care and concern exhibited by these teachers as they strive to support and encourage their students in their academic achievements as well as demonstrating their concern for others.”

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