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CCHS student makes history, qualifies for national contest

Special to Leader-Press
Growing up with a mother who is an elementary school teacher, CCHS Junior Ashley Prax always knew she wanted to be a teacher.“Teaching is in my family, whether the public school system or teaching Sunday school at church. Teaching has always and will always be a dream of mine,” Prax said. She is beginning to live her dream now through teacher Amy Carlson’s third grade classroom at Fairview/Jewell Elementary. “Ready, Set, Teach” is a program within the Texas Association of Future Educators program where high school students go into classrooms to experience what it is like to be teachers. TAFE Adviser Theresa Morgan began the CCHS chapter for the national organization nearly seven years ago and is still leading the charge to recruit students including Prax to the teaching profession. “When I took on the ‘Ready, Set, Teach’ program, I wanted to make sure the students had the passion to prepare our children for the future,” said Morgan, a teacher with 11 years’ experience, 10 in Cove ISD. “Some did not want to be teachers and that’s okay, too.” Prax has taken this hands-on learning experience and turned it into an opportunity to shine on the national stage. Prax heads to Washington, D.C. this weekend for the Future Educators Association conference having qualified with her project, TAFE Moment. The FEA/TAFE Moment shares a significant event in TAFE that led the competitor to the teaching profession. Prax includes in her “moment” the success she witnesses in the students as they grow throughout the year. Last year, Prax had the opportunity to have her mom, Holly Prax, second grade teacher at Fairview/Jewell Elementary, serve as her mentor. Ashley Prax built the relationships with the students which allowed her to witness the success as they transitioned between grade levels. Prax, the first student to ever qualify for the national FEA contest from CCHS, will be represent Texas and will compete against 26 other competitors in her category. Having placed first at the state level, Prax has high expectations. “I am excited, but also nervous. The competition at this level will be harder and bigger than at the state conference,” she said. “I am excited about exploring Washington, D.C and having the opportunity to meet fellow future educators from around the country.” In addition to competing, Prax will host a breakout session with her fellow TAFE state officers to explore teacher appreciation ideas. This will be the first time the new officers will work together to represent the state of Texas.

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