Texas A&M University-Central Texas College of Education faculty celebrated a Killeen Independent School District Teacher of the Year event at which four Texas A&M-Central Texas alumni were named winners among more than 50 other recipients.

Ericka Bolden, a Killeen resident and a teacher at Roy J. Smith Middle School; Paul Erickson, a Killeen resident and a teacher at Brookhaven Elementary School; Zayna Danquah, a Killeen resident and a dual-credit teacher at the Early College High School-KISD; and Angelica Rodriguez, a Belton resident and a teacher at Alice Douse Elementary School, were recognized by KISD on June 7 at the Killeen Civic Center.

Amber Lynn Diaz, assistant professor and director of Educator Preparation Services and certification officer, was thrilled to hear the news of their recognition, adding that two of the three, Bolden and Danque, were first-year classroom teachers.

“When students in the teacher preparation program take class with us, we talk about changing the world one heart at a time,” she said. “And in that process, we get to know them, ascertain and strengthen their classroom skills, and prepare them for certification.

“But it’s the good nature of their heart that makes the difference in any classroom. It’s the love they have for their children and for this community that makes them such an asset. All three of these teachers are our A&M-Central Texas alumni and we are very proud.”

The Texas A&M-Central Texas College of Education Teacher Preparation Program has produced hundreds of certified teachers since 2009, Diaz added.

“Every year, we see our graduates counted among the Teachers of the Year,” she said. “It’s a source of great pride for us and evidence of the strength of both our students, our alumni and our program,”

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