Texas Cultural Trust Awards 2020 First Year Teacher and Classroom Technology Grants

by Texas Cultural Trust

AUSTIN, TX (October 1, 2020) – The Texas Cultural Trust (TXCT), a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a vibrant Texas where the arts encourage economic growth, creativity, and excellence, announced today the recipients of the 2020-2021 First Year Teacher and Classroom Technology Grants.  

“Quality arts education is essential to children’s development and, in turn, Texas’ economic future,” says Heidi Marquez Smith, Chief Executive Officer. “Our First Year Teacher and Classroom Technology Grants are designed to support and empower highly qualified arts educators, both in and out of their classrooms.”

First Year Teacher Grants aim to incentivize arts teachers to serve Title I, rural, and low arts access campuses across Texas. Awardees can apply their grants toward professional development, classroom enrichment, school supplies, field trips, and additional resources. Recipients of this $1,500, one-time award are entering their first year of teaching, under contract with a Title I campus, and are TEA-certified.  

TXCT has awarded $21,000 in grants to 14 educators in the 2020-2021 First Year Teacher Grant term. The recipients are: 

Andrea Aguirre, El Paso ISD
Jessica Brown, Waco ISD
Heather Brown, Bastrop ISD
Marcus Cardenas, Irving ISD
Rebecca East, Austin ISD
Alessandria Garza, Manor ISD
Valeria Gulino, Lake Dallas ISD
Ana Leal, San Antonio ISD
Marsalis Mahome, Bastrop ISD
Diamante Martinez, Del Valle ISD
Rachel Militzer, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
Stephanie Rangel, Manor ISD
Trina Simon, Manor ISD
Sara Trogdon, Marble Falls ISD

The First Year Teacher Grant is offered on an annual basis and will reopen for applications in June 2021.

In addition to the First Year Teacher Grants, TXCT also awarded two Classroom Technology Grants, totaling over $9,000, to support teachers implementing the Arts and Digital Literacy Curriculum (A&DL). A&DL curriculum, an Arts Access initiative of TXCT developed in partnership with The University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts, works to bridge fine arts education and technology. Recipients of this award will use their grants to secure software licenses and digital devices that enhance their student’s learning. 

The 2020-2021 Classroom Technology grantees are:

Tim Thompson, El Paso ISD, El Paso High School
Yvonne Duque, Dallas ISD, Thomas Jefferson High School 

For more information on TXCT, or to learn about upcoming grant opportunities, visit txculturaltrust.org.   


The Texas Cultural Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and increasing access and awareness for the arts across the state. Programs of the organization include the Texas Medal of Arts Awards, Arts Access, Art Can, Texas Young Masters, Texas Women for the Arts, and Partners in the Arts. Efforts are amplified by supporters who are instrumental in the success of leading a cohesive voice for the arts in education, advocacy, and economic impact in Texas, spotlighting the artistic excellence of the state. For more information, visit txculturaltrust.org

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