Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award Nomination

As the lead Republican on the Appropriations Committee, I work hard to make sure America’s students and teachers get the tools and resources they need to make our education system the best in the world. 

Our students are the future of our nation, and a key part of my work in Congress is advocating for them. 

As a former teacher myself, I am proud to be a strong supporter of federal education grants such as those awarded through the National Endowment for the Humanities to support local organizations like Humanities Texas. Founded in 1973, Humanities Texas is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  As a nonprofit, educational organization supported by federal, state, and local entities, Humanities Texas is focused on the needs of the next generation of learners. 

Humanities Texas promotes and supports programs that provide residents in Texas’ 12th District with varied opportunities for learning in the humanities, including providing teachers from our district with professional and developmental workshops to expand their mastery of the subjects they teach. 

Each year, Humanities Texas selects twelve K-12 humanities teachers to receive the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award. A few weeks ago, I was honored to spend time with Vanida Chanthaphone, a teacher in Fort Worth. She teaches sixth and eighth grade reading at William Monnig Middle School and was also this year’s Fort Worth Independent School District Teacher of the Year.

We discussed our common experiences as teachers and how important today’s students are to the future of our country. One of Ms. Chanthaphone’s roles as a teacher is to work with non-English speaking students. As a child of Laotian immigrants herself and having emigrated to the United States soon after the Vietnam War, she knows well the struggle of learning a foreign language. 

Ms. Chanthaphone goes to great lengths to help these students keep up with their peers who learned English as a first language. She forgoes lunches and devotes her down time to make herself available to these young people, patiently helping them comprehend and master English. 

Upon hearing of her devotion to her craft and to her students, I nominated her for the Humanities Texas award for Outstanding Teaching. 

As a former teacher and now a Member of Congress, I am thrilled to be able to recognize Ms. Chanthaphone. Constituents like her inform the work we do here in Washington to improve our education system while inspiring us every day. I am grateful for her service – and the service of all teachers – to America’s children.


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