July 16, 2013
Contact: Lowell Brown, State Bar of Texas public information director
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1713, or (512) 427-1713

Texas educators selected for Teachers’ Law School

Nearly 30 Texas educators have been selected to attend the Fifth Annual Teachers’ Law School, a three-day legal education program July 18-20 at the Texas Law Center in Austin.
Social studies and government teachers from across Texas applied to the program, which brings together more than a dozen of the state’s leading judges and lawyers who give presentations on aspects of civil and criminal legal systems at the state and federal levels.

Participating educators are:
—Carol Anderson of El Paso, a 17-year teacher at Silva Health Magnet High School
—Roger Azevedo of Plano, an 11-year teacher at Prestonwood Christian Academy
—Andre Berry of Houston, a 12-year teacher at Alief Elsik High School
—Randy Bilyeu of McKinney, a 14-year teacher at McKinney Boyd High School
—Michael Buck of Arlington, a 17-year teacher at North Crowley High School in Fort Worth
—Angela Buentello of Cedar Park, a 10-year teacher at Canyon Vista Middle School in Austin
—Britine Burton of Arlington, a 15-year teacher at South Grand Prairie High School
—Pepper Cruson of Hickory Creek, a 27-year teacher at Hebron High School in Carrollton
—Michael J. Gortz of Lewisville, an 18-year teacher at Shadow Ridge Middle School in Flower Mound
—Luana Hanley of Corinth, a 15-year teacher at Marcus High School in Flower Mound
—Jenny Hutchinson-Gonzalez of San Antonio, a 26-year teacher at Burbank High School
—Margaret Irwin of San Antonio, a 23-year teacher at John Paul Stevens High School
—Christina Johnson of San Antonio, a six-year teacher at Tom C. Clark High School
—Lisa Lopez of Houston, a 17-year teacher at Alief Elsik High School
—Beverly Mathis of Helotes, a 29-year teacher at William H. Taft High School
—Kevin McCune of Richmond, a 23-year teacher at Lamar CISD
—Kristin Pershey of Garland, a seven-year teacher at Austin Academy for Excellence
—Andrea Pirtle of Conroe, a 14-year teacher at Oak Ridge High School
—Craig Rabalais of Mansfield, a 16-year teacher at Mansfield Legacy High School
—Jessica Rader of North Richland Hills, a first-year teacher at Trinity High School in Euless
—Roger Rodgers of Coppell, a 13-year teacher at Trinity High School in Euless
—Rebecca Rowland of Claude, a 13-year teacher at Claude High School
—Cissy Smith of Corpus Christi, a 12-year teacher at Baker Middle School
—Mary Stimson of Friendswood, a 23-year teacher at Alvin High School
—Kristin Tamayo of Cedar Park, a 12-year teacher at Hendrickson High School in Pflugerville
—Samantha Trimble of Arlington, an eight-year teacher at Lake Ridge High School in Mansfield
—Pamela Tutt of Denton, a 10-year teacher at Lowery Freshman Center in Allen
—Margaret Watson of Colleyville, a 32-year teacher at Trinity High School in Euless
—Demetria Westmoreland of Houston, a seven-year teacher at Shotwell Academy

Also known as TLS-Y5, the Teachers’ Law School-Year Five was piloted in Austin in 2009 and has become a national model for similar programs across the United States. TLS-Y5 faculty includes U.S. Appeals Court Judge Edward Prado, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, and nationally recognized defense attorney Gerald Goldstein. Past presenters include Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, and legendary criminal defense attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes.

The program comes at no cost to the teachers. Food, lodging and travel are funded through scholarship donations from the American Board of Trial Advocates-Texas (TEX-ABOTA) and its Texas affiliates and the ABOTA Foundation.

“Texas is proud to be the birthplace for the Teachers’ Law School,” said Mary Dietz, president of TEX-ABOTA. “TLS has become one of ABOTA’s leading civics education programs and is now a model for our chapters around the country.”

The program is presented in collaboration with the State Bar of Texas and the State Bar’s Law Related Education Department.

The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney disciplinary system.