December 13, 2017

Tarleton student teacher receives Robert H. Elliott Memorial Award

STEPHENVILLE (December 7, 2017) — Tarleton State University College of Education student teacher Marissa Peña is the recipient of the Robert H. Elliott Memorial Award, presented today during the Tarleton Department of Curriculum and Instruction’s annual Reflections ceremony.

Named for Robert H. Elliott, who joined Tarleton in 1981 as a professor in the Department of Education and Psychology and supervised the student teacher program at the time of his death in 1990, the award recognizes students who exemplify outstanding classroom qualities.

Peña, from San Antonio, is an Interdisciplinary Studies major with certification in early childhood-sixth grade. She completed her clinical teaching at elementary and middle schools in Granbury.

Peña’s mentor teachers, Sarah Mabery and Sarah Cave, supported her nomination for the Elliott Award and commented that she is “a natural born teacher.”

“Marissa is, hands down, the best clinical teacher I’ve had. She took the initiative to assist with student and classroom needs without hesitation,” said one mentor educator. “Students were consistently interested and engaged by her delivery.”

Peña is also praised as one who “thrives on researching effective teaching strategies, motivational techniques and differentiating activities of high interest to elicit students’ active participation.”


Tarleton State University’s College of Education and the Educator Preparation Service office announced its fall 2017 Robert H. Elliott Award recipient during the annual “Reflections” ceremony on Dec. 7. Receiving the award for outstanding student teacher was graduating senior, Marissa Peña (center), an interdisciplinary studies major from San Antonio. Also pictured are Peña’s university field supervisor Darleen Hearne (left) and Dr. Deborah Anne Banker, head of the Department of Curriculum & Instruction.

“Ms. Peña is a pro at actively monitoring students and using informal assessment to adjust instruction to meet individual needs,” her mentor teacher noted. “She does an excellent job of enhancing lessons using hands-on activities, technology and competition to not only encourage students to stay on task, but also allow some fun while learning. Ms. Peña is patient, respectful and encouraging, and she desires to create an atmosphere that is highly conducive to learning.”

Friends and colleagues of Dr. Elliott developed the award that bears his name to honor his enthusiasm for education and devotion to students. The veteran educator and administrator served public schools in Colorado for many years before joining Tarleton faculty.

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