Maria Landeros, a senior Stephen F. Austin State University student studying early childhood through sixth grade education, received the 2017-18 McCathey Dressman Education Foundation Scholarship.
"Receiving this scholarship has granted me the wonderful opportunity of achieving one of my dearest goals in life, which is becoming a certified teacher," Landeros said.
Landeros is enrolled in SFA's online completer program, and this semester she is completing her clinical practice (student teaching) through the Nacogdoches Independent School District. Dr. Judy Abbott, dean of SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education, is serving as Landeros' mentor.
"Maria is a dedicated non-traditional student who is focused on finishing her degree and meeting all necessary requirements to be eligible to apply for teacher certification from the Texas Education Agency," Abbott said. "She has maintained a high GPA while pursuing her goal of becoming a teacher and has served as a strong role model for her children. I am impressed with her enthusiasm, energy and content knowledge."
Landeros is no stranger to the classroom. She has worked for Nacogdoches ISD as an instructional and bilingual aide for more than 10 years.
In 2003, she began working for Nacogdoches ISD as a paraprofessional permanent substitute assisting in a bilingual first grade classroom at Nettie Marshall Elementary School. She also served as a bilingual paraprofessional at Thomas J. Rusk Elementary School for six years. During that time, Landeros served as the test administrator for the Woodcock-Muñoz Language Survey and as a bilingual interpreter.
"My passion to teach and to help children motivated me to study and become a certified teacher," Landeros said.