Sam Houston State University, 2015 Distinguished Secondary Teacher - Cara Moreland
Gen. Sam Houston is quoted as having said, “A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.”
While Houston could have been referring in that statement to leaders in politics and war—two places where Houston earned his recognition—he easily also could have been referring to leaders in education, a position he also once held.
Six Sam Houston State University alumni and administrators who have lived by those words, helping to improve lives, and for several the system as well, have been recognized by the College of Education for the 2015 Distinguished Educator of the Year awards.
Meghan Zigmond, “Distinguished Elementary Teacher;” Cara Moreland, “Distinguished Secondary Teacher;” Tiffany Woods-Simon, “Distinguished Support Professional;” Pamela Wells, “Distinguished Administrator;” Steve Johnson, “Friend of Education;” and Jack Staggs, “Legacy Award” recipient, will be honored on March 7 during a dinner and ceremony in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom for their excellence in the field.
Cara Moreland - Navasota Junior High Teacher
Educators are often lauded for their accomplishments within the classroom, and for Cara Moreland, those accomplishments are vast. However, Moreland’s achievements outside of the classroom catapult her above and beyond the definition of excellence, and as a result she has been named “Distinguished Secondary Teacher of the Year.”
A graduate of Sam Houston State University’s academic studies program (2005) and recipient of a master’s degree in instructional technology (2012), Moreland tackles challenges within her classroom head on. While teaching technology classes at Navasota Junior High School, she has helped implement a project-based learning approach that helps students quickly find confidence and independence in a competitive and rapidly changing world.
Her colleagues commend and admire her tenacity and involvement in her students’ lives, and she is notorious in her community for being available to step in and assist with any responsibility—no matter the size.
In addition to her classes, Moreland serves as a sponsor for three organizations, coaches UIL academic events every year, and teaches math skills to students who struggle to pass their state assessments.
She also has undertaken the added responsibility of fostering two children. The relationship she built with these students allowed them to grow and succeed in a way that would not have been possible had she not intervened and changed their situation forever, according to colleagues.
“She is a true leader for our students,” a colleague said. “She leads by example, and the qualities that radiate through her are plentiful. She lives according to strong principles and morals that are evident in all that she does.”
“My praise for Moreland is the highest that any principal could give,” said NJH principal Charles Lester. “She is good for the students at Navasota Junior High, both as an exemplary educator and as a model of an adult guided by strong principles.”
Courtesy of Sam Houston State University Communications Office.