Levelland ISD is celebrating the distinction of receiving a Region 17 Teacher of the Year Award. Cathie McMahan, a history teacher at Levelland Middle School (LMS), was named the Region 17 2020 Secondary Teacher of the Year.
School districts may nominate one teacher each year so McMahan was selected for this regional honor among educators on the South Plains. As a result of this win, McMahan will be a candidate for the Texas Teacher of the Year along with the other regional winners.
McMahan has been in educational positions for the past 15 years. For the past six years, McMahan has been teaching both Texas and US History at LMS. In addition to her work as a social studies teacher, she has developed and “energized” the Gifted and Talented program at LMS, as well as piloting an honors level history research class using the National History Day (NHD) program. Prior to that, she taught at Levelland Intermediate, Brownfield, Seagraves and Seminole.
As described in her application, McMahan explains that she, “began her teaching career after stumbling upon her passion for education.” She felt drawn to education after working with middle school students and seeing that she could expand her nature to teach, along with her love of history.
National History Day is one of the initiatives that McMahan has implemented at LMS. When asked about her involvement in improvement of the overall school culture, she explained “The project that has recently impacted our campus and school culture is the implementation of our “NHD” class. NHD is a competition that was created in 1974. It challenges 6th-12th grade students to research a topic of their choice that fits within an annual theme. Students compete locally, then at the state level, with a chance to advance to the national competition in Washington D.C. Student competitors can write a research paper, create an exhibit, website, documentary, or performance to express what they learned.” According to LMS Principal Brad Clanton, “Our students have advanced to the state contest the past two years. We are thrilled for Cathie and all the good she is doing for our students.”
In working with G/T students, she has provided many unique learning opportunities for Levelland ISD students. During the past year, their work was based on a theme of Small Living Spaces. Students toured tiny and extravagant homes and then designed tiny home floor plans. These were judged by five architects from Lubbock. The winning plan was converted into an official construction plan and will be created by our construction classes beginning in 2019-2020.