Lake Dallas ISD teacher wins $10,000 Rather Prize, announced this morning at SXSWedu

The 2017 SXSWedu Conference & Festival takes place March 6-9 in downtown Austin.

The 2017 SXSWedu Conference & Festival takes place March 6-9 in downtown Austin.

Rather PrizeThe 2017 Rather Prize award to a Dallas-area teacher was announced this morning at SXSWedu in Austin.

The winner is Katie Landaverde, a teacher at Lake Dallas Elementary School, awarded for her idea to implement workshops targeted at elementary students and taught by high school students where students attend morning seminars on the topics of their choice. The goal of the program is to provide younger students the opportunity to explore their passion while simultaneously allowing older students to develop expertise by teaching the subjects of their interest.

“I felt strongly there was a way to pull everyone’s talents together,” Landaverde said following the announcement.

The Rather Prize, which awards $10,000 to the student or educator with the best idea for how to improve Texas public schools, was founded in 2015 by newsman Dan Rather and his grandson, Martin, and was the result of Martin's desire to improve society through strengthening public education, Dan Rather said. He attributed his success as a reporter to his formative years as a student in Texas public schools.

“What you are looking at is a reporter who got lucky, and part of why is because I am a product of Texas public schools,” Dan Rather said.

In a subsequent on-stage interview, Dan Rather asked Landaverde to explain the first two steps for implementation of the program in schools. Landaverde referenced the need for building a strong culture of leadership, followed by ensuring that teachers, staff and community members are willing to help with execution.


By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


gavel on books
Judge: Pflugerville lawsuit attempting to prevent ESD 17 annexation election gets dismissed

According to a Sept. 13 memorandum from Travis County’s 200th Civil District Court Judge Jessica Mangrum, the lawsuit has been dismissed, and the court will not be ruling on the temporary injunction.

The brewery will remain open as changes are made. (Courtesy Kelly Meyer)
New owners of New Braunfels Brewing Company hope to combine original offerings with new creations

Brian and Jacklyn Hebert plan to continue serving some customer favorite brews while incorporating new styles and flavors.

Shoppers can customize bouquets with additions like this Batman emblem. (Photos by Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Local florist Kyle Flower Shop awarded best small business by the city

Kyle Flower Shop sell custom floral arrangements, succulents and small ficus trees.

Screen shot of Dr. Desmar Walkes speaking
Austin ICUs remain crowded with COVID-19 patients, delaying some critical care

Within the past week, there was a waiting list of patients to be transferred into Austin-area ICUs, Austin Public Health leaders said.

Garffer came out on top in a region that included 57 school districts. (Photo courtesy NBISD)
Veramendi Elementary School teacher Melissa Garffer named Region 13 Teacher of the Year

Garffer came out on top in a region that included 57 school districts.

The city of Austin this summer cleared four unregulated homeless encampments and shifted dozens of residents into shelters. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house thousands of Austin's homeless people taking shape, but outlook for local success, project funding still unclear

The strategy's first housing benchmark fell short in June, and updates on how the estimated $515 million needed for housing and services will be spent are overdue.

A rendering shows the new Deep Eddy Psychotherapy office coming to Southwest Austin. (Courtesy of Deep Eddy Psychotherapy)
Bubble tea, therapy and three other new businesses coming to Southwest Austin

A new salon, day care, therapy office and other businesses are coming soon to Southwest Austin.

 Busy Nurse's Station In Modern Hospital
Williamson County seeking input on community health needs

The Williamson County and Cities Health District is holding two focus group sessions through September with the goal of collecting public feedback on community health needs throughout the county.

Urbana at Cottonwood Creek will feature hybrid single-family homes. (Courtesy city of Hutto)
Hutto annexes several parcels for development

Hutto City Council annexed two parcels of land totaling more than 300 acres into the city for future development.

The adopted budget's expenses total $54.5 million. (Courtesy city of Hutto)
Hutto officials adopt $0.536448 tax rate, creating little to no change for property taxes

After weeks of discussion, Hutto City Council has finalized the city’s budget and ad valorem tax rate for fiscal year 2021-22, which will begin Oct. 1.

The 3.27-acre tract of land will be the site of several apartment buildings. (Courtesy city of Hutto)
3.27 acres in Hutto rezoned to allow for construction of apartments

Hutto City Council rezoned 3.27 acres near CR 137 and FM 1660 from general commercial to multifamily use.