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.
— Lake Dallas ISD (@LakeDallasISD) March 6, 2017