FOR EDUCATORS, BY EDUCATORS
We're like you. We're professional educators. It's more than a job to us, but a calling and a passion to do what we do best: Teach students.
As teachers we prefer to focus on what works best for our students. We work hard, and should be free to put the lion's share of our energy and talent into the classroom and into the hearts and minds of students.
This is why a growing number of us are becoming unsatisfied with the systems in place that stifle the creativity of professional educators. We believe the time has come to return the focus to the classroom where it belongs. Our mission is to seek the kinds of changes which will better empower teachers to build the classrooms and schools of tomorrow.
Innovative Teachers of Texas (ITT) was created to give Texas teachers a choice in their professional representation so that they can receive excellent benefits and services they need without funding a political agenda with which they may disagree. ITT is organized as a Texas non-profit corporation created by teachers for teachers to provide research and dialogue among teaching professionals as well as legislative updates which affect the profession. Innovative Teachers of Texas (ITT) promotes professionalism and excellence in the classroom amongst all educators and asks its members to provide the highest quality of education possible to their students. As a non-union alternative, ITT offers choice to educators, promotes decreased union influence, and provides better opportunity for achieving meaningful improvements in K-12 education while empowering educators. Each ITT member is required to take an oath of excellence prior to becoming a member.
ITT’s Oath of Excellence
I hereby commit to fulfill according to my best ability and judgment this oath and this covenant: I will provide exemplary academic instruction and guidance for every student according to their needs and I will do so only for the good of that student. I will always strive to keep them from harm and injustice. I will always act in the best interest of each student and their success, based upon my very best judgment.
ITT will place its emphasis on innovative concepts, and on providing opportunities for discussion regarding implementation of research resulting in curriculum development and developing best practices to use in the classroom and with individual students. ITT will also provide a platform for discussion regarding legislative issues which affect the individual practitioner in education.
Our unique value is that we support teachers as individuals and give them an alternative voice to connect with other professionals and with policy leaders directly. We inspire educators to be confident in their own knowledge and intuition in caring and teaching their students. We don’t preach or tell teachers what to think or how to vote but instead provide information that will allow them to make their own choices, since they are professional practitioners and should be trusted to make their choices through their careful research.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jennifer Winter, Board Chair, President
Jennifer Winter earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Western Washington University and a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Seattle University. She taught Spanish in both public and private schools in Washington State for 11 years. She taught with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in Oakland, Calif., for two years where she brought baby animals for the students to care for and foster and as a result her students improved their test scores by an average of 47%. After 13 years of teaching, Jennifer left her career in teaching and got married. Together, she and her husband have one son. Jennifer enjoys raising their son, supporting her husband’s political career, building relationships within the community, and supporting teachers who are responsible for the most fundamental task of education in America: nurturing the future citizens of America.
Melissa Martin, Board Member, Treasurer
Melissa is a career and technology teacher for the Deer Park Independent School District. She is an advisor for the Family Career and Community Leaders of America, and a former advisor for the Texas Association of Future Educators. She was previously appointed to the Texas Commission on Public School Finance, and she currently serves as a board member for the Texas Juvenile Justice Department at the request and pleasure of Governor Greg Abbot. Martin received a Bachelor of Science in family and consumer science and a Master of Education in education administration from Lamar University.
Caryl Ayala, Board Member, Secretary
Caryl has been teaching young elementary school aged children for 20 years. She is passionate about her students and also the families of her students. She has built strong and trusting relationships with them. She is the Director of Concerned Parents of Texas and ITT is fortunate to have her on its board too. She is also a Family Life Ministry Coordinator at Oak Meadow Baptist Church in Austin Texas. She is married to Jorge Ayala. Together they have 2 married sons and one grandson.