Today@Sam Article

Professor Receives TSUS Regent's Teacher Award

Feb. 28, 2024
SHSU Media Contact: Emilee White

In recognition of her years of dedicated work and service to Sam Houston State University, Mary Petron received the Office of Regents’ Teacher honor from the Texas State University System’s (TSUS) Board of Regent on Feb. 23. She was one of two SHSU faculty members to be recognized.

Before joining the SHSU faculty in 2009, the professor of bilingual and English as a second language (ESL) education in the School of Teaching and Learning previously earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and went on to obtain a master’s degree from Northwestern University as well as her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Additionally, Petron served as an assistant professor at Texas A&M International University. From left: Regent Stephen Lee, Mary Petrón and University President Alisa White.

Her most recent recognition is just one of many Petron has received over the course of her career for her teaching talent and skills, including Teacher of the Year at Texas A&M International’s College of Education and the A&M System Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Petron has also won the College of Education Excellence in Teaching Award twice.

“Awards make me very uncomfortable,” Petron said. “I’ve been a teacher for a very long time, and I owe it to my students. I know there isn’t a voting process from them, but I just love the students here and I love what I teach. It’s very humbling, but I don't do this for any award.”

Petron has continued to serve Sam Houston State as the bilingual/ESL program coordinator and site coordinator for the School of Teaching and Learning’s year-long residency program. In addition to serving as chair of the curriculum committee, Petron’s dedication to their success can be seen in her willingness to work directly with her students.

The titleof Regents’ Teacher is a lifelong dedication that Petron feels honored to hold, but it’s the “little victories” throughout her career that have made her bigger achievements even more meaningful.

“I always tell [my students] to look for the little victories because those are common, the big ones are not,” Petron said. “My area is ESL, so the first time you can get an English-learner to say ‘Hello’ to you who is not afraid to say it, that’s a little victory. It’s those [kinds of victories] that have kept me teaching and it’s what I pass on to my students.”

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