Dr. Teri Marshall, current English Department Chair for the Upper School at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, is this year’s recipient of the Dr. Edmund J. Farrell Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes Dr. Farrell’s lasting impact in the profession of English language arts education, commitment to excellence in the teaching of English, and continued dedication to service and support of the mission of the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts. The 2020 recipient for this award proves each of these distinguished elements true in her near 40-year career.
Marshall’s work for The College Board and the Advanced Placement (AP) program serve as high distinctions in her career. She has worked on numerous College Board publications, including both versions of the AP English Vertical Teams Guide, and she served several terms on the test development committee for AP English Language and Composition. She has worked alongside countless teachers whom she has inspired, like Alfonso Correa from Dallas ISD who recalls fondly her “leadership, wisdom, dedication, and friendship.” Marshall was also the lead author for Pre- AP: Setting the Cornerstones for the AP Vertical Team—a College Board initiative that equipped schools to set up successful and maintainable systems for Pre-AP and AP vertical teams across the country. Kelly Tumy, Past-President for TCTELA, was trained by Dr. Marshall to present this workshop nationwide and remarked, “Teri is the gold standard in College Board work. This work helped reach smaller communities in Texas, Alice ISD and Robstown ISD, that may never have had the opportunity to set up strong vertical teams. To be trained by Teri was simply a highlight of my career.”
Marshall has also inspired generations of teachers through her work at AP Summer Institutes. Teaching an Advanced Placement course for the first time can be a daunting task, but Marshall’s summer institutes puts teachers in front of a master teacher and a master supporter of teachers. As another nominator stated, “Her knowledge and encouragement make other teachers, especially me, aspire to her level.”
Marshall exemplifies the continued dedication to service and support of the mission of TCTELA. Since serving as President of our organization in the 1990s, she has been supporting involvement in the language arts community ever since. Teri is the teacher of teachers who, simply put, will never let go. Her threads in Texas education reach out to the fabric of all of Texas. From a Dallas teacher whom Marshall tapped to be her colleague at St. Mary’s Hall and who called this “no greater honor for her to trust me to work at her beloved school,” to a lifelong friend from the Waco area who still “seeks her advice in the development of curriculum and teacher training,” to the Houston area once-timid Pre-AP teacher who now is a curriculum director for Harris County, who credits Marshall for teaching her “how to rise above the fray of educational politics and see my worth as a professional again,” Marshall’s legacy will live on for generations to come.
For all of these reasons and so many more, Dr. Teri Marshall truly personifies what it means to be deserving of this Distinguished Lifetime Service Award.
2020 - Carol Wickstrom, University of North Texas