Austin, TEXAS — The Texas A&M University-Central Texas chapter of Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) was awarded the University Unit of the Year Award at the state Conference in Austin on Saturday.

To be considered for the award, the students had to show effective local unit management, innovative methods for encouraging membership growth, and community service initiatives. After submitting the application for consideration, and being named a finalist, unit President Ron Sursa, was then interviewed by a panel of judges. The award included a cash prize of $500 to put toward community projects.

Some of the TAMUCT ATPE service projects at West Ward Elementary over past year included providing several backpacks of supplies to their adopted school, giving out over 200 new books at Halloween, providing meals for seven families at Thanksgiving and filling their pantries, and bringing children’s author Jerry Palotta to speak to the students. They also collected donations to send to the firefighters in Bastrop, gathered cans as part of the Warrior Week canned food drive, and had two teams participate at the Relay for Life.

“I have never been as proud to work with a group as I am to work with this one,” said faculty advisor, Dr. Deborah Crowder. “It has been and honor to work with people who have the drive and determination and work ethic that this group of ATPE students have. As a team, these folks are unstoppable!”

The officers of TAMUCT ATPE consists of President Ron Sursa, Vice President Tonya Miller, Suzanne Frazier secretary,  Melissa Stokes treasurer and Member Chair Lloret McNeill.


ATPE is the preeminent public educator association in Texas and makes a difference in the lives of educators and schoolchildren. In partnership with all stakeholders, we are committed to providing every child an equal opportunity to receive an exemplary public education. For more information, visit http://www.ATPE.org.

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