LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Mark Rogers

Position: Kindergarten Teacher
School: Austin Achieve Elementary School
School District: Austin Achieve Public Schools
City, State: Austin, TX

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Music that Describes Mark

Mark Rogers was nominated by Ivan Quezada, the parent of a student.

"Mark elevates the art of teaching every single day, in and outside of class," said Quezada. "As a parent of an Austin Achieve scholar, and a member of the AAES PTO, I have clearly seen to his accomplishments. I’ve enjoyed having Mark on my child’s teaching team and truly believe he is one of the biggest reasons for my children’s academic success."

Mr. Rogers has always been driven to develop his skills as a teacher. He eagerly takes up extra responsibilities and expands his influence, such as by being involved in the TeachPlus and Texas Charter Schools Association advocacy fellowship, where he shares teaching stories to legislators to help them craft beneficial legislation. For example, he helped advise on HB 18, which was passed in the recent legislative session. This bill requires all teachers in Texas be trained on recognizing mental health trauma within their students.

He continues to demonstrate this drive through his team and work. He was recommended by peers and leadership for a gubernatorial appointment to the State Board of Educator Certification, an 11-member board that oversees educator certification in Texas. His attention to students and environmental needs are impactful to the school. For example, he created a composting program for his school, which has diverted 44 tons of compostable material away from landfill so far.

Because of Mr. Rogers' efforts to make a positive difference in students' lives, he was named a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in 2018. He won the HEB Excellence in Education Award for outstanding classroom contributions.

Mr. Rogers has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially children. His ability to connect with his students and his talent at teaching both simple and advanced topics are both truly superior. He achieves this all while putting children first and cultivating a warm, welcoming environment that inspires everyone to be themselves.  At the beginning of every day, the class sings songs on the guitar and has morning circle. This routine ensures every scholar, one-by-one, has a chance to be recognized and heard. Every scholar receives individualized feedback and instruction to ensure they are improving the best versions of themselves daily.

"Mark accomplishes all these tasks with great initiative and passion for positive attitudes," Quezada said. "We truly feel he plays an integral part in our community. We need more Marks in the world!"

Comments (1)

Debbie Olson Posted over a year ago

Hi Mark. We have been so blessed by you this year through Acellus. We have 2 foster children in 5th grade who, God willing, we will be adopting within the year. You have greatly helped raise these kids from the school determined 1st grade level they came to us at in August, to almost a 5th grade level. We have had to sit with them through most all of their Acellus classes throughout the school year and have greatly enjoyed your fun spirited, interesting, and humorous, teaching. We moved from Austin to the big Island of Hawaii 4 years ago. If you and your family would like to refresh yourselves in Hawaii this summer, we would be happy to serve you and your family by hosting you in our spacious home in Kona, overlooking the Ocean. Thanks for what you do for so many children.