2022 TAAE Award Winners

Best Practice Award 2022

Registered Official Seal (1)
Antione Sherfield

Everman ISD DAEP Learning Center's Reset Classroom

The RESET Classroom created at Everman ISD’s DAEP is this year’s Best Practice Award winner. Please make sure to attend the closing session of the 33rd annual session.  The Learning Center will be sharing the RESET Classroom that they developed during the 2021 school year.

RESET stands for Restore, empower, support, educate, and transform. These five actions are carried out at Everman ISD’s DAEP.  The program focuses on developing the whole student: academically as well as socially. One of the goals of the reset classroom is to create a significant change in students’ emotional disposition and behavior. The Learning Center wanted to see a decrease in the number of students returning for a second time at the discipline alternative education program.   Everman isd's DAEP seeks to remove the social and emotional barriers that often impede student learning and success. All attendees please make sure you stay for this final session of the 33rd annual taae conference to be held July 10-12, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

RESET Synopsis:

We all who have worked in a traditional DAEP know what the classroom setting looks like. The program transitions the "whole student" utilizing SEL after a certain time in a typical setup, the student then moves into a traditional classroom setting to continue his/her Edgenuity work on the computer, has leadership, SEL activities, and connects back to the home campus to start transitioning back to their original home campus. The cubicles and walls are literally removed. Finally, the data supports the success of the program as well: 29% would return to the DAEP for repeat offenses in Fall 2021 compared to only a mere 2% in the Spring of 2022. I can visualize this plan and process this school is doing. It reminds me of a rehabilitation plan. Instead of an injury or a prison sentence, a student is rehabilitated into successful learning while being on a DAEP placement. This rehabilitation found in this RESET Program is a testament of TAAE. We believe in reshaping futures and transforming lives. We do this by educating the whole child. The RESET Classroom at Everman ISD is a relevant best practice that many other DAEPs could benefit from today and in the future.


Lisa Rogers, PhD

TAAE Administrator of the Year

Clara Campbell, DAEP Administrator at Birdville ISD

Congratulations go out to Ms. Clara Campbell, the DAEP Administrator in the Birdville ISD.

Ms. Campbell is so deserving of this award. The leadership and ability to think outside the box has proven that when you are flowing in your calling, others will easily recognize and take note.


Ms. Campbell was born and raised in the DFW area, graduating from David W. Carter High School. Clara began her post-secondary education at Western Texas Junior College in Snyder, Texas. She then moved on to UNT (BFA 1989) in Denton, Tx. excelling in basketball. She would later be inducted into the UNT Athletic Hall of Fame (2000). Ms. Campbell obtained her MS in Education in 2006 from Jacksonville State University. Her first administrative role began in the Waco ISD at Tennyson Middle school and Waco High School. In 2011, she relocated to the DFW area, serving as Assistant Principal at Haltom High School in the Birdville ISD, before moving into the position of DAEP Administrator in 2020.


Drawing on her previous years as an administrator serving the needs of at-risk youth, Ms. Campbell enacted some procedural changes from the norm or status quo. The campus day-today operations include teachers rotating or moving from classroom to classroom instead of the students. During placement, both teachers and students are expected to maintain communication with home campus instructors. Working closely with the SE Counselor, the students are exposed to a 20-day Character Education curriculum. Utilizing a computerized point system, Behavior Management Program, instant feedback is provided that allows students to monitor their behavior, along with home campuses being able to monitor their students as well. In addition to behavioral improvements, academics are also prioritized. To help maintain student grades and further support Campbell’s tutelage, students are given resources and support to prepare the student for re-entry to his or her home campus. While at DAEP, students’ placements might have changed, but not the expectations for success and accountability.


When asked about her education philosophy, Ms. Campbell has led her career with a simple truth. She states, "I firmly believe that students will behave or perform based on the expectations placed before them.” Many of the unique qualities and characteristics that make Clara Campbell so deserving of this award have resulted in improvements at the DAEP campus. She is in tune with her students and staff. She is no follower. From coaching basketball, to teaching Art, Health, and English, her leadership has garnered praise. She doesn’t believe in excuses, and accepted the challenge of restructuring the campus, with one thought in mind, “No one has ever drowned in sweat,” her favorite quote or motto. Please join me in congratulating Ms. Clara Campbell on being selected as the 2022-23 Alternative Education Administrator of the year!

Thank, you,

Lisa rogers, PhD

TAAE President-Elect

Educator of the Year

Melodie McClarren

Melodie McClarren, Tuloso-Midway ISD Academic Career Center

Melodie McClarren, finishing her 27th year as the principal at the Academic Career Center with Tuloso-Midway ISD, is TAAE’s 2023 Educator of the year. This year, she is actually finishing her 42nd year in the district and her 47 years in education. She is by no means a stranger to education. Her teaching career began in August of 1972. She has taught on all three campus levels from life skills to Algebra and Geometry on the high school level. She spent 2 years as an AP, before she began her tenure as a principal in the district.

She is the epitome of dedication and commitment to the education profession. Mcclarren states, “Alternative Education will forever be the best years of my life in education,” She truly has the passion and conviction to lead a successful alternative program.  She has considered it an honor and a privilege to serve students and their families. She believes that students should be active participants in their learning and make it fun and engaging. Not only that, but she also believes in working methodically, meticulously, and collaboratively with all involved.

Finally, Mrs. Mclarren believes parents should serve as active partners in educating their children. Melodie researches and dedicates her time and energy to foster these relationships and improve the overall success of the student. Melodie has been married 50 years, she is the mother of 3 adult daughters and two granddaughters ages 9 and 10.

Congratulations, Mrs. McClarren, TAAE’s 2022 Educator of the year!


Lisa Rogers, PhD

TAAE President-Elect

Friend of Alternative Ed

Brian Merrell, Exe. Dir. of School Leadership at Bryan ISD.  

The Texas Association for Alternative Education is proud to award Dr. Brian Merrell as the 2022 friend of alternative education. Dr Brian Merrell serves Brian ISD as an executive director. Dr Merrell is the Clear Choice for this award. First, he provides true interventions for students at the daep.  he is extremely visible to the students as well as the faculty members on the campuses of Bryan ISD. He collaborates with the faculty and staff to create ways to reach students. Dr Merrill created the brown ISD student ambassador program which is active on every campus. These ambassadors on each campus work together to develop Future Leaders. Dr Merrill regularly meets with these student ambassadors. He provides team building activities that engage them and problem-solving concerns on campuses, the district, or issues that might arise in the life of students.

Dr Merrell is hands on.  He leads students through a ropes type day he will take a full day about every 3 weeks to work with students at the DAEP. The ropes day includes activities that foster team building as well as problem solving. Students can learn about themselves as well as each other.

Finally, Dr Merrell has built a network of constituents to better the lives of students at Bryan ISD. Furthermore, he has reached out to Faith -based groups as well as Community leaders that support the school district and the students. Each Friday at 9:00 a.m. at the DAEP, these leaders and groups come together to engage and be a part of the students’ lives. This is yet another example of the dedication Dr. Merrell continues to show in the district and the community that he is concerned about the lives of students and their success. Dr. Merrell’s dedication and commitment to the students is matchless. The faculty and staff of the district are grateful for his service to them. He has empowered and motivated them all. Congratulations, Dr. Merrill!


Lisa Rogers, PhD

TAAE President-Elect

Life Membership Award

Amanda Godrey

Amanda Godfrey, TAAE Treasurer and Mary Catherine Harris/DAEP/JJC at Bryan ISD 

Texas Association for alternative education takes great pride in announcing our very own TAAE treasurer as a life membership award winner. many of you know Amanda as The Genius Bar Guru. She leads the zoom meetings that help to connect TAAE members together.  She also holds an in-person genius hour at the in-person conference each year.

Amanda currently serves Brian Independent School District at the Mary Harris School. she lives and breathes MC Harris, DAEP, and JJC. Amanda goes above and beyond with whatever she does. She is always researching and looking for new ways to help students and to make a difference in those students' lives. Amanda is the queen of many things. She is the queen of RTI, making referrals to 504 all special education, and truly connecting with kids. she shares the Brazos County Relay for Life and helps to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Amanda works with students daily. She supports staff to better support the students. She supports the principal at MC Harris as well. Ms Amanda loves to reach out and share with others, so that we all can become better at our jobs and at our mission of educating each child. She is not only an asset to TAAE, she is an asset to the Bryan Independent school district and the community where she resides.  Amanda is so fun to be around.  She does not hesitate to volunteer her time and services to others.  Last year, she DJ'd our evening Social Hour.  Please join us in congratulating Ms. Amanda Godfrey as the 2022 Life Membership Award winner for the Texas Association for Alternative Education.


Lisa Rogers, PhD

President-Elect TAAE

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