Shonda Majors, a biology, human anatomy and physiology teacher at Northland Christian School, has been selected to receive the Texas A&M University Inspiration Award for Exceptional Education. Her award will be presented during the university’s commencement ceremonies Friday, Aug. 10.
Majors, who taught at Houston Christian High School when her former student David Worth was in her class, was nominated for the award by Worth, who is graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the Friday ceremony.
Teachers selected to receive this unusual award — believed to be the first of its type sponsored by any university in Texas — are nominated by one of their former students who are set to graduate from Texas A&M.
The recipient of the award is recognized during commencement ceremonies at the university, where he or she is presented a check for $2,000. The teacher’s high school receives $1,000.
As a university known for valuing excellence, leadership and service, Texas A&M sponsors the award as a way of recognizing those values in the teachers who have inspired and challenged their students to excel, officials note.
Worth says Majors brings a warm hospitality to her classroom. It reflects her personality and that combination makes it accessible and always interesting.
He adds that Majors does everything in her power to help her students learn the information, whether that is using fascinating and entertaining labs, staying after school hours to tutor or thinking up clever ways to remember difficult concepts.
“Mrs. Majors called them her ‘Shonda-isms.’ It was a funny saying or dance move that helped her students remember important concepts. She would stand on a table and dance with her hands flying in different directions to help us remember the different planes and directional terms of the body in anatomy or spin around in a circle with an ADP sticky note on one hand and an inorganic phosphate sticky note on the other to give us a visual of how ATP synthesis works in biology.”
Worth says her “Shonda-isms” are permanently embedded in his brain, and he will catch himself gyrating in funny configurations as he studies large animal anatomy.
According to Worth, Majors’ track record as a teacher shows she not only inspires but also prepares her students to pursue careers in biology, the medical sciences and veterinary medicine. Many of her former students now attend major universities.
He finds this to be an exceptional accomplishment considering she teaches at a small Christian school with an average graduating class of 100 students with only a few that go on to major in a medical science field.
“Every one of those students that attends these professional schools has said that Mrs. Majors inspired them by making learning challenging scientific concepts an adventure,” Worth adds. “Most importantly, she not only inspired us but also tremendously prepared her kiddos to succeed in college so that we could all make it to the next level of our education.”
Worth says he still has contact with Majors and considers her a cherished friend. Whenever he tells her of his accomplishments, she is always so proud of him. Never once has she taken credit: she always gives credit fully to the student which speaks to her character and her values.
“Even though I am no longer in her classroom, I am still one of her ‘kiddos’ and am still learning from this gifted teacher,” he added.
Media contact: Tura King, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4670