Tarleton State University honored more than a dozen educators who have made a difference in students’ lives Tuesdaynight at the annual Crystal Apple Society Induction Dinner.

This year’s 15 inductees teach a variety of classrooms, from elementary school to college, in Stephenville and nearby school districts.

In addition, two longtime educators — Drs. Ann Calahan and Jill Burk — received Career Achievement Awards.

College of Education Dean Jordan Barkley presided over the ceremony, and President F. Dominic Dottavio thanked the teachers for their service and commitment to the profession.

The College of Education created the Crystal Apple Society in 2012 to honor educators who have made a positive impact on the lives of students. Since then, the society has raised thousands of dollars in scholarships for Tarleton Texans.

Career Achievement Awards

Dr. Ann Calahan

Calahan is a professor and former department head for Curriculum and Instruction at Tarleton. Before joining the university in 1987, she worked as a fourth-grade teacher at Granbury Elementary School. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Tarleton in 1980. 

For the past 17 years, she has served on the Stephenville ISD Board of Trustees, for which she is now president. As a school board member, Calahan participated in the Leadership TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) program that includes visits to exemplary school districts, presentations from nationally recognized speakers and networking with 34 other board members from across the state.

One of Calahan’s most treasured service projects is her membership on the leadership team for Jim Boyd’s Effective Schools Project, now one of the nation’s largest and longest-running school improvement ventures.

Dr. Jill Burk

A former dean of Tarleton’s College of Education, Burk served the university in numerous capacities, including professor in Curriculum and Instruction, coordinator of the reading program, director of the Tarleton Center for Professional Development of Educators and director of the Effective Schools Project.

Before joining Tarleton, she worked as a public school teacher for 17 years in Texas and Kansas.

While at Tarleton, she secured more than $2 million in grants and received the Tarleton State University Distinguished Faculty Award in 2017. Her research interests include studying teacher effectiveness and examining the impact of technology on reading instruction and achievement.

Burk retired from Tarleton in 2014 and now works part time teaching graduate reading classes and clinical teachers.

This year’s Crystal Apple inductees are:

Kasha Bills, a 2003 Tarleton graduate and first-grade teacher in Huckabay ISD. Betsy Choate, a graduate of Angelo State University and sixth-grade science teacher at Gilbert Intermediate School in Stephenville. Bobby Clevenger, a 2011 Tarleton graduate and Stephenville High School teacher in Pre-AP Geometry and Algebra 2. Jenna Hayes, a graduate of West Texas A&M University and fourth-grade teacher at Hook Elementary School in Stephenville. Dr. Mike Leese, associate vice president for Tarleton’s Student Affairs and Dean of Students and graduate of Texas A&M University. Allen Mays, a graduate of Texas Tech University and science teacher at Stephenville High School. Nicole Miles, a graduate of St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., and teacher in Midway ISD. Kelli Roberson, a Tarleton graduate and seventh-grade reading teacher at Henderson Junior High School. Dr. Christopher Sloan, a graduate of Texas Tech University and assistant professor in Tarleton’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Kathy Horak Smith, associate professor of mathematics at Tarleton and graduate of Georgia State University. Dr. Sherian Smith, retired associate professor of special education at Tarleton and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Dwayne Snider, a graduate of Tarleton and Texas Tech University and now associate vice president for Academic Affairs at Tarleton. Dr. Steve Steed, a graduate of the University of North Texas and now dean of Tarleton’s College of Business Administration. Arielle Sword, a graduate of Tarleton and head choir director at Stephenville High School. Dr. David Weissenburger, interim dean of Tarleton’s College of Health Sciences and Human Services and graduate of Texas Woman’s University.