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Nearly 200 Waco ISD teachers boost pay through exceptional support to students

(March 14, 2024) WACO, TX– Lake Air Montessori School teacher Fallon Warren calculated, re-calculated, and added the figures up one more time when reviewing her family’s financial budget. The classroom teacher, who has taught for more than a decade, used a pay boost earned through the Teacher Incentive Allotment to become a first-time homeowner with her husband.

“I was overcome with joy and just simply feeling appreciated and seen,” Warren said. “Above all, these stipends have granted us the opportunity to purchase our first home together. Without TIA, this would not have been possible.”

Another 80 Waco ISD teachers have qualified to earn annual salaries approaching six figures through the TIA. This adds to the 110 teachers who qualified in the Spring 2023, bringing the districts total to nearly 200 WISD educators rewarded for growing their students academically, model teaching practices, and going the extra mile to be leaders on their campuses.

“This year, we're excited that we're going to give out approximately $2.5 million in incentive pay to our teachers who were TIA designated,” Waco ISD Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon says. “These are the best of the best. They’re skilled teachers, and they have gone above and beyond to complete the validation process.”

Kendrick Elementary teacher Maria Chapa has worked for Waco ISD since 2015, starting as a paraprofessional. Chapa now has four years of experience as a dual language teacher with a goal to advocate for both students and parents.

“I want my students to be successful in the classroom. Classroom management is one of my priorities, teaching expectations, providing routines that remain consistent and agreements that are followed throughout the day,” Chapa said “Being able to qualify for the TIA has been an honor and encouraged me to keep learning and growing in the education field.”

Deputy Superintendent Dr. Josie Gutierrez said Waco ISD has many effective teachers in the district. But these teachers believe their students can and will excel academically regardless of their circumstances.

“Teachers who have qualified for the Teacher Incentive Allotment are reflective, set high expectations, and engage in leadership,” Gutierrez said. “Their mindset is to adjust their teaching methods to meet student needs while sharing best practices with other educators.”

Now entering its fourth year of WISD teachers qualifying for the TIA, four teachers moved up a level this year, resulting in another pay bump. There are three levels in the reward system: Recognized, Exemplary, and Master, with higher pay at each level. 

“All students deserve a rigorous, engaging, tailored, and comprehensive education. They also deserve to thrive in a classroom where the teacher leads the students with an empathic heart and positive guidance,” Warren says. “Providing hands-on activities that students will naturally and effortlessly enjoy is crucial to lesson success.”