Pasadena ISD Superintendent of Schools, Dr. DeeAnn Powell with Deschamps-Jones at the Shining Stars Gala last May.
2016 Memorial salutatorian Montserrat Tijerina nominated Deschamps-Jones for the award.
By Melissa Trevizo
Memorial biology teacher Amber Deschamps-Jones has been selected as a University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award winner.
“I was surprised and completely honored to receive this award,” Deschamps-Jones said. “I love what I do and to be recognized by one of my students is a wonderful reward.”
Deschamps-Jones was nominated by class of 2016 Memorial salutatorian and University of Chicago freshman Montserrat Tijerina.
“Ms. Deschamps-Jones pushes her students to be their best and to not be afraid of trying new things,” Tijerina said. “Her classroom was a hotbed of ideas and the way she engaged everyone made every topic, no matter how complicated or tricky, a challenge we were ready to tackle.”
Deschamps-Jones not only dedicates her time to teaching pre-AP and AP biology, but she is also the campus’ student council sponsor, science UIL coach and environmental club co-sponsor.
“Our students frequently tell us that they were influenced by a high school educator, like Ms. Deschamps-Jones, someone who challenged them intellectually for the first time and opened new vistas into the realm of discovery,” said James G. Nondorf, University of Chicago Vice President of Enrollment. “Contributions to the academic and personal development of young people rarely receive the recognition they deserve and that’s why this program exists.”
For more than thirty years, the College of the University of Chicago has asked its entering students to identify and commend outstanding high school educators.
Deschamps-Jones now joins the ranks of countless educators honored by this program.
“Ms. Deschamps-Jones genuinely cares about her students, offering a granola bar when she overhears someone mentioning skipping breakfast to catch the bus on time,” Tijerina said. “There's nothing she can't do when it comes to making people laugh, and her awesome sense of humor makes every class different. Anyone who gets the chance to have her as a biology teacher, better yet as a friend, is a lucky person indeed.”