Paul Duke STEM High School’s Halie Waddell Rios received the Marcella E. Oberle Award for Outstanding Teaching in Grades K-12 at the National Communication Association’s (NCA) 108th Annual Convention in New Orleans.
Each year, the NCA honors the best in academic Communication, presenting awards for outstanding scholarship, teaching, and professional service. The awards recognize a wide range of contributions to the Communication discipline.
As an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) educator, Ms. Rios’ work reflects her enduring impact on international high school students. "Winning this award has provided me with a national platform to share the importance of fostering positive and productive communication in ESOL classrooms, " Ms. Rios said when asked about what this award means to her. "It is exciting to know that we are getting recognized for empowering our students to use their voices to solve problems, self-advocate, and make a difference in their communities," she added. Ms. Rios has shown a deep commitment to students who are learning-disabled, diverse, and underserved; it is reflected in her everyday acts. Even sharing an American-style meal, she says, is a teachable moment for her students as they learn to communicate in English.
Ms. Rios was among more than 30 Communication scholars honored at the NCA’s convention. With the theme, “Honoring PLACE: People, Liberation, Advocacy, Community, and Environment,” nearly 4,000 Communication scholars, educators, and practitioners gathered in the Big Easy Nov. 17-20.