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Crescent Real Estate Rewards Teaching Excellence in Fort Worth Schools

Special Education teacher earns Chair of Teaching Excellence Award for using technology to drive student success at Boulevard Heights School, Fort Worth, Texas

Special education students are capable of and have an innate love of learning. As teachers, we help a student access and nurture that love. I use ... technology centered around students’ interests.
— Wayland Scott, special education teacher, FWISD
FORT WORTH, TEXAS, USA, November 21, 2016 / -- Wayland Scott, a special education teacher at Boulevard Heights School in Fort Worth Independent School District, earned Crescent Real Estate’s Chair for Teaching Excellence in Career and Technology Education. Scott was recognized for applying current technology to teach curriculum programs that drive student success in the special education classroom.

Scott officially received the honorary designation, 2016-17 Chair for Teaching Excellence, and received a $5,000 honorarium at a November 16 luncheon at City Club of Fort Worth. However, the honor was announced in a surprise visit to Scott’s classroom by Crescent executives and Fort Worth ISD officials October 17th. Crescent Real Estate donated the $5,000 honorarium for Chair for Teaching Excellence in Career & Technology Education. Crescent has participated annually in the Fort Worth ISD Academic Chairs for Teaching Excellence program since 2005.

Scott nurtures a technology culture in the special education classroom to connect the learning function to real life interests, activities and life skills. One student who has difficulty remembering his home address was instructed how to use Google Earth applications to find his way from home to a grocery to school and back home. The student now has knowledge of how to plan other destinations, according to Scott. Scott also assisted a non-verbal student with autism to communicate through use of icons on visual boards. Communicating through icons reduced the student’s aggressive and disruptive classroom behavior.

Giving a student an iPad to show them cool stuff is not enough, according to Scott. “While using technology to teach, we also need to teach students how to use technology,” Scott said. Scott’s use of technology in the classroom increases knowledge of technology for challenged students, as well as improves student behavior and promotes appropriate and positive social skills building.

“I assess a student’s needs and look for skills that need to be developed. I create an environment in the classroom where behavior is functional and can be generalized in the real world,” Scott said.

Scott receives high grades for teaching technology skills to special education students. He mentors other teachers by building and sharing tools to teach technology skills.

Kellie Cullen, a campus speech and language pathologist, recommended Scott for Chair for Teaching Excellence in Career and Technology Education. Cullen stated that while it might be “unorthodox to recommend a Special Education teacher for the Chair in Teaching Excellence for Technology, Wayland has bridged a gap, and that is having powerful impact on student learning.”

Cullen added that following a Fort Worth ISD technology conference to teach students technology based on their interests, one elementary teacher noticed her students were applying skills learned in Scott’s class to make animated movies independently during free time.

Boulevard Heights School principal Paul Kaufman heard the reports of special education students applying what they learned in Scott’s co-curricular technology applications course. Kaufman was impressed when he witnessed students’ short animated movies.

“These minute long ‘shorts’ contain all the basic elements of story…and stand as testament to what our special education students are capable of…when given proper instruction. [Wayland] has revolutionized the way our staff and students think about technology,” said Kaufman.

When asked if Scott demonstrates excellence when participating as a team member on campus, Kaufman answered “Yes, absolutely!” The school principal went on to state that Scott demonstrates excellence in classroom and extracurricular activities, and that his students demonstrate discipline and excellence in the classroom.

Suzanne Stevens, managing director and chief financial officer of Crescent Real Estate Equities, LLC, who presented Crescent’s Chair for Teaching Excellence award to Scott during the luncheon, visited his classroom in October to announce the honor to him along with some of his students and teaching colleagues. Stevens has participated in the Crescent-sponsored program each year since 2007.

“Presenting the Chair for Teaching Excellence in Career and Technology Education is always a highlight of my year. I am proud that Crescent continues to partner with Fort Worth ISD on this innovative program. It is very rewarding for us to celebrate teachers and to give them the recognition that they deserve,” said Stevens.

“While Ms. Cullen, in her recommendation of Wayland Scott, said it might be unorthodox to recognize a special education teacher for use of technology, there is no one more deserving than Wayland for how he has reached his students and made a difference in their education success,” Stevens added.

Scott was one of 15 Fort Worth ISD teachers earning an honorary chair for teaching excellence during a luncheon held November 16 at City Club of Fort Worth. The Chairs for Teaching Excellence program was established in Fort Worth ISD in 1994. Modeled after the university-level Chair program, it is designed to recognize and reward exemplary teachers. This program is unique for its role in a public K-12 setting and for its rigorous selection process.

“Special education students are capable of, and have an innate love of learning,” said Scott. “As teachers, we help a student access and nurture that love. I maintain the District’s singleness of purpose by fostering and bolstering each student’s love of learning, which I accomplish by using and developing technology centered around individual students’ interests.”

Scott, who has worked in Fort Worth ISD for six years, is the 2015 Teacher of the Year for Boulevard Heights School. He chairs the school’s technology committee, and serves on the school’s cultural awareness and special events committees. Scott is a five-year volunteer for Fort Worth ISD Special Olympics program. He has an associate degree in Arts/Psychology from Tarrant County Junior College and a bachelor degree in Arts/Psychology from University of Texas Arlington.

Crescent Real Estate Holdings LLC, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a fully-integrated real estate company owned by Goff Capital and Barclays Capital. Through its subsidiaries, Crescent manages and develops premier, Class A office buildings. Crescent also holds investments in resort residential developments in locations such as Scottsdale, Vail Valley, and Lake Tahoe; a luxury hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas; and the wellness lifestyle leader, Canyon Ranch®. For more information, visit

Dennis Winkler
Crescent Real Estate
713 259-0195
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