AUSTIN — While most were making plans for a week away from school, a few Waxahachie ISD teachers had quite the eventful pre-Spring Break.

Instead of sitting back and letting legislators make decisions in regards to education, several Waxahachie teachers joined more than 400 educators at the Texas Capitol Building on Monday. The Association of Texas Professional Educators members discussed important education issues with lawmakers with lawmakers.

According to the ATPE, those issues included opposing school vouchers, funding an equitable solution to fully funding public education, and providing affordable healthcare options for public school employees.

“It’s an honor to represent Waxahachie educators,” said Nora Crist, a Waxahachie 6th grade social studies teacher. “We came here with the hopes of establishing a strong relationship with our lawmakers. Our goal is to make funding public education a priority because Texas kids deserve a quality education – regardless of what zip code they live in.”

The educators made the journey during "ATPE at the Capitol," which is a two-day event where teachers learn about education policy and connect with their elected legislators. With more than 100,000 members, ATPE is the state’s largest educator group and the voice of public education.

The busy week continued Tuesday with an announcement by the Texas Education Agency in regards to a new mentorship program for first-year or beginning CTE teachers. The program is designed to help those fresh teachers network with colleagues, share challenges and successes and discover helpful resources and strategies. According to a WISD press release, the mentorship program also aims to assist in retaining quality teachers in the Career and Technical Education field.

After veteran teachers from across the state had applied to serve as mentors, WHS teachers Donna Shepherd and Shyla Vire were among those chosen to fill the role.

"After applying, Shepherd and Vire attended and trained on successful mentorship of these teachers. Shepherd and Vire are currently in Austin with their new mentees covering a variety of topics including stages of beginning teaching, meeting diverse needs, CTE, self-assessment strategies, establishing rapport, questioning strategies and much more," reads the WISD announcement. "These mentors and mentees will continue to collaborate via online communities after formal training. Congratulations to Mrs. Shepherd and Mrs. Vire on being chosen among many to mentor new CTE teachers!"

Waxahachie ISD CTE offers a comprehensive CTE program for WISD and area students. For more information visit www.wisd.org/CATE or one of the many WISD social media pages.