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Southlake Style

Carroll English Teachers Speak at Annual Conference

Feb 20, 2015 12:05PM ● By Kevin

CHS teachers Jenifer Wehmeyer, Sarah Millhorn, Karen Otto and Shane Bybee. Photo courtesy of Carroll ISD.

Carroll High School English teachers Shane Bybee, Sarah Millhorn, Karen Otto and Jenifer Wehmeyer presented topics including technology, large-group instructional strategies, and promoting student voice and choice to other English teachers and district leaders who were in attendance from across the state, according to a recent article at

The article said this is the second consecutive year CHS English teachers have presented at this state-level conference. Bybee and Otto presented last year on the reading and writing workshop format.

“I enjoy presenting at conferences, because I strongly believe that it's very important for teachers to share what has been successful in their own classrooms," Otto said, "...kind of a 'pay it forward' thing.”

According to the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts website, "TCTELA works to advance the literacy growth of all Texas students by developing a network of diverse professionals and by providing professional development based on best practices in education."

“I wanted to speak at the TCTELA conference because it was a great opportunity to share and get feedback on my ideas with other English educators," Jenifer Wehmeyer said. "I presented with Sarah Millhorn and Lindsey Jacobson (Carroll ISD ELA 7-12 Coordinator).  Our presentation was about large group instruction techniques that we have used and perfected over the past three years.  

"The idea behind our activities is to gather groups from different populations (special education students to GT students) and have them work together to complete several timed tasks.  We have found that these activities foster a sense of community and helps reinforce skills taught in the classroom.  Overall, attending and presenting at TCTELA was a wonderful experience because it was a time for like-minded educators from around the state to share strategies that work in the classroom.”

The organization is 51 years old. The 2016 conference takes place at the Renaissance Austin Hotel, Jan. 22-24.

“I wanted to present at TCTELA this year because I wanted to show other teachers the free digital tools available to them in order to customize our teaching to every student at an individual level," Bybee said. "We can teach each student more effectively than ever before.”