The Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (TCTELA) has named Vista Ridge High School English Teacher Amber Funderburgh Teacher of the Year.

TCTELA’s annual Teacher of the Year awards recognize outstanding elementary, middle school, high school and college educators. Funderburgh was nominated by a colleague for the High School Teacher of the Year Award for her dedication to the literacy field. She impacts the literacy lives of students each day, and continually inspires her colleagues.

“The best part of being in Amber’s classroom is listening to the way she confers with students,” Senior Coordinator of Language Arts Jennifer Cain said. “She is a natural. I’m in awe of how she acknowledges student thinking while extending their learning in a seamless manner. Amber is an amazing educator.”

Language Arts Curriculum Specialist Cody Edwards said that a large part of Amber’s students’ success is due to her passion for writing pedagogy. Amber has co-directed the Heart of Texas Writing Project out of The University of Texas at Austin for many years. She has brought that same expertise to LISD teachers via the Leander Writes Institute, where she runs two cohorts per year. 

Funderburgh is currently teaching English I at Vista Ridge High School. According to Edwards, she excels at creating a safe, inclusive environment.

“Students love to be in her classroom because it is the personification of literacy love,” Edwards said. “Her shelves and chalk trays burst with books; the walls drip with student exemplars; and the room buzzes with reading and writing activity.”