In this newsletter, you'll find 👇

🔖Message from TXCSS President

🔖TXCSS Teacher Tips Blog Post

🔖#TXCSS2023 Conference

🔖The Social Studies Texan

🔖Call for leadership nominations

🔖Call for award nominations

A Message from Dr. Paul Nagel, TXCSS President

As another month and Super Bowl Tuesday (the name my students and I have given the STAAR test) passes, I want to reflect both forward and backward for a moment or two. I also want to give a shout-out to those teachers who have worked tirelessly all year to get your students ready for all of the STAAR and the AP Exams.  I know that I am not the only one trying to get our students across the finish line and end the year positively.

In AP Human Geography, the first unit is “Thinking Geographically.” This unit introduces the students to basic geographic concepts such as maps, geographic data, spatial concepts, human-environment interaction, and regional analysis. The picture above is a unique portion of our great state of Texas. In Texarkana, one can stand in both Texas and Arkansas at the same time. This imaginary line dividing Texarkana in half is an example of a formal regional boundary separating the two states. I was fortunate to visit Texarkana with my father-in-law Allen. 

Can we think of another formal boundary in Texas? How about the United States or around the world? How did the United States and Canada agree on the 49th Parallel? How has Europe thrived since the creation of the European Union, or how have South Koreans reacted to North Korea digging under the Demilitarized Zone? The picture below shows fishermen in Northern Mexico across the United States and the Rio Grande River. How do people around the world think of formal and informal boundaries? 

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. I would like to say Si Yu’os Ma’ase or thank you to the following:

  • To all the Texas Council for Social Studies members. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our students across the great state of Texas.
  • To those Eighth and Eleventh grade and AP Teachers who have gone the distance to help our students.
  • To those social studies teachers in the rural areas of Texas. Having worked in a rural area for a long time, we cannot forget the efforts of those teachers who may teach multiple grades and subjects – thank you.
  • To Dr. Richard Boehm, Dr. David Stea, and Dr. Marilyn Goodwin, who guided me through graduate school at Southwest Texas State University.
  • Finally, to my wife KimberLeigh and my daughters, who have supported me in my efforts to be your President of TXCSS this year.

Please take the time to thank others in your school and department for their efforts. The Texas Council for the Social Studies is only as strong as its members, so share this email with someone new.


Dr. Paul Nagel

TXCSS President


Read the Blog Post

This edition of Teacher Tips focuses on strategies for ending the school year on a positive note. State testing is now over and both teachers and students are ready for the school year to end. How do you keep your students engaged and motivated while having fun ending the school year?

Some of these strategies include:

  • Passion Project
  • Letting your students Teach
  • Water Bottle Time Capsules
  • Creating Survival Guides
  • Six Word Memoirs

These strategies are only the beginning of the fun for you and your students as we close out this year. Check out these strategies and more on Teacher Tips on the TXCSS blog.

Curated by Evangeline Mitchell

Follow Evangeline on Twitter @TXSSMitchell

Read the Blog Post

#TXCSS2023 is better when we are together, learning, growing, connecting as professionals in our field.

Register for #TXCSS2023

TXCSS Conference at a glance is now open and viewable online at Request funding from end of year budgets to cover room rate, conference registration, and be sure to get with your social studies buddy and make plans to join us in Houston in October.

Great lineup of speakers that are sponsored by:

Tunnel 2 Tower, Cato Institute, OER, & World History Digital Education.

Plan on joining TXCSS for our Pre Conference Training - Sponsored by World History Digital Education, a travel stipend of $250.00 will be provided for up to 70 teachers. More information will be found online at

Start chatting and planning now to attend #TXCSS2023 in Houston, TX.  Ask your admin and department chair for end of the year budget money to be used for your conference registration, Hotel Reservation, Transportation. Speak to your Social Studies Teacher friends as a hotel room for 4 is the same cost as a hotel room for 1.

Chad Taylor

Texas Council for the Social Studies

Executive Secretary

Dear TXCSS Members,

The Texan is soliciting articles for the 2023 Summer and Winter Editions.

The theme for the next editions is the following:

  • Summer edition: Waves of Change: Water and the Social Studies - submit by June 15
  • Winter Edition: Colonialism: Past, Present and Future - Submit by October 15

We accept articles that deal with teaching a theme (i.e. lesson plans) as well as those that develop content knowledge. We also accept scholarly articles that explore concepts relevant to social studies education. In addition, we also encourage book reviews from our members.

Do keep in mind that while each edition is themed, not every article or book review in an edition has to adhere strictly to the theme. Please do not be apprehensive about submitting an item for publication. The Texan is the teaching journal of TXCSS and we want to encourage greater participation by K-12 educators in publishing and disseminating their knowledge and experiences to fellow social studies teachers.

If you have any questions, please contact me at

Dr. Jose Maria Herrera

Editor of The Social Studies Texan

Submit a Leadership Nomination

Applications for nomination are available on the at If you have any questions about the application process or would like more information, please email Shalon Bond, TXCSS Past President.

The following positions are up for election:

  • President-Elect
  • Vice President
  • Parliamentarian

Members at Large - Elected to 2-year staggered terms; required to be a member of TXCSS for 2 consecutive years prior to taking office in January of the year following election.

  • Middle Level Representative
  • University Representative
  • At-Large Representative
Nominate a Teacher!

Every year at the annual fall conference, TXCSS members are honored as outstanding teachers and social studies educators. 

Awards presented each year:

  • Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award
  • Outstanding Higher Education Faculty of the Year Award
  • NOVA (Early Career Educator) Award
  • Billy Sills Distinguished Service Award

Please take a look around you and nominate a fellow educator for one of the awards. You may self-nominate or nominate another TXCSS member. Nominations do NOT have to come from local councils; they may be made by individuals as well.

All required materials must be sent to the Chair of the Special Awards Committee as cited on the TXCSS website and received by June 15.

If you need more information, please contact Anda Lee Seat at

Learn more about the award nomination process.

La Estrella is published four times a year to provide our community with timely information and opportunities related to social studies education in Texas. The contents of La Estrella are not copyrighted unless indicated. It is appropriate, however, to credit sources as well as La Estrella when reproducing items from this e-newsletter. Reproduction for profit is prohibited.

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