Betty Jo Brown
TSTA-R Region 3C Board Member
Betty Jo has lived in the Houston area all of her life. She graduated from Texas Southern University with her B.S. in Elementary Education and later obtained her Master’s with Kindergarten Endorsement. She taught kindergarten and first grade n the Houston ISD for over 25 years. While actively teaching, Betty Jo served as a mentor/advisor to the teaching staff. She served as a teacher advocate and TSTA Association Representative while working as a classroom teacher. Betty Jo is remembered as always there to answer questions when teachers experienced problems with their supervisor or needed help with school rule interpretation. Her knowledge of the school policies and law made her an invaluable resource for her co-workers. As a liaison between the principal and teachers, she always kept teachers informed on innovative concepts tried over the state and nation. In 1985, Betty Jo was selected Teacher of the Year at Bonner Elementary.
Betty Jo is active in many organizations including the Harris County Area Agency on Aging, United Nations Association – Houston Chapter, NAACP, Iota Phi Lambda Business and Professional Women’s Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Houston Harris County Retired Teachers Association, and, of course, the National Education Association and Texas State Teachers Association.
Betty Jo maintains and continues to share her strong belief that there are large and significant differences among children as they begin the formal learning process. She believes that the environment and value system provided by the caretakers in the home and community sometimes tends to enhance the significance of our children’s differences. Betty Jo has worked diligently to provide external motivations for children who face these unique challenges.
Though retired, she continues to provide instruction and motivation to young learners. At University Christian Church, where she is a member and an elder, Betty Jo serves as a teacher for the Junior Christian Youth Fellowship during its mid-week Family Night and Outreach Program. She utilizes methods and instructional strategies that include a wide range of interests and are equally motivating and challenging for young learners. The Outreach Program targets youth from the community who bring many other challenges in addition to spiritual ones. They are taught the basic skills needed based on age and grade level. Reading comprehension, math problem solving, and test taking preparation skills are taught in addition to basic Biblical information.
Betty Jo is very active in the TSTA-R local in Houston. In addition to monthly trips, speakers on elder concerns such as safety, health, travel, the local members stay involved in the TSTA local association and student program.
TSTA-R Representative on the TSTA Legislative and Political Advocacy Committee
Barbara grew up in Hondo, Texas. After graduating from Hondo High School she attended Texas Lutheran University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She married Don Effenberger whom she met at TLU. They lived in New Braunfels where she taught 3rd grade and Don attended Southwest Texas State University. They moved to College Station and both entered graduate school at Texas A&M University. Barbara completed a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance. Her first job as a school counselor was in Snook ISD. She had the unique experience of being the first counselor in an all black school, and she helped establish special education services for the district. In 1970, she and Don moved to Seguin. Barbara was employed by the Seguin ISD as an elementary teacher and school counselor until she retired in 1994. She is active in the Women of the ELCA and serves on the antiracism team of the Southwestern Texas Synodical Women’s organization. She is a member of the Seguin Delphian Study Club. She is an active volunteer and serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program. She is a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Abused and Neglected Children). Her professional involvements include being a life member of NEA-Retired, and life member and past Board of Director member of the TSTA-Retired. She serves on the TSTA Legislative Action Committee. Barbara is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International and Texas Retired Teachers Association. In her retirement she has become politically active and is serving her fifth term as Democratic Party Chairman of Guadalupe County and has served on the Texas Democratic Party State Executive Committee. She served as co-chair of the State Party’s Legislative Committee. She is treasurer of the Texas Democratic County Chairs Association. She holds membership in the Texas Democratic Women. Barbara is Comptroller for the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature and represents senior citizens of Comal and Gudadalupe Counties. She was appointed by Cong. Henry Cuellar to represent citizens of SD28 at the White House Conference on Aging, Dec., 2005, in Washington, D.C.. When she is not busy promoting peace and working to improve the lives of children and seniors, Barbara enjoys traveling, counted cross-stitch, and volunteer ushers at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio. Barbara has been informed that she will be awarded the TLU’s Distinguished Community Service Award by the Board of Regents on September 29, 2006.