Five TAP Educators Recognized at White House Among Elite Group of Outstanding Educators

May 4, 2016

Five TAP Educators Recognized at White House Among Elite Group of Outstanding Educators

"We are delighted that a number of teachers from districts implementing the TAP System are participating in the White House teacher recognition event this year," said Dr. Gary Stark, NIET’s chief executive officer. "These outstanding TAP educators are working in their schools and districts, but also at the state and national level, to promote the teaching profession and highlight the importance of strong classroom instruction for student achievement."

The TAP educators who attended the event all work with high-need students:

  • Shaneka Burnett, TAP Master Teacher at Duplessis Primary School in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. Burnett, who has been an educator for nearly two decades, has served in other capacities within the district, including math teacher, instructional coach, mentor teacher and now master teacher with a focus on supporting math instruction. She has previously been recognized by both the state and NIET for her ability to help high need-students make academic progress and close achievement gaps. Her classroom teaching has been filmed by NIET for use in teaching training across the country.
  • Angelina (Angie) Burrows, TAP Master Teacher at Scott Middle School in Hammond, Indiana. Burrows is a former TSA agent who made the transition to teaching science at the middle school level, moving from career teacher to mentor teacher to master teacher supporting science instruction. Her school, located near Chicago, is a high poverty, mostly minority school which earned a growth score of 4 (out of 5) for the 2014-15 school year.
  • Erica Castillo, TAP Master Teacher at Savannah Heights Intermediate School in Somerset, Texas. Castillo has served as a mentor teacher every year of the school’s TAP implementation while also providing an innovative approach in the classroom for her seventh- and eighth-grade math students. Castillo has earned much recognition, including the KEN-5 Excel Teacher Award. Her high-need district, serving large numbers of English language learners, showed significant student achievement growth and doubled its teacher retention rate after instituting new teacher leadership, teacher evaluation, professional development and performance-based compensation programs.
  • Lorialle Haynes, second-grade teacher at Collier Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. Now finishing her third year of teaching, Haynes has been involved with NIET since her days in the teacher preparation program at Arizona State University (ASU). This program links high-need districts with teacher candidates for a full year of student teaching. Haynes was already well versed in the TAP system before her first year of teaching. She was recognized by ASU for her effectiveness and the high growth scores she has helped facilitate at Collier Elementary in the Littleton Elementary School District.
  • Traci Lust, elementary TAP Master Teacher at Cornell Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa. Having served numerous roles in both secondary and post-secondary education, Lust leads weekly professional development meetings for classroom teachers at Saydel Community School District, while also conducting both announced and unannounced observations. Her goal is to help transform teacher leadership in both her school and throughout the state of Iowa.

For more information on NIET and the TAP System, visit

Based on the knowledge and experience gained from over a decade of on-the-ground implementation with TAP, combined with the growing demand for proven reforms in teacher and principal effectiveness, NIET supports schools, districts, universities and states with educator evaluation training, evaluator certification modules linked to learning platforms and human capital management systems as well as tools and resources for educator preparation.