Hello! I am Wendy Brake and I am thrilled to be the ALPHA (Gifted and Talented) teacher at Leon Springs Elementary School. My primary focus is to challenge and meet the academic, social and emotional needs of the students who are identified as gifted and talented.
I LOVE TO LEARN! I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my Master’s Degree in Reading Education from Southwest Texas State University and received my Reading Specialist certification from the state of Texas in 1995. Since then, I have accumulated hundreds of hours of professional development by attending workshops and state and national conferences. I will always have a thirst for more knowledge!
I LOVE TO TEACH! I have taught students in kindergarten through fifth grades in both small group and large group settings. In addition to teaching children, I enjoy working with adults. I have taught family literacy sessions and had the honor of receiving the First Lady's Family Literacy Initiative grant from Laura Bush. I love to teach workshops for our district, the region, and across the state of Texas. I also enjoy the challenge of teaching education college courses. I have facilitated distance learning courses from Houston Baptist University and have been an adjunct professor at Our Lady of the Lake University for 13 years. It is exciting to have the opportunity to teach our future teachers!!
I LOVE TO HAVE FUN! When I am not teaching, I enjoy hiking, camping, reading, engaging in creativity projects, and spending time with family and friends. My husband and I are certified scuba divers and we LOVE to travel. So far, we have traveled to Alaska, Illinois, Florida, California, New York, Washington D.C., England, Germany, Italy, France, Belize, Egypt, India and the Cayman Islands. We are always looking for adventures! Bindi, an affenpinscher and Anubis, our Carolina dog, are our "furry" children that add joy and energy to our busy lives.
I LOVE ADVENTURE! The NISD GT theme for the 2008-09 school year was Biome Interactions. My husband and I were fortunate to take a Reef & Rainforest trip. Our adventure included exploring the reefs, caves and rain forests of beautiful Belize. Scuba diving in Belize was a dream come true! Click on the link under "Brake's Blog..." to view our Belize Reef & Rainforest Adventure video. All LSE GT Scholars received a post card from beautiful Belize!
The NISD GT theme for 2009-10 was Exploration. My husband and I explored pyramids, temples and museums in Egypt and went scuba diving in the Red Sea. Click on the link under "Egypt" to see a video of our amazing Egyptian Adventures. All LSE GT scholars received a post card of the beautiful Egyptian pyramids and King Tut. Visit http://wired4wisdom.pbworks.com/ to see the blog entries that our LSE GT students read during the trip.
The theme for 2010-11 was Structures. My husband and I explored Mughal architecture, including the famous Taj Mahal, in India during our Christmas vacation. All LSE GT scholars received a post card of the Taj Mahal. 250 LSE GT family members participated in a downtown architecture field trip, We walked and cruised on a river barge as we searched for architectural features on our architecture scavenger hunt.
During the 2011-2012 school year our theme was Change in the Twentieth Century! Almost 200 LSE GT Family members experienced a fantastic Texas Train Trip Adventure! In July of 2012, I had the opportunity to attend NASA's LiftOff training for an entire week. I met with astronauts, engineers, and scientists! Resources from this training, my GT cluster team mates, and our NISD GT curriculum were all used to teach the 2012-2013 Systems in Space Theme. Over 300 people attended our space-related Family Field Trip. It was a "blast!"