DeSoto Teacher Receives 2020 Humanities TX Outstanding Teaching Award


Humanities Texas is pleased to announce that Cora Garner of DeSoto High School has been selected as one of 16 recipients of a 2020 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award.

On September 28, 2020, Humanities Texas presented Cora Garner with a 2020 Award for Outstanding Early-Career Teaching. The virtual award ceremony took place during the DeSoto ISD board meeting, with DeSoto ISD board members, DeSoto High School Principal Dr. LaBotta Taylor, and one of Garner’s students in attendance.

For the last two years, Garner has taught pre-AP English I and II at DeSoto High School while simultaneously earning her master’s in educational leadership.

“”I strive to teach my English classes in unorthodox, yet unique ways to cultivate a learning environment that yields academic success,” commented Garner. “Regardless if I am teaching regular tutorials or training for the STAAR assessment, my work is never done until I hear students vocalize, ‘I can do it.'”

In addition to teaching pre-AP classes, Garner sponsors the Literary Scholars Club within the Early College High School program. Students in the Literary Scholars Club complete creative educational projects such as videos, songs and dances, from writing local business jingles to performing for the State Board of Education.

Over 700 hundred teachers from across the state were nominated for this year’s awards. During the 2020–21 school year, each winning teacher will receive $5,000 and an additional $1,000 for his or her school to purchase humanities-based instructional materials.

“Ms. Garner frequently adopts divergent approaches to engaging students in the classroom experience, which always leads to a greater depth of content and skill acquisition,” said DeSoto ISD Superintendent D’Andre Weaver. “Called upon to speak, teach and inspire students and teachers across this state, Ms. Garner is truly a captivating teacher with the ability to appeal to both students and her peers.”

Humanities Texas presents annual statewide awards to encourage excellence in teaching and recognize Texas classroom teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development and extracurricular programming.

“Humanities Texas is pleased to recognize the achievements of Cora Garner and DeSoto High School,” said Humanities Texas Executive Director Eric Lupfer. “She inspires and motivates her students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.

For a complete list of 2020 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award recipients, visit