Home Leadership TeXperts: The Creation of a Teacher Ambassador Program

TeXperts: The Creation of a Teacher Ambassador Program

by Monica Napier
One district in Texas is empowering teacher leaders through an incentivized teacher ambassador program. See how they do it!

Navigating the vast landscape of technology in education as an instructional technology coordinator in Duncanville, Texas is no small feat. Devin Hanes, Ja’Dorian Tate Richardson, and I form a team committed to helping teachers get the most out of the technology our district offers with the best interest of our students in mind. This commitment presents a challenge of sheer numbers since there are three instructional technology coordinators and nearly 800 teachers to support. Try as we might, we can only be in one place at a time. Let’s explore how our Teacher Ambassador Program, TeXperts, was created to help meet needs, empower teachers, and successfully integrate technology within our district.

The Beginning of the TeXperts Program 

As a collaborative group, the instructional technology team conceptualized a teacher group to pilot district initiatives. We initially believed our idea could be piloted by a few teachers on a few campuses. However, we received an invitation to participate in the then-named Ellis County Instructional Technology Specialists group, which broadened our outlook on what our teacher group could be. During that meeting, we had the opportunity to listen to Barbara Mikulecky and Ashley Ciery of Waxahachie ISD, and Lydia Croupe, along with Jessica Cain of Ferris ISD, talk about their teacher ambassador programs. They spoke about how they leveraged their ambassador programs to guide teachers to integrate technology. We left that meeting bursting with ideas about creating a program to empower our district’s teachers to teach effectively using technology to enhance classroom instruction. That’s when the TeXperts program was born.

The Planning Process

We knew putting our ideas into action would take significant planning. We created a Whiteboard and went to work adding ideas. Dreaming big is our motto, and that’s what we set out to do when creating this program.

The whiteboard showing the brainstorming session for the creation of the TeXpert teacher ambassador program.
A Whiteboard documenting the Duncanville team’s brainstorming session when creating the TeXpert teacher ambassador program.

We crafted a vision and mission based on our district’s mission to ensure alignment. We aligned our efforts with the district’s strategic plan to ensure our work harmonized within its scope. Finally, we used ISTE standards to ground our teachers in best practices when using technology. Keeping in mind that mastery of the TEKS as the center of all student instruction.

TeXPert Project Scope

Initially, we planned the TeXperts program to span three years. We wanted our program to be a premiere program in the district. With a vision of setting the TeXperts program as the flagship initiative in our department, we delved into crafting challenges that would spark inspiration in our teachers and students. We aimed for active participant engagement in the program and believed a three-year arc would allow participants to grow and apply their learning. We focused on our first year and spent countless hours crafting challenges that could seamlessly integrate into classes each month. We settled on a schedule that would engage teachers from September to March. We hoped to wrap up the program before state assessments began to give teachers a chance to use the skills taught in our program.

The Roll Out

TeXpert Teacher Ambassador Program Logo
TeXpert Teacher Ambassador Program Logo

Before spreading information about TeXperts to teachers, securing approval from the district’s leadership was crucial. With the support of our chief technology officer, Dr. Brian Brown, we received senior leadership’s approval. We quickly created advertisements and began to spread the word. 

Igniting our enthusiasm, we initiated a social media campaign and incorporated program teasers after every professional development session from May to August. We presented to principals and to any audience that influenced our teachers. To join our program, participants needed one year of classroom experience and to be a teacher of record. We wanted educators with direct student influence. The news spread quickly, leading to an overwhelming response.

TeXpert Candidate Selection

We closed the application phase in September of 2023 and allowed ourselves two weeks to review the applications. Examining the diverse experiences of our district’s teachers in the applications we assessed proved to be both demanding and rewarding. We wanted to ensure our TeXperts reflected our student and teacher populations. Teachers in our program needed to represent various grade levels and diverse content areas. We condensed our list to 20 finalists who would take the mission and vision of the TeXperts program and impact their students and campus.

Video Introducing the TeXpert Teacher Ambassador Program Finalists

TeXpert Incentives

The TeXperts program is voluntary and does not include a stipend. With budgetary constraints in mind, we had to be creative by incentivizing the program. Building off the incentives offered in the Waxahachie and Ferris ISD programs, we extended our TeXperts new laptop computers, a personalized backpack, Google Level 1 certification, and a trip to TCEA’s Convention & Exposition during year two of the program. We also offer monthly 1:1 mentoring with each TeXpert to help support the implementation of their monthly challenges. Our TeXperts also serve on technology committees and beta-test new equipment before district-wide roll-outs. 

September TeXpert Meeting
November TeXpert Meeting

TeXperts Teacher Ambassador Program Moving Forward

As we stand at the end of our inaugural year, the bonds formed with our TeXperts have not only enhanced the program but have become the heartbeat of our educational community. Our TeXperts serve the district in immeasurable ways by serving on our Technology Advisory Committee, beta-testing technology initiatives, and serving as our eyes and ears on the campus. As our first year wraps up, we’ve gained valuable insight by connecting with our audience and understanding their challenges. Building on the success of our inaugural year, we eagerly anticipate a growing community of TeXperts. We take pride in our program aligning with its vision to empower teachers with the resources and support they need to create an impactful learning experience for all students.

You may also like


Shaneigh Smith March 26, 2024 - 10:46 am

LOVE THIS!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Monica Napier March 26, 2024 - 10:41 pm

You’re welcome! I appreciate the feedback!


Leave a Comment

You've Made It This Far

Like what you're reading? Sign up to stay connected with us.



*By downloading, you are subscribing to our email list which includes our daily blog straight to your inbox and marketing emails. It can take up to 7 days for you to be added. You can change your preferences at any time. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!