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NMSI and University of Houston Receive Additional Grant from CenterPoint Energy Foundation to Extend Academy for First-year STEM Teachers

DALLAS AND HOUSTON (July 18, 2023) – The CenterPoint Energy Foundation has awarded the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) and the University of Houston’s teachHouston program an additional $85,000 to extend the New Teacher Academy. The funding is in addition to last year's initial grant of $100,000 and aims to address the ongoing challenges schools and districts face in recruiting and retaining STEM teachers. The New Teacher Academy provides comprehensive support to pre-service teachers graduating from the University of Houston, equipping them with the necessary tools and skills to thrive in their teaching careers. 

"CenterPoint Energy is proud to support the New Teacher Academy again this year, together with the National Math and Science Initiative and teachHouston. Education is one of the CenterPoint Energy Foundation's giving priorities, and we know that professional development for educators is essential to ensure student success in our diverse communities," said Alicia Dixon, Director of Community Relations for CenterPoint Energy.  

The extended grant will allow the CenterPoint Energy New Teacher Academy to continue its mission of preparing first-year STEM teachers through various impactful initiatives. Participants in the Academy will benefit from in-person, summer professional development programs, annual STEM training in collaboration with NMSI, and invaluable networking opportunities that foster connections with experienced educators. These resources will be provided at no cost to the selected teachers, ensuring they have access to ongoing support and valuable educational resources. 

"The continuation of CenterPoint Energy's generous grant will have a profound impact on the CenterPoint Energy New Teacher Academy," said Michelle Stie, Vice President of Teaching and Learning at NMSI. "Through this extended funding, we will be able to expand our reach and provide even more teachers with the professional development and support they need to succeed. Together, we are equipping educators with the tools to transform STEM education in Houston and beyond." 

Alongside CenterPoint Energy’s gift, Comerica Bank and Houston Loves Teachers are providing an additional $12,000 including training, materials, food, and ongoing Teacher Villages for early career educators across the city.

"We are proud to empower Houston teachers and remain dedicated to advancing STEM education,” said Sineria Ordóñez, Comerica Vice President, External Affairs Market Manager-South Texas. Supporting STEM teachers and providing financial education through our partnership with NMSI is one of the many ways we raise expectations of what a bank can be in the communities where we live and serve.”

An event celebrating the teachers, their impact, and the Houston community’s commitment to teachers took place on Thursday, July 13, 2023, on the University of Houston campus.  The event accompanied workshops designed to empower STEM educators in middle and high school starting on Day One of their career. Members of all the supporting organizations expressed gratitude for Houston’s newest teachers, provided lunch, inspiration, prizes, and ongoing events to help new teachers make the 23 – 24 school year exceptional.

NMSI's Laying the Foundation (LTF) program, a core component of the annual STEM training participants receive, will provide the pedagogical and STEM content support needed for effective instruction in today's classroom. The program will empower new teachers to build and maintain subject matter expertise, enhance their leadership skills, and propel students' confidence, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

About teachHOUSTON 

teachHOUSTON is committed to combating the shortage of qualified math and science teachers in our country and emphasizes early and ongoing field-based teaching experiences while students are working to attain a bachelor's degree in math or science. teachHOUSTON is a collaborative project of the University of Houston College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the College of Education and local school districts. 

About CenterPoint Energy 

As the only investor-owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that serve more than 6 million metered customers in Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas. The CenterPoint Energy Foundation is a charitable giving organization focused on strengthening the quality of life in the communities served by the company. For more information, visit https://www.centerpointenergy.com.  

About Comerica Bank 

Comerica Bank, a subsidiary of Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA), is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Commercial Bank, The Retail Bank and Wealth Management. Comerica, one of the 25 largest U.S. financial holding companies, focuses on building relationships and helping people and businesses be successful. Comerica provides more than 400 banking centers across the country with locations in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Texas. Founded 174 years ago in Detroit, Michigan, Comerica continues to expand into new regions, including its Southeast Market, based in North Carolina, and Mountain West Market in Colorado. Comerica has offices in 17 states and services 14 of the 15 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, as well as Canada and Mexico. Comerica reported total assets of $91.1 billion at March 31, 2023. Learn more about how Comerica is raising expectations of what a bank can be by visiting www.comerica.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About Houston Loves Teachers 

Houston gives thanks to its teachers – the heart of education. Good Reason Houston has partnered with the College Football Playoff Foundation (CFPF), a nonprofit sports entity devoted to supporting educators — the largest, in fact – including the national effort, Extra Yard for Teachers.

Together with our growing number of campaign partners throughout the city, we bring you Houston Loves Teachers: a citywide outreach and support effort for educators, both present and future. We want to recruit the best teacher talent to Houston and help current teachers thrive in Houston by providing opportunities for professional growth and recognition for the positive impact you have on our students and families. Find out more online at www.houstonlovesteachers.org.