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  • HISD Secondary Social Studies Teacher Leader, Jennifer Chase of HSPVA, Named Outstanding Teacher of the Humanities


    The Boniuk Institute is proud to partner with HISD Secondary Social Studies Teacher Leader Jennifer Chase of The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Houston (HSPVA) and congratulates her on her recent recognition by Humanities Texas as Outstanding Teacher of the Humanities.  Winners of the Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Awards receive $5,000, with an additional $500 for their respective schools to purchase humanities-based instructional materials. 

    In her three years as a world geography teacher at HSPVA, Jennifer Chase has made a significant impact.

    "Whether working with her world geography classes, collaborating with the National Honor Society members, or spending extra time tutoring a struggling student, Jennifer is always doing what is best for the students," said HSPVA principal R. Scott Allen. "She is one of the most talented and engaging teachers I have had the opportunity to work with in my twenty-six years of education."

    Chase also serves as one of eight teachers on Houston Independent School District's Social Studies Teacher Leader Corps, mentoring other teachers and promoting social studies education district-wide. She was a finalist for Houston ISD secondary teacher of the year and a semi-finalist for an H-E-B Excellence in Education Award.

    Chase's freshman geography classes are uniquely designed to invite students to seek out and be conscientious consumers of information. Her classroom is a hub of inquiry, activity, and independent thought; she exposes her students to global concerns and encourages them to consider the wide variety of voices, perspectives, and ideas that surround these issues.

    "I believe it is often the humanities that teach the critical thinking skills our world needs most," said Chase. "To this end, I strive to better my pedagogy and my profession and, most importantly, to influence my students to recognize the importance of humanities."


    Jennifer Lankau Chase, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is educated by the Jesuits of Saint Louis University as well as the history and education faculty at the University of Houston. After time spent as a Park Ranger (Historical Interpretation) with the National Park Service, she turned her focus to history and geography education in public schools. She has taught a variety social studies courses for 8 years at several different schools in Houston ISD, currently focusing on World Geography and European History at Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and Houston ISD magnet school. Highly involved with social studies education within the state of Texas, she has been named a Houston ISD Teacher of the Year Finalist, an Educator of Excellence from HEB, and named Texas Social Studies Teacher of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals, and Outstanding Texas Humanities Teacher by Humanities Texas, the state arm of the National Endowment for the Humanities.