Dr. Teryana Lamb Makes History as First African-American President of Texas Association of Certification Officers

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September 28, 2023 by HCDE Communications

Harris County Department of Education is known for hiring top talent, and that proves true as one employee made history at the state level. Dr. Teryana Lamb, Manager of Compliance, Recruitment, and Data for the Center for Educator Success (CES), was recently elected as the first African-American President of the Texas Association of Certification Officers (TACO).

“I was shocked when I was nominated because I’m usually in the background as a worker bee, getting the job done,” said Lamb. “I didn’t realize my associates were listening when I voiced my concerns on issues across the state, but I’m excited about this new journey and honored to represent TACO and make history within this organization.”

Dr. Teryana Lamb, left, receives the Texas Association of Certification Officers (TACO) gavel from Immediate Past President Melissa Beene, right.

TACO is a member organization of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education (CSOTTE), a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and refining development programs for school personnel in Texas. TACO is a forum where educators can share ideas and common concerns while providing an organizational framework to improve the quality of teacher and administrator certification.

Lamb is a native Houstonian with more than 20 years of educational experience who began her career as a chemistry teacher in the Houston Independent School District. She was later promoted to secondary science curriculum specialist, where she helped create a science curriculum and offered professional development opportunities district-wide for teachers.   

While obtaining a master’s and doctorate from Texas Southern University in Higher Education Administration, she gained a wealth of knowledge exploring the administrative side of becoming a certified teacher in Texas.

Lamb joined TACO in 2016 while employed as a teacher education certification and compliance coordinator at the University of Houston-Downtown. She specialized in identifying UHD graduates who would be solid teacher certification program candidates. Lamb quickly became a bold advocate for Harris County pre-service teachers and their needs after witnessing first-hand the challenges teachers face while seeking state certifications, specifically minority applicants.

“I noticed teacher candidates of color have a challenge with passing the certification exams, and I wanted to be on the ground level as we implemented changes that impacted all teacher candidates,” Lamb said.

Peers voted Lamb TACO President-Elect in the summer of 2022, where Lamb continued to advocate for incoming teachers and worked to update the Texas Administrative Code to support Districts of Innovation (DOI) hiring non-certified teachers. Lamb’s work to update state code persists as she steps into her new role as president.

Director of the Center for Educator Success Andrea Segraves, left, and Dr. Teryana Lamb, right, pose for a photograph with a representative from Aldine ISD.

While impacting education at the state level, Lamb described wanting to bring policy knowledge and improved practices back to HCDE and the Center for Educator Success.

“This position allows the CES to be in the room where decisions happen,” Lamb smiled. “It gives our division a leg up to know changes coming down the pipeline and better prepare applicants participating in our certification program.”

Lamb will serve as President of TACO for the 2023-2024 school year.

To learn more about HCDE’s Center for Educator Success (CES), visit hcde-texas.org/CES.

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