Street Law is proud to announce that its 2021 Educator of the Year Award will be given to Shiney Abraham, a social studies teacher at Alief Early College High School in Houston, TX. This award is given annually to an educator who teaches students in an exceptional manner and uses Street Law materials.
Shiney has been teaching for 24 years in the same Houston school district. She began her career teaching 8th grade U.S. history before moving into her district’s curriculum instruction department and serving five years as a Middle School Social Studies Specialist. Shiney then joined her current position at Alief Early College High School (AECHS), a school whose student body is predominantly young people of color from low-income families. Since she began teaching at AECHS, Shiney has expanded her teaching practice to incorporate interactive, relevant teaching materials covering law and government, thanks in large part to Street Law’s training and curricula.
Shiney participated in Street Law’s 2019 Supreme Court Street Law Summer Institute in Washington, DC. Through this six-day program, Street Law’s staff equipped her with content and teaching strategies to help Shiney teach her students about both current and historical Supreme Court cases. Her students will benefit from this intensive Street Law professional development program each year for as long as Shiney teaches.
Shiney’s participation the Supreme Court Summer Institute served as a jumping-off point for further involvement with Street Law. Her school has now also joined Street Law’s Legal Diversity Pipeline Program. Street Law-trained volunteers from the local Houston chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and volunteers from the University of Houston Law School visit Shiney’s classroom, and, working alongside Shiney, they teach students about the laws affecting their everyday lives as well as the pathways to pursuing legal careers. Through the tutelage provided by these partnerships, one of Shiney’s mock trial teams also won second place in a competition in November!
Shiney’s teaching philosophy? “Be curious and question everything,” she says. “That is the mantra that I try to pass on to my students.” This strategy has served her students very well, even during the difficult 2020-21 school year. Because of her commitment to interactive pedagogy, she is still able to successfully incorporate student-centered teaching methods this year despite the challenges of teaching both remote and in-person classes.
Because of her incredible ability to reach students through Street Law curricula and programming, Street Law is proud to present the 2021 Educator of the Year Award to Shiney Abraham.
Image: Headshot of Shiney Abraham