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Alumnus Named Texas Teacher of the Year

by Victoria Stearns, Public Relations Writer

Ryan Churchward, a 2008 graduate of Cedarville University, was recently named the “Classroom Teacher of the Year” by the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA).

Churchward, who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in education through Cedarville’s nationally ranked online M.Ed. program, was recognized by the TCEA for his excellence in integrating technology in the classroom.

“My entire philosophy of education was crafted by the men and women who led me through the education programs (undergraduate and postgraduate) at Cedarville,” stated Churchward. “Being able to develop a world vision dedicated to service to others has helped build within me an innate desire to help students. It has also helped me foster a learning environment where my students know they can be safe to try their hardest, ask questions, fail forward and acquire a love for learning.”

Known as “Golden Apples,” the annual awards have been bestowed upon some of the most innovative and engaging educators in Texas. 

The Classroom Teacher of the Year is considered the top award given by the TCEA and is presented to a teacher who exhibits exemplary use of technology in the classroom and uses a wide variety of technology tools to enhance the learning of all students. 

“As someone who sees the future of education being driven by technology, to be awarded the honor of technological teacher of the year for the whole state of Texas is a tremendously big deal to me. Throughout hard integration, we've always had one goal in mind: to never let it be about the technology or let the technology drive what we do. It's always been about our students and their overall success. The honor of this award is further confirmation that our tireless work has not gone unnoticed,” said Churchward.

Churchward and other winners were recognized at a formal awards ceremony and reception during the TCEA’s Annual Convention and Exhibition in February, and recipients received a $1,000 prize. 

Churchward teaches middle school world cultures at Kerr Middle School in Burleson, Texas, and has pioneered cutting-edge tools like Nearpod, Google Apps for Education and Naiku in his classroom. 

On a daily basis, he designs and implements innovative practices that maximize student engagement and learning through a variety of mediums. For the last few years, his classroom has integrated Google Chromebooks in a 1:1 setting. 

“As a world cultures teacher, I highly value material that is relevant to my students, allowing them to become more globally literate and better global citizens,” said Churchward.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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