Leah Stephanow, Outstanding Teaching Award winner. (courtesy photo)

Humanities Texas is pleased to announce that Leah Stephanow of Cypress Woods High School has been selected as one of 16 recipients of a 2020 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award.


Stephanow is the recipient of the Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award, which recognizes exemplary K–12 humanities teachers. Stephanow’s classroom career spans 30 years, and she has spent the last 12 years teaching government, economics and law at Cypress Woods High School.



“One of the most important things in my teaching strategies is to make the information I teach relevant to students,” commented Stephanow. “I want my students to leave my classroom at the end of the semester understanding that they have a stake in our republic and must be active and informed citizens to make it thrive.”


Outside of her teaching responsibilities, Stephanow is the membership chair and treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Cy-Fair. She once testified to the Texas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights about high school student registration issues and continues to help sign up local high schools for voter registration.


Over 700 hundred teachers from across the state were nominated for this year’s awards. During the 2020–21 school year, each winning teacher will receive $5,000 and an additional $1,000 for his or her school to purchase humanities-based instructional materials.


“While it is impossible to sum up or measure the widespread impact Leah has had on our student body, I know that her influence will last a lifetime in the hearts and minds of our students,” said Cypress Woods High School Director of Instruction Kelly Ellis. “She has helped establish a safe space at our campus and in our community wherein students are informed and feel confident and safe to advocate for themselves and others.”


Humanities Texas presents annual statewide awards to encourage excellence in teaching and recognize Texas classroom teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development and extracurricular programming.


“Humanities Texas is pleased to recognize the achievements of Leah Stephanow and Cypress Woods High School,” said Humanities Texas Executive Director Eric Lupfer. “She inspires and motivates her students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”


Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.


For a complete list of 2020 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching Award recipients, visit www.humanitiestexas.org/education/teacher-awards.

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