Craig Brandenburg – Winner of the 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Congratulations to our own, Craig Brandenburg, one of only eight recipients of Teach For America’s 2014 Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching

Craig began his teaching career as a 2001 TFA Houston corps member teaching 5th grade at Macario Garcia Elementary School in Houston ISD.  In 2004 he began teaching at YES Prep North Central and we have been lucky enough to have him ever since.  Over the course of his 10 years at YES Prep he has impacted thousands of students as a teacher, coach, and mentor, and he has become a cultural and instructional leader across the system.  For the past nine summers, Craig has directly contributed to the training of thousands of new teachers at Teach For America’s Houston Institute. 

Click here to learn more about Craig’s work and impact at YES Prep.

Here’s what some of Craig’s YES Prep colleagues had to share about him:

“The highlight of my teaching career was having the opportunity to team teach math and science for 3 years with Craig.  Craig exemplifies what it means to be an innovative educator, and he is a model of building transformative relationships with his students.  I have learned much about the art of teaching by having had the privilege of working with Craig for over a decade now.  I’m proud to call him my colleague and friend and equally proud of all the things we blew up together while teaching science! –Mark DiBella, Superintendent of YES Prep Houston

“Craig and I have been planning partners for many of my 8 years of teaching here at YES, and I would gladly work with him for the rest of my career if I could. I think a lot of people think of him as that goofy guy from North Central who spends his time sending snarky all-staff e-mails, but that would be missing the mark. Craig is hilarious, and brings a ton of laughter to North Central, but he also is one of the most hardworking, innovative, and caring people I know. Craig loves creating “something out of nothing,” and every year he seems to do this more and more. Whether it’s forming a video production company with students, running our drumline and boys’ volleyball team, making inspiring videos for the district, or working in the classroom as an Advanced teacher, Craig really and truly does it all. He is an outstanding friend and educator, and YES Prep is incredibly lucky to have him!” – Lindsay Pears, Algebra I Instructor at YES Prep North Central

“Craig is the poster staff member for ‘Creating Opportunities that Otherwise Wouldn’t Exist.’  He takes his talents and translates them to students.  From video production to volleyball to drum line, Craig builds relationships while also building up the confidence and skill of kids (and sometimes adults too).  And he brings his instructional A-game in the classroom each and every day.” – Bryan Reed, School Director of YES Prep North Central

“Craig Brandenburg stands out not because of his transformational relationships with students, his ability to captivate his students in class, or because of his excellent student achievement results.  While all of those in isolation are amazing accomplishments, Craig stands out because his excellence has been steadfast for a decade.  He was one of the best instructors at the North Central campus in 2004 and he has remained one of the best in our district.”  – Michelle LaFlure, Director of Academics at YES Prep North Central

Congratulations, Craig!  

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