District News

Ore City ISD Earns Teacher Incentive Allotment Funding

Image depicting Ore City ISD Earns Teacher Incentive Allotment Funding

Ore City ISD's Teacher Incentive Allotment local designation system recently received full system approval from the Texas Education Agency, and 20 OCISD teachers will see immediate financial benefit under the state's teacher incentive pay system created by House Bill 3.

OCISD received word earlier this month that 20 of its teachers -- five at Ore City High School; three at Ore City Middle School, and 12 at Ore City Elementary -- received designations under the TIA allotment system.

"To have 20 designated teachers from a school district our size is fantastic," said OCISD Superintendent Lynn Heflin. Passing data validation and earning full system approval is a strenuous process, earned by only about 14% of districts in the state." The process of applying and being approved for a local designation system is a very long one."  Ore City began the process in the spring of 2020.  Heflin commented that after a year one denial, "We naturally were ecstatic to finally be approved this year."

Under the TIA system, there are three designations for teachers: Recognized, Exemplary, and Master. Teachers earning a "Recognized" designation may earn an additional $3,000-$9,000 annually based on the state's funding formula with additional multipliers for rural schools such as Ore City.

Teachers earning an "Exemplary" designation may earn an additional $6,000-$18,000 per year, and teachers who earn a "Master" designation representing approximately the top five percent of teachers in the state and may earn an additional $12,000-$32,000 annually through the TIA. Of the 20 designations awarded to Ore City, three were Master, and nine were Exemplary.

"The state sets benchmarks for what (teachers) have to accomplish with student growth and with their observations," said Madeline Anderson, OCISD Director of Curriculum and Assessment. "These teachers will get a lump sum every year for five years, which is how long the designation lasts. However, it can continue if they earn their designation again in five years or if at any time they move to the next level of designation."

To earn full system approval under the Texas Incentive Allotment, a district must first submit an application with details of their local designation plan followed by at least the submission of appraisal and student growth data required through the system. The systems must undergo a data-validation process conducted by Texas Tech University.

The TEA  then reviews the results of Texas Tech's data validation process and the system application to determine a district's final approval status for the Teacher Incentive Allotment. For approved districts such as Ore City ISD, TEA notifies districts of the allotment for that school year, teacher designations are awarded, and designations are placed on the teachers' certificates for five years.

Heflin, Anderson, and campus principals surprised each TIA-designated teacher's classroom last week to inform them that they had received the honor. The 20 designated teachers represent about 25 percent of the total teaching faculty in Ore City ISD.

"It is a testament to the quality of our teachers and their hard work and commitment to the students of Ore City ISD," Heflin said. "We are extremely proud of and happy for all of them."

OCISD teachers receiving a TIA Designation are:


  • Anthony Anderson - Band (Recognized)
  • Rita Clawson - Art (Exemplary)
  • Sally Hearle-Cariker - Biology (Master)
  • Wendy Henson - English II (Exemplary)
  • Jennifer Rogers - Information Technology (Recognized)


  • Jessica Bellew - Mathematics (Exemplary)
  • Amy Fowler - Social Studies (Recognized)
  • Kimberly Higginbotham - ELA/Reading (Exemplary)
  • Tabitha Keidel - ELA/Reading (Exemplary)


  • Kelsi Cabrera - ELA/Reading (Recognized)
  • Amy Drennan - Reading (Recognized)
  • Melissa Echols - ELA/Reading (Exemplary)
  • Dibbrell Gilbreath - Kindergarten (Exemplary)
  • Amy Harris - Reading Intervention (Recognized)
  • Lavenda Jones - Pre-Kindergarten (Master)
  • Kristie Kayne - Pre-Kindergarten (Recognized)
  • Autumn Pena - ELA/Reading (Master)
  • Tonia Quinn - Pre-Kindergarten (Exemplary)
  • Romauld Smith - Music (Exemplary)
  • Evelyn Thiessen - Mathematics (Recognized)