Shaughnessy Noland, a senior at Schreiner University in Texas, has been named an exceptional teacher candidate for 2014 by the Quest for Quality project, a statewide initiative highlighting exemplary quality in university-based teacher preparation programs, according to a news release.

An education major from Slaughter, Noland graduates in May with plans to pursue an advanced degree in special education.

Her educational experience at Schreiner included more than 30 hours of service learning in Kerrville-area schools.

“I worked closely with teachers to supplement their lessons with engaging activities,” Noland said. “Every lesson plan, activity and unit that I designed had modifications and accommodations in place to meet the needs of a diverse population of students.”

“Shaughnessy has been an asset to our teacher education program and an inspiration to other teacher candidates,” said Karen T. Backor, assistant professor of education and director of field experiences at Schreiner.

“It is no surprise that after graduation she plans to get her master’s in special education, specializing in autism. Her passion is working with special needs students, but her innate talent is teaching.”

All universities across Texas can nominate teacher candidates and are asked to provide evidence of the ways in which their nominees meet the Quest for Quality criteria, said Neva Cramer, director of education and graduate studies at Schreiner.

Cramer said those nominated must have an excellent in-depth understanding of a subject area; excellence in planning and instructional delivery; and an outstanding ability to create and maintain a positive, equitable and engaging classroom environment.

In addition to highlighting top teacher candidates, Quest for Quality partners with Texas universities to identify and highlight exceptional students and faculty, exemplary instructional and programmatic practices, and applicable research.