Alumni stories: meaningful mentorship

The Charles Butt Foundation fosters ongoing learning communities for current participants and alumni of our statewide programs. Our Alumni Stories series showcases short accounts from participants on the meaningful connections, mutual support, and collaborative learning they’ve gained through this network.

Crystal Romero-Mueller was elated when Deniss Moreno requested her as a mentor. 

Romero-Mueller currently serves as the School Support Officer at Tomball ISD and has worked in public education in the Houston area since 1995. Moreno is a second-year Charles Butt Scholar and senior at the University of Texas at Austin.

Romero-Mueller is a mentor to five Charles Butt Scholars in total. As a tenured educator, she knows how vital mentorship and coaching are to supporting new teachers as they enter the profession. Research shows teachers are the least likely to be retained from year one to year two (see figures 3.22-3.26). Creating a learning community and tailored mentorship for aspiring and novice teachers is a powerful retention tool.

Romero-Mueller says it’s personally rewarding as well. “Deniss has such a passion for teaching that it invigorates me when I meet with her monthly. I think about things as I’m out in the world of education that I can bring back to Deniss.”

As for Moreno, she speaks highly about the coaching she has received from Romero-Mueller. “She always gives the best advice and resources. She’s also become a friend and someone I look forward to talking to every month.”

The Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers aims to pair every Scholar and Scholar Alum with an experienced educator who can provide mentorship and career development support.

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