With over 20 years of pre-kindergarten experience to her credit, Marilyn A. Christensen has cultivated significant expertise working with English language learners, inner city students, and early childhood intervention special education students. In her work with the Houston Independent School District, where she has excelled as an educator and teacher since 1992, she coordinates instruction for students receiving in-classroom support, student inclusion in both regular and self-contained classrooms, and on-site therapy. Alongside her work with the Houston Independent School District, she also spent time on the staff of the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council as a counselor, program director and assistant camp director from 1997 to 2001 and was a long-term substitute teacher for the fifth grade and behavior services with the Nacogdoches Independent School District from 1992 to 1994.
Ms. Christensen attributes much of her success to team work and her ability to adapt and grow throughout her career. An involved community leader, she has continued to donate her time as a volunteer with Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council as well as with the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast. She has also served as a program teacher and curriculum developer for ChildBuilders, a community supporter for Stand for Stevens, and a supporter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston. In order to keep abreast of developments in her field, she is affiliated with the Texas Classroom Teachers Association and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Following in the footsteps of her mother, who was an educator, Ms. Christensen was also greatly impacted by the fact that she grew up in a military family and, through her family’s travels, she was exposed to many different education systems. Earning a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies and education in early childhood special education from the Stephen F. Austin State University in 1992, she went on to join Texas Wesleyan University, where she obtained a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction in 2003. Since 2012, she has been a doctoral candidate at Northcentral University and working on her dissertation in early childhood education and teaching.
For excellence in her career, Ms. Christensen has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades, including Campus Space Teacher of the Year on multiple occasions. She was also notably nominated for the Disney Teacher Awards and was a finalist for the Martell Teacher Award. For her years of dedicated service to the Girl Scouts of America, she was presented with an appreciation pin, which is the second highest adult recognition. Likewise, she received an award from ChildBuilders, was named a national teacher adviser by Scholastic Book Clubs, and inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society and Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education. Above everything, she considers the highlight of her career to be having former students become educators themselves.
Ms. Christensen is also incredibly proud of her wonderful family, which includes eight nieces and nephews ranging from ages 12 to 30 and two great-nieces that are under 2 years old. One of her nieces works in criminal justice education and another is presently in school to become a teacher. One of her nephews has just graduated from welding school. Active with the Girl Scouts to this day, Ms. Christen enjoys spending her free time reading, camping and doing archery. Looking toward the future, she intends to continue working with special needs families and helping them to obtain the necessary services, and working on campuses to help teachers and administrators identify ways to help their students. Furthermore, she is hoping to complete her Doctor of Education in the next few years.