LSC-O’s Andrew Preslar Honored by TSUS Foundation
(Special to The Leader) —– At a meeting of the Texas State University System Board of Regents following the end of the spring semester, Andrew Preslar, an instructor of English at Lamar State College-Orange, received the System’s highest teaching award. The Board bestowed the title of Regents’ Teacher upon Preslar in recognition of his outstanding performances as a classroom teacher. Preslar has the distinction of being the first faculty member within the Texas State University System to receive this honor.
The TSUS regents, working with the Texas State University System Foundation, established this award in 2014 and accepted nominations from each of the System’s eight components. The purpose of the award is to recognize faculty members ‘who have demonstrated, over an extended career, outstanding performance in their role as teachers, as evidenced by their dedication, skill, and knowledge of the curriculum.”
“I can think of no one more deserving of this recognition than Andy,” said Mike Shahan, Lamar State College-Orange President. “He exemplifies the finest traits of a teacher and a gentleman. His dedication, commitment, generosity, and kindness are above question. I believe we can all take pride in knowing that the most outstanding teacher in the Texas State University System is from Lamar State College-Orange.”
In a career that spans more than thirty years, Andrew Preslar epitomizes teaching excellence. His numerous awards for outstanding teaching at the institutional and state level include two Professional Excellence Awards, three Teaching Excellence Awards, and seven Presidents’ Merit Awards. Preslar is the only faculty member in the history of Lamar State College-Orange to win the coveted Piper Professor Award.
The impressive list of accolades may only be surpassed by Preslar’s reputation as a model classroom teacher and student advocate. “People like to learn, and my job is to help them see that, if they don’t already,” said Preslar. He also stated that his teaching philosophy is a two-way activity. “It’s only effective when there’s sharing – student involvement,” he stressed. “My responsibility is to initiate interaction through enthusiasm, love for learning, and desire for students to succeed.”
As an instructor of Composition I, Composition II, World Literature, British Literature and American Literature, Preslar teaches both face-to-face and online courses. Maintaining student attention and success in online instruction can present various challenges. Preslar makes rich use of discussion boards and individualized emails to ensure student retention within the online medium. Never being too rushed to answer questions, to address people by name, or to greet them in the hallways is a trait admired by students and colleagues throughout the LSC-O campus. “It’s hard to remember you’re special if people don’t remind you,” he explained.
Campus involvement is another of Preslar’s attributes, and he serves as a shining example of leadership campus-wide. He currently serves, for a second term, as director of the LSC-O Quality Enhancement Plan, is co-chair of the General Education Assessment Committee, is a previous president and current member of Faculty Senate, and serves on the Campus Planning Committee. Previous committee involvement includes Curriculum Committee, Distance Education Committee, Developmental Education Advisory Committee, SACS Reaccreditation Leadership Team, and editor/co-author of the LSC-O Quality Enhancement Plan. Within the academic community he edits and writes textbooks for publishing companies including Prentice Hall, Pearson Longman, McGraw-Hill and Pearson Publishing. In the Orange and surrounding communities he serves as vice president and member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Orange Area Literacy Society.
A native of Asheville South Carolina, Preslar was valedictorian at Thomas Jefferson High School and won the Welch Foundation Scholarship for Chemistry during college. After earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of Texas in Austin, he received a master’s degree in English from Lamar University. Preslar began his teaching career at Lamar University; he has taught at LSC-PA and joined the Lamar State-College-Orange faculty in 1993.
Preslar is married to his lovely wife Mary and together they have a son, Louis Preslar who graduated from Vidor High School in May of this year.