I am honored and humbled to be selected to receive a 2013 Adams State University Educators’ Hall of Fame Award for significant contributions to the field of education, nominated by Jozette Sandoval.
Of all the services that we, teachers, parents, coaches, perform, perhaps the most pressing and important was that of preparing our children for the world they will face as adults. I took the time to learn from teachers who dedicated their lives to young people. They told me that you are a teacher first. It has to be that way if you want them to be successful for the long haul.
Because education is vital to every child, I always wanted to be the educator who went above and beyond the daily requirement of the job, who would seek out the spark in each child and kindle and fan it until it blazes forth curiosity and a thirst for knowledge who seen in each child the man or women he or she became and leads that child down a path toward a happy and productive adult life. To watch a child gain confidence necessary to be successful is something I believe all educators must strive for.
For 36 years I worked with children building their physical health and developing their bodies, not only teaching them to think in critical situations, not only sharing their skills but also working their minds and hearts to teach them trust, fairness, courage, and honor. I always showed my students a better way to surmount their difficult, and stood behind them every minute while they began to take positive change of their lives. I know of kids who could have ended up in the worst possible condition and now are today responsible workers, parents and citizens. I want to be remembered for this.
As far as coaching, I cared about every boy and girl. I cared about the morality and personal growth of the boys and girls more than the mere winning or losing of the game. I wanted them to give their best. I cared that my teams would strive for excellence while keeping their honor. They played the greatest game of all — sportsmanship.
I believe my greatest moments as an educator would be the many relationships that I had over the years with students and peers. As the educator, never underestimate the impact you have on young people’s lives. You are having a greater impact, whether it is positive or negative, than you will ever know. I would like to leave you with this message. If it comes easy, question it; if it comes hard, work for it; if it comes at all, enjoy it, because it is yours!