In May of 1989, I interviewed for a teaching position in Fort Bend ISD. At the time, Kempner HS opened and Fort Bend ISD boasted of having its fourth high school! I interviewed at the University of Houston and was offered a position as a Business Teacher at Willowridge HS. I was told to go directly to Willowridge and interview with the building principal, Ed Glover. After I completed my interview, Mr. Glover asked me if I had any questions for him and I said yes, one, "When will I be notified if I am selected for this position?" He replied, "Today, you're hired." And there began my journey in Fort Bend ISD. Please understand that when Mr. Glover told me I was hired, he said it very direct with his head down. I was a little intimidated, but thought get out of here.. you have the job! So I replied, "Thank you, Mr. Glover!" and left the office in a flash.
My teacher hero was Ms. Helen Humphrey. She was my typing teacher at James A. Madison High School in HISD. Ms. Humphrey was my homeroom teacher and became my mentor. She encouraged me to take typing, which I did not want to take because my sister failed typing and told me it was hard. Because I liked Ms. Humphrey and I wanted to be in one of her classes, not just homeroom, I decided to take her class. I remember when I received my first graded assignment from Ms. Humphrey, there was a BIG RED "F" on the top of the paper! Being an A student, I was devastated, but quickly bounced back determined NOT to fail again! She reminded me that posted on the bulletin board was an example of how the typed document "should" look upon completion.
Failing grades, after that incident, were not an option! She was clear about her expectations and I met them. By my senior year, Ms. Humphrey was a very special adult in my life. I trusted her and wanted to be just like her. We discussed my plans for graduation. I shared with Ms. Humphrey I planned to work for the US Postal Service. I knew I was smart enough to pass the test and I remember my mother sharing that the Post Office had good benefits. Through various conversations I had with Ms. Humphrey, she encouraged me to go to college. Another teacher, Ms. Ada Tasso helped me to win a small scholarship for tuition. Fall, 1981 ,I attended the University of Houston-Central Campus, my major Business Education. I graduated four years later in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Technology. Because of Ms. Humphrey and her influence I was the first and only child (out of 6 children of Clarence and Theresa Guillory) to obtain a higher degree.
As stated earlier, I am one of six children to attend and graduate from college. However, a new standard was developed in our family. Today, 8 (out of 13) of the grand children have completed Bachelor's degrees and 2 out of the 8 have M.Ed. We are an educated family because of one teacher. My brothers and sisters sang my praises to their children ... "Be like Aunt Shirley and get your degree!" To be quite honest I did not know this until much later in life. So what I like to tell teachers that even when they get down, overwhelmed and think they are not making an impact ...they are! One teacher who showed interest in one child, influenced many generations in one family... mine!
Teachers make a difference each and every day. I live to change and save lives in education.