It’s time to celebrate the holiday season, and we at ATPE can’t think of a better way than getting to announce the next Volunteer of the Month. A reminder that for our Volunteer of the Month recognition program, we choose one member each month who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in their commitment to ATPE and public education. We look for volunteers who exhibit outstanding leadership and tireless efforts, and we’re relying on YOU for nominees.
Meet December’s Volunteer of the Month, William Barton of Northside (20) ATPE!
What is your job title? Where do you work? How long have you been in this role?
I am a world geography teacher at Warren High School in San Antonio. I also volunteer as the campus Health and Wellness Committee representative (I’m the campus insurance guy) and as our bowling team sponsor/assistant coach. I’ve been here since the school opened in 2002. I’m the ATPE campus representative, and I’m also the secondary recruiting officer for my school district.
How long have you been an ATPE member? Why did you choose ATPE?
I first joined ATPE as a student teacher, and I became a professional member in 1998. I found the adversarial stance of the traditional unions toward school administrations and the legislature to be distasteful; ATPE seemed to be focused on achieving results through cooperation, which I found much more appealing. I have never regretted my choice.
What is your favorite part of your job? Least favorite?
I’ve never tired of seeing the lightbulbs light up when a student suddenly comprehends a new concept; this is often a joyful experience for both of us. My least favorite part of the job is having to flunk students; although it is sometimes necessary, it’s never any fun.
What advice would you give to a new educator coming into your position?
You can never have too much training, and you can never have too many friends. Do all you can to take advantage of as many professional development opportunities as possible. Try to form positive relationships with every other staff member, from custodian to administrator; schools function better when people work together, and you never know when you might need some help.
What is your biggest hope for the future of Texas public schools?
I hope that one day the legislature will finally come up with an effective solution for the issue of school funding. This has been a mess since long before I joined the profession, and despite the efforts of lots of good people, the problem hasn’t been solved yet.
Share your favorite moment as an educator.
During Spring Break of the 2017-18 school year, I had the privilege of taking a group of students and parents on an educational tour of Italy, including Venice, Pisa, Florence, Rome, and Vatican City. Being able to actually visit historical sites and see countless famous artworks that I had read and taught about, and being able to share this experience with my students, was an indescribable pleasure.
Want to learn more about this program or have questions about how you can be an ATPE volunteer? Email our volunteer program coordinator, Anna Belle Burleson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not an ATPE member? Join
the state’s top professional educators’ organization today.