Spring is a busy time in the world of Texas public education. But we say, make time to stop and smell the roses—and also congratulate our April Volunteer of the Month! In case you haven’t heard, 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 April’s Volunteer of the Month, Robert Powell of Houston ATPE!
What is your job title? Where do you work? How long have you been in this role?
I am currently a retired school teacher from Houston ISD. I was originally at Hartman Middle School where I taught speech and theater for three years, and before that I taught for 13 years in Katy ISD as a debate coach and a speech teacher.
How long have you been an ATPE member? Why did you choose ATPE?
I have been an ATPE member since 1990 (29 years) and was introduced to ATPE by my oldest brother when he was a teacher. I joined when I was a student at Texas A&M in College Station.
Share your favorite moment as an educator.
My favorite moment as an educator came in the year 2000 when one of my students, James Scott, won the Texas State Forensics Association Tournament as a Lincoln Douglas debater. I never had a student that outstanding, although there have been some that got very close.
What made you want to be an educator?
I decided to become an educator after two of my three brothers entered the profession. Early in my adult years I was heard as saying, "I don’t ever want to teach." However, I changed my mind years later after a career in the food service industry.
What advice would you give to a new educator coming into your position?
Be prepared to laugh, cry, and feel angry, but most of all, come in with an open mind, a tempered heart, and a positive attitude.
Share something fun about yourself.
Since retiring I have written three books, all which are available on Amazon. My novel is titled The Execution of Jeremy Ryan
, and I have written two books of poetry, "Wilted Flower" and "Experiences."
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.