As PeopleAdmin prepares to present this month’s winner of the Inspired2Educate program and honor yet another teacher, administrator or school staff member for sharing their story about the educator who inspired them, I’m still struck by the power of education to fundamentally change lives for the better.
I recently had the honor of presenting in person our first Inspired2Educate award. It went to Dr. Kenneth Border, Superintendent of Schools in Shallowater, Texas, for his touching story about the English teacher who believed in him enough to help him believe in himself, despite very difficult circumstances.
Shallowater is a small town that’s strikingly similar in some ways to where I grew up in Ohio. I didn’t attend school in a flat, windmill-laden landscape dwarfed by a western horizon, but my town’s population and employment options were just as sparse. My high school had 200 students (Shallowater’s is double that) and most of the jobs in town were blue collar ones.
Understanding how students within similar surroundings can feel their options for the future are limited, I was moved by the profound importance of Dr. Border’s remarks to his districts’ high school students as he accepted the award.
“For many of us,” he told them, “the only way we’re going to get out of where we are today is through our education.”