Damon Adams, an assistant principal at Hays High School in Buda, Texas, told the story of how he carries on the legacy of his band teacher, Carolyn Herrington, who opened up her classroom so he could escape an abusive home and a non-friendly school environment, and encouraged him to believe in himself.
“The summer before I started sixth grade … I started over in a brand new school. At that point, my dad made the decision that he wasn’t going to work. Instead, he was going to stay home and drink alcohol, and the dynamics changed significantly to the point that it became very abusive,” Adams shared in his Inspired2Educate submission. “But Ms. Herrington became that teacher who, through love and care and compassion, always made me believe in myself when no one else did. I can honestly say without question that I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it were not for her influence.”
PeopleAdmin CEO Jack Blaha awarded Adams with a scholarship today at an assembly at Hays High School. Hays Consolidated Independent School District also received a scholarship.
“Unfortunately, too many students today still face hardships like Damon did, but Damon’s commitment to channeling those experiences into a career that serves K-12 students is something that we just can’t praise enough,” Blaha said. “Damon and Ms. Herrington are living examples of the incredible influence a teacher can have on a student and the snowball effect that follows: one dedicated teacher can directly impact thousands of lives.”
Inspired2Educate, a PeopleAdmin program begun in February, encourages current education professionals at all K-20 schools and grades — from kindergarten to Ph.D. programs — to nominate via video or in writing a teacher, administrator, or staff member who inspired them to start their careers in education.
Remembering the ways Ms. Herrington went above the call of duty — driving him to band practice, watching his concerts, driving him home — Adams says he didn’t recognize the significance of her influence on his life until he was an adult.