After leaving military service in April 1973, I immediately entered Indiana University-Bloomington where I took a full load of classes that summer to begin to catch up to others my age. I graduated with a double-major in Political Science and Forensic Studies/Police Administration in January 1977. I also had earned a secondary teaching certificate in social studies. Once again, my timing could have been better as I was now entering the job market during another recession, this time due to the oil crisis.
I applied for over 100 positions throughout the country and finally was hired in Rock Springs, Wyoming to teach American Government and Criminal Justice. While teaching in Wyoming, I served as Vice-President of the Wyoming State Council of Social Studies, organized the Close-Up State Program for high school students from across the state, became a member of the National Close-Up Advisory Board, attended two Taft Institutes of Government at the University of Wyoming, and was named a fellow at the John F. Kennedy Harvard School of Government in Foreign Affairs. I also attended graduate school at the University of Wyoming.
In 1978 I became girls’ gymnastics coach but quickly moved into the head golf coach position as soon as it became available. Golf is my passion and I was trained under the legendary golf coach at Brigham Young University, Karl Tucker. As golf coach I was also in charge of transportation, so I learned all about the state of Wyoming firsthand as it was not unusual to drive 200-300 miles on a weekend to play in tournaments.
By 1983 I had three young children. When it snowed in June at the state golf championships, my wife and I decided to relocate our family to a warmer climate. We moved to the Houston area when I was offered a teaching position here. I began teaching Government and Economics at Elsik High School in Alief in 1983 and eventually taught in the Advanced Placement program in both subjects. During this time, I served as a reader for the AP Government and Politics Exam in both Daytona Beach and Salt Lake City. I was named Elsik High School Teacher of the Year in 1993. During this time, I continued my higher education at Texas A&M, UT-Austin, UT-Pan Am, Rice, and the University of Houston where I received a teaching certificate in economics.
My involvement with youth through sports continued as I coached golf in Alief. I also was a UIL high school basketball referee and softball umpire. When the UIL adopted girls’ softball as a sanctioned sport I became the first softball coach at Elsik High School.
In 2003, my wife, Jill, got a job in Austin ISD as a language arts administrator. We moved to Austin and I took a position at the new International High School teaching new immigrants. I quickly began interacting with students from all over the world, teaching them English and social studies. The language barriers were difficult to overcome, but together we all were introduced to a mixture of English, Urdu, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic that led to some interesting experiences. The students and I found we could communicate despite language and cultural barriers because we worked together and saw this as a unique learning opportunity. Those practical lessons helped me in my interpersonal interactions and my listening skills sharpened. My experience in Austin was extremely positive.
We returned to Houston in 2006 when Jill and I were both hired by Aldine ISD. She eventually became a Language Arts Specialist and I became the Social Studies Department Chair. I continued to teach Government, Economics and Advanced Placement and continued my coaching career as head golf coach for both the boys’ and girls’ teams. After 40 years in education I retired and became a substitute teacher in Conroe ISD until I decided to devote myself full-time to political causes here in Montgomery County.