Teacher has positive, belated impact

(From The Pasadena Citizen- May 19, 2004)
By MARCUS TANTILLO
Reporter

The Pasadena Independent School District Education Foundation recently held a recognition banquet for the top 10 graduating students of each of the high schools in the district.

The event, which occurred on a stormy night, was well attended, despite the weather, which might help it become a tradition rather than a one-time event.

During the night, those top students had the opportunity to honor the teachers who inspired them.

Although I was never a top 10 student, I would have loved to have honored the teacher who made a difference in my life, especially since it was not until years after did I realize what an impact that teacher had on me.

As a teenager, I had decided that I would be a chemical engineer when I grew up. Science, math and computers were what I lived for, and I could only see myself working in a chemical plant as much of my family does today.

While in college as I was stumbling in calculus, I wrote a letter to the editor of the college paper and it was published. I was hooked on the power of the press.

I have always liked to read, and as a child I wrote poetry but never took it seriously.

Douglas Davidson, an English teacher, always challenged me, and little did I realize that he would have such a profound impact on my life.

I have learned that words are the way I can make contributions to society, which makes me feel that I have a purpose.

Without Mr. Davidson, I would not have been prepared to write a story about a young girl who collected cans and then donated the money she earned to the pound to help feed the animals. The same child learned about six months later that she had cancer, but she was more worried about how it was affecting her mother and father because of the numerous trips they were having to take each week to Houston from Vidor for her treatments than she was about the cancer.

Her strength was amazing, and I was able to let all of our readers know about the child and her ability make the most of her life, despite the pain which she had to endure constantly.

The foundation program reminded me that I really need to thank Mr. Davidson and tell him what a difference he made in my life.

One of the teachers who was recognized during the program said she was very proud to have helped inspire the student who honored her.

I believe there are a lot of teachers who do not realize the impact they have on students' lives, but, if I am successful, Mr. Davidson will.

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