Posted Date: 12/20/2017
Home for the holidays!
December 19, 2017 • Beeville, Texas
The expression, “home for the holidays”, certainly holds true for several alumni from the A.C. Jones High School Class of 2009. Several graduates from that year have not only come back home, but have returned as teachers to serve the children in the neighborhoods they know so well.
Thomas Camacho Jr. teaches Introduction to Welding and Welding I at A.C. Jones. “My high school welding instructor Mike Mylnar inspired me to teach” Thomas stated. “He was a great man that taught me what I needed to know in order to become successful and I always had a feeling I would follow in his footsteps.” In high school, Thomas was active in Cross-Country, Basketball, and of course, Welding. After receiving his degree in Welding Technology from Coastal Bend College, he knew wanted to stay in Beeville, because it is home.
Gabriela Chapa teaches Kindergarten at Hampton-Moreno-Dugat Early Childhood Center. After graduating with a Bachelors in Elementary Education from Baylor University, Gabriela came back to Beeville. “Originally, I came back to Beeville to gain experience in the teaching field” she said. “I only wanted to be here for one year before moving on, but after four years, I have grown to appreciate this town and the community.” Gabriela was active in Cheerleading and Soccer at A.C. Jones and stated that she had an assortment of great teachers throughout her elementary and secondary years who taught her to enjoy school.
Matthew Botello says that Mrs. Huffman and Mr. Hanus both inspired him to become a teacher. “They showed great patience with us. I’m forever grateful for the lessons they taught us not only in classroom but in life as well.” Matthew received his Bachelor’s in Exercise and Sports Science from Texas State University. He teaches Algebra I and Math PAP at both Moreno Junior High and The Joe Barnhart Magnet Academy.
There wasn’t much that Calli Barber did not succeed in at A.C. Jones. Cross-Country, Volleyball, Soccer, Track, the Barnhart Program, and National Honor Society were all activities she excelled in. She received her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology with a Minor in Special Education from Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. Calli was inspired to teach by her mom, Joni Barber. Teaching Industrial Technology at Moreno Junior High, she knew she wanted to return home to Beeville. “With the support system that was here I knew I would have people looking out for me and helping to make me the best teacher and coach I could be.”
Matt Ortega graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in Parks and Tourism with an emphasis in Youth and Community Development. He teaches Science Pre-AP at The Joe Barnhart Magnet Academy. “After two years of chemical engineering at A&M and an internship, I realized that I was a people person so I decided to explore a different degree.” Matt explained. “I want to provide an example to the students that you can achieve anything you want” he added. “I hope to show them that if someone like me can travel the globe and find success following their passion, then they can too.”
Beeville ISD is proud that students return home to pursue their passion and share their knowledge with the next generation. These teachers truly inspire bold, innovative leaders.
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In photo (L-R) Thomas Camacho, Gabriela Chapa, Matthew Botello, Calli Barber, Matt Ortega
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