Harlandale ISD teachers inspire alumnus to follow his dreams

Harlandale ISD teachers inspire alumnus to follow his dreams
Posted on 07/17/2017

When Thomas Rux became the Adjunct Faculty member at Texas A&M University-San Antonio (TAMUSA) this summer, he couldn’t help but look back at all the role models that inspired him to reach his career goal. Three of those inspirations were his Harlandale teachers John Arevalo and Helen McCoy, as well as his mother, who worked at Harlandale Middle School for 20 years.

“I was blessed to have wonderful, caring teachers that were excellent role models for all of us. Mr. John Arevalo made a huge impact. He constantly challenged us to ‘think outside the box.’ It was the Socratic teaching method at its finest,” Rux recalled. “Along with my mom, I had the best role models that inspired me to become an educator. A special teacher that I still keep in touch with was my first grade teacher, Mrs. McCoy, from Wright Elementary. She made and continues to make such a wonderful and positive impact in my life.”

Rux is currently teaching undergraduate special education courses, a goal he always envisioned.

“Special education, in particular, hits home for me as I have two special needs family members. Harlandale inspired me to be the advocate our special needs community needs to help our students reach their goals and full potential,” Rux said.

He received his bachelor’s degree from TAMUSA in the spring of 2014 and recently completed his Master of Arts in Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“I am beyond excited to return ‘home’ to begin my college teaching career,” Rux said as he reaffirmed how his education from Harlandale ISD played a key role.

“Harlandale set a solid foundation that prepared me to handle the challenges that I encountered along the way. I am forever grateful for the days at Wright Elementary, Harlandale Middle School and Harlandale High School, and all the wonderful educators and staff that made a positive impact on my life,” he continued.

During his education at Harlandale, Rux had the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities and develop lifelong friendships.

“I was a four-year member of the Million Dollar Band from Indian Land, under the direction of Mr. Raul Rodriguez,” he shared. “I have so many wonderful memories of playing in the band, from Friday Night Nights to the Fiesta Parades, to the UIL Competitions, and all the fun in-between was a blast.”

One of his favorite sayings, posted in the band hall, read “If you’re on time, you’re late, get here 15 minutes early” – a motto that has stayed with him to this day.

As a father, husband and now educator, Rux looks forward to sharing his experience with future teachers and leaders. He hopes students will “find a career that they love” so that they will “never work a day” in their lives.

“I am humbled to be in a position to not only teach our young students, but now I get to also share my experience,” he said. “I love teaching and working with students of all ages and ability levels. I learn something about myself every day, and I wouldn’t trade my job for the world.”

Teaching has given Rux a front seat to make a difference in the lives of students, which according to him will “strengthen and build our community.” He feels proud to be from the “Pride of the South Side.”

“Working at TAMUSA has given me the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of our entire city and South Side community. It’s a responsibility that I take very seriously, and I am ready to make an impact one student at a time. Harlandale ISD made my career possible by helping me develop my educational foundation that prepared me for college and beyond. Thank you HISD for all that you for the families of the South Side of San Antonio. ‘Once an Indian, Always an Indian.’” Rux concluded.




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