celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news

Faith guides grad through tragedy

By Kevin Welch

Josh Cutler has a reputation for reaching out.

"He's a servant through and through," said Donna Corder, a family consumer science and speech teacher at Bushland High School who also is the technical education coordinator. "He's one of the few kids that kids and adults respect."

But Cutler has struggled.

"He had no motivation whatsoever," Corder said. "We thought we were going to lose him four years ago."

Cutler faced several challenges after he moved to Tascosa Hills from Fort Worth while in the eighth grade.

"My mom passed away in my ninth-grade year," he said. "That was pretty difficult, just starting high school."

But he straightened his path, working on academics and sports like football.

"I'm not the biggest guy on the team," Cutler said. "And this year I really got into economics, like stocks and stuff like that."

And being a mentor comes easily to him.

"I love to do that with my buddies and especially underclassmen," Cutler said. "Some people come up and talk about what's going on in their lives, and I don't even know them. That's cool."

Cutler will graduate from Bushland with plans to master some of the basic courses at Amarillo College before moving to West Texas A&M University to study the real estate business.

Faith has helped the graduate move his life along.

"He's a very, very strong Christian," Corder said. "I think that's an important part of his change of philosophy. He's shown Christ to several students through his actions."

Cutler himself credits his faith and his experiences in the youth group at The Church at Quail Creek for some of his success.

"I'm very strong in my faith," he said. "You can definitely use that as a teaching tool, and I know that it helped me personally."

Editor's note: The Amarillo Globe-News is profiling a student a day from May 9 through Friday as part of its 2008 graduation coverage. Students were nominated by Globe-News readers.

calendar of events
  • January 11
    Kickoff of 2009 Program
    Find out what Celebrate Education is all about in this special section in your Sunday paper.
  • March 7
    Regional Spelling Bee, West Texas A&M University
    The annual Regional Spelling Bee will feature the top spellers from the Amarillo area. The top five winners will receive scholarship money ranging from $500 to $5,000 and the winner will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Spring and Fall
    Amarillo Reads community-wide reading projects.
    Dates and details TBA
  • April
    Amarillo Education Matching Grants Program. Exact date TBA
  • April 10
    What's a Kid to Do Special Section
  • April 12
    What's a Kid to Do at the Amarillo Civic Center
    This event will focus on activities and camps for children to participate in during the summer..
  • May 8-29
    Beating the Odds
    A series of stories published daily in the Amarillo Globe-News during the graduation season that profiles people who have inspiring stories to tell about the degree they are about to receive.
  • May 12
    Ready for the Real World program at Amarillo Civic Center
    AISD juniors get training on what's going to face them in a little more than a year.
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Special Section
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Event at West Texas A&M University
  • Fall
    Discover College Day
    Fifth graders from area schools visit college campuses.
  • October 1
    Great Jobs Special Section
    Focusing on well paying jobs available in the area that people may not know about.
  • November 2
    Career Education Special Section
    Focusing on businesses and others in the community helping young people gain a career vision.
  • November
    Yes You Can Event
    Designed to help people gain information about the next level of education from GED to PhD. Date TBA.
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