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

Teacher learns lessons on the job
Shelley Sipes
Age: 38
Occupation: Special education teacher at Pleasant Valley Elementary School

Where did you receive your education?
High School: Tascosa High School; college: Amarillo College for associate's degree, West Texas A & M University for bachelor's degree with honors; certification in special education and general education

How has your education played a role in your life today?
By building my self confidence and giving me the ability to help children with learning disabilities become successful. My education has given me many opportunities to be a role model for my family and students.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
I have dyslexia, which means I have a lot of trouble with reading and writing. Dyslexia is different for each person and there is no way to fix it. You have to learn different ways to overcome you weak areas. I overcame my learning disability through perseverance, hard work, and family support.

What is the value of your education?
I value my education because it was so hard to achieve. It took me hours longer than others in my classes to read or do my homework. My family supported me with words of encouragement when the work seemed to be overwhelming.

What would you say to someone who is undecided about continuing their education?
An education can open up opportunities to meet your life goals. Find something that you are passionate about and set goals. You can be a role model for your kids or friends.

When did you make education a priority?
I made education a priority when I found my passion for teaching. I observed a special education class with a wonderful teacher. ... The students seemed excited about learning new things.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I worked at a school as a paraprofessional and I wanted to go back to school to become a teacher and help students with learning disabilities. I found a purpose and set my goals.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
Yes, I thought about quitting because I was going to school full time and working full time. I thought I would never finish but my family encouraged me to continue.

2009 Stories
2008 Archive
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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