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

Value of education immeasurable
Jerry G. Gillis Jr.
Age: 53
Occupation: Chiropractor

Where did you receive your education?
Alamo Catholic High School; bachelor's in marketing, West Texas State University; master's in business administration, Wayland Baptist University; Juris Doctor, Oklahoma City University School of Law; Doctor of Chiropractic, Parker College.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
God was telling me since I was 16 I was going to be a doctor of chiropractic, but I was not paying attention. I did other things and was always successful academically, but something just was not quite right. Finally, I went to chiropractic school and turbulent waters seemed to calm. I use every bit of my educational background, the marketing, management and even some of the law, in my practice.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge was in my latter two degrees that required me to be away from my wife and new baby for extended periods of time.

What is the value of your education?
The value of my education cannot be measured in any amount of money, but in satisfaction of accomplishment and sense of purpose on a daily basis. I have practiced chiropractic care for 15 years and I've never (once) got up Monday morning and did not want to go to work. God knew exactly where I was meant to be.

What would you say to someone who is undecided about continuing their education?
Money will never buy you happiness. Search for the activity that you like to do, then study in that area and become the best you can be doing that, whether it be a carpenter, computer repairman, doctor or football coach. Find the thing that you like to do every day and you will not only find happiness, you will also probably find financial success.

When did you make education a priority?
During my undergraduate studies at West Texas State University, I know that I did not treat my education as a priority, but I did attend, never missed a class, but did not totally apply myself. I knew I was on a mission, but my end game goals were not clear. Several years later, starting graduate school, I actually read the books and found out that by studying a person could actually make A's in class. It felt good and I continued that pattern throughout my future studies.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I love education. I yearn for knowledge every day. I tend to be a sponge that just can't seem to soak up enough information. I think some of the best education an individual can receive is the art of self-study on an everyday basis. Teach a child to read, and he or she can teach themselves.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
I probably thought about quitting every time I had a test coming up. My Dad said that a quitter never could do anything, and I will remember that message forever. Though I thought of quitting, it was never an option for me.

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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