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

It's never too late to learn
Ernie Houdashell
Age: 61
Occupation: Randall County Judge

Where did you receive your education?
Hedley High School; Amarillo College; Bachelor of Science degree, West Texas State University.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
It allowed me to not hold myself back from reaching for my goals in life.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
Age. I was not able to complete my education until later in life. My professional careers did not allow me to attend school until my mid-30s.

What is the value of your education?
A value cannot be placed on it. I do not think I would've ever had any sense of accomplishment without it.

What would you say to someone who is undecided about continuing their education?
Education is such a personal thing. I don't know if I would have anything to say to them or not.

When did you make education a priority?
When I came to the point in my life that I knew the window of opportunity was going to close on my ability to fulfill the dream of having a degree.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
I always knew professional success was tied directly into an education. Again, this statement is only a personal one and there are millions of successful citizens who never completed college.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
There have been many times I have fallen short of my personal goals, but I have never been one to just say, "I quit."

I look back at my years at AC and WT and I get a real warm feeling in my heart. I know my wife, Sandy, really encouraged me to make the effort. Within the past two weeks, I took my 3-year-old grandson over to the WT campus to walk around. It's such a beautiful place. We are so fortunate to have schools such as AC and WT.

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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