celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news
Weatherman boosted by degrees
Jose M. Garcia Jr.
Age: 48
Occupation: Meteorologist in charge - National Weather Service's Amarillo office.

Where did you receive your education?
David Crockett High School in Austin; bachelor's degree in engineering science, University of Texas at Austin; master's degree in public administration, Texas A&M University at College Station.

How has your education played a role in your life today?
My undergraduate degree earned me an opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. A graduate degree in public administration provided me an opportunity to move into a leadership position. Education does not stop with formal schooling. Every week I strive to learn more about the science of meteorology.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?
I was the first in my family to attend college and receive a degree. Everything I encountered in pursuing higher education was a first for me and I had to learn everything on my own. I was able to overcome the challenge with the support of my family and school friends. It was also a challenge to pursue an advanced degree while juggling a full-time work schedule. I overcame the challenge with the support of my wife, an understanding supervisor and work mates who supported my efforts.

What is the value of your education?
I think the greatest value is to set an example for my children and help them understand why education and lifelong learning is so important.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?
Strive to be the best at whatever you do. In doing so, you will be constantly learning. I know individuals who are successful and don't have undergraduate or graduate degrees. However, they did not reach success and do not maintain it without continued learning and education.

When did you make education a priority?
For me, education was a priority from my first day in kindergarten. My parents always reinforced that they wanted their children to be successful and have a better life and more opportunities than they had encountered.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?
My early educational years were spent in the barrio of San Antonio. While my father was serving our country, I spent many years living with my mother and grandparents in an area where poverty and dropout rates were quite high. Seeing these conditions firsthand made a huge impact on my life

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?
I have never considered quitting, and that's probably why I'm still learning.

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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