celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news
Books sparked her love of learning
Beth Whitley Duke
Age: 54
Occupation: Executive director, Center City of Amarillo Inc.

Where did you receive your education?

Tascosa High School, Amarillo College, Baylor University.

How has your education played a role in your life today?

My education is the foundation for all my work. I learned so much from all my teachers. They not only taught us about their subjects, but also they taught us about life.

What was your greatest educational challenge and how did you overcome it?

My greatest educational challenge came when I was working on the school newspaper and carrying a full class load in college. Sometimes I was tempted to give up, but I'm glad I kept my commitment to achieve my goals.

What is the value of your education?

The value of my education continues to grow. I learn new things every day. The real value of education comes from teachers who help you learn to think and to become a lifelong learner. Education is the only way to keep up with new technologies and trends.

What would you say to someone who's undecided about continuing their education?

I always encourage young people to set goals for their education. They need to see successful role models - men and women who have made a difference. Then they can understand the relationship between education and success.

When did you make education a priority?

My parents, Golden and R.N. Whitley, always made education a priority. From the start, my mom made sure we had plenty of books. She read to us from the time I can remember. My dad worked hard to graduate from college even though his college years were interrupted by his service in World War II. With their encouragement and their financial help, my two sisters and I all graduated from college.

What made you realize the importance of education in your life?

When I was growing up, my favorite books were biographies. I read about pioneer journalists like Nellie Bly. I read about other fascinating people. They all had one thing in common - a strong educational background.

Did you ever think about quitting? What made you keep going?

Everyone thinks about quitting at some time. Fortunately, I was raised to set a goal and achieve it. When I was tempted to quit, I would think about the bigger goal and keep going.

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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