On Monday, February 24, 2020, math teacher Brenda Milam and social studies teacher Luke Matthews were recognized for their long employment at Judson High School. For the last two decades, these educators have not rested in their service to the staff or Rockets.
Mr. Matthews, having worked consistently at Judson High school for the past 25 years, began his longevity at Judson by first attending this alma mater as a student.
“I graduated here in 1989,” Matthews said. “My principal from high school hired me, his name was Mr. Parsley.”
After having graduated from UT Austin in 1992, Matthews went on to earn a teaching certificate in 1995.
“Mr. Parsley had caught wind that I had gotten certified and was looking for a teaching position,” Matthews said. “I had applied here at Judson just on a whim and he gave me a call, asked if I could come in for an interview, which I did.”
As with anything, experience brings growth, and becoming a teacher, for Mr. Matthews, was no exception.
“I feel bad for those students I taught my first couple of years in education. I feel like they got a version of me that wasn’t quite ready. I think that’s something that every teacher experiences,” Matthews said. “The first few times you try something you’re really not where you need to be, but ultimately you figure out what you need to do and you get better as an educator.”
Like Mr. Matthews, Ms. Milam’s origins also root from prior familiarity with Judson High School.
“I did my student teaching at Judson High School and Judson High school was relatively close to where I live,” Milam said. “My first two years, I actually taught at Kirby Middle School. When the grey campus opened, I moved to the high school.”
After being hired by Judson ISD in 1985, Milam began her teaching experience leading a class known as consumer math. However, over the years, she gained experience in teaching many other math subjects.
“I’ve basically taught everything except statistics,” Milam said. “That may play a part in why I haven’t desired to move anywhere else. Through the years I was basically able to move my way up to now teaching calculus.”
With support and friendship throughout the years, both educators have been able to sustain longevity in a familiar and comfortable environment.
“The math department was a really close-knit department and it always helps when you’re working with friends,” Milam said. “It felt like home. After a while, you stay, and you stay, and you stay.”
It is clear, based on the passion and commitment of several Judson teachers, the Judson community is an environment in which ideals of family and Rocket Pride thrive.
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