Two students moved to the head of the class in the University of Houston-Victoria School of Education & Human Development.
Bachelor’s degree candidate Debra Marshall of Cypress and master’s degree candidate Shannon Beyer of Victoria will be recognized at 9 a.m. Saturday during spring commencement at UHV, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St.
Professors at each of the four UHV schools select at least one outstanding graduate each semester from both their bachelor’s and master’s programs to be honored during graduation.
Marshall began her college studies majoring in business but then took 20 years off to raise her three sons. After getting her children off to college, she decided to return and earn her bachelor’s degree in education so she could teach middle school math and science.
“I may not be able to make a difference in every student’s life, but I plan to help as many students as possible succeed,” she said. “My success as a teacher is measured by the success of my students.”
Marshall said a great part of her success was the support she received from others.
“Working as a team with fellow students and professors helps you achieve your educational goals because it’s very difficult to succeed on your own,” she said.
Her support team included fellow students, professors and her husband, who took on more than his share of the cooking, cleaning and other chores so she would have time for studying and school work, she said.
Graduate degree candidate Beyer will receive her degree in education with a diagnostician certification.
“As my career progresses, I’d eventually like to move outside of the classroom so I can be a positive force in the lives of more students,” she said.
After she graduates, she plans to continue working in a special education classroom at Smith Magnet School in Victoria and take on some diagnostician responsibilities.
She advised other students that perseverance is the key to success.
“Stick with it,” she said. “It can get tough, but stick with it. It’s worth the effort.”
Outside of working full time and taking classes, Beyer also is a research assistant at UHV and a volunteer for Adopt-A-Pet in Victoria.
“Ms. Beyer is a hard worker who really cares about learning, her own as well as the students she teaches,” said Carol Klages, a UHV associate professor of education who worked closely with Beyer.
Both students are worthy of praise, the school’s leader said.
“The same characteristics that made these graduates superb students also will make them superb teachers,” said Mary Natividad, dean of the School of Education & Human Development. “Their hard work and dedication sets a great example for future educators. I’m certain they will continue to be a credit to this school and university.”