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KUHF-Houston Public Radio's "This I Believe" with Dr. Robert Borneman
January 29, 2010
by: Paul Pendergraft
Dr. Borneman is an educator. It's his life, it's what he loves to do and it's what brought him to Houston in 1984. With a freshly minted degree in Education from Indiana University, He was recruited by Houston I.S.D. After a year, he moved to Cypress-Fairbanks I.S.D., where's been ever since. He's furthered his own education at the University of Houston, where he received a Masters and a Ed.D. Dr. Borneman says his passion for education was first realized as a child as he describes in his essay for KUHF's This I Believe.
Dr. Borneman is currently the Principal at Hopper Middle School in Cy-Fair I.S.D. It's a new school, open less than a year, with a diverse population. Having worked in Cy-Fair for more than 20 years, he's watched the district really grow. It's now the third largest school district in Texas recently surpassing Fort Worth and Austin.
In addition to his work at Hopper, Dr. Borneman is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston and Sam Houston State University where's he teaching the next generation of educators. He's also the President of the University of Houston, College of Education Alumni Board of Directors.
Dr. Borneman got into education hoping to "make a difference". Now that he's an administrator, he's still able to fulfill that original calling on a broader scale. He makes it a point to maintain contact with the students and he says watching them succeed is his greatest joy.
Here's Dr. Robert Borneman with his essay for KUHF's This I Believe.
"I believe in public education.
As one of those fortunate enough to have had parents who modeled the importance of an education and supported the efforts of my own teachers in both educating and disciplining me, I grew up appreciating those who dedicated their lives to helping the next generation to reach their goals. I remember my mother asking me, when I was very young, what I wanted to be when I grew up. My response, "I want to be a teacher," brought forth a surprising reaction from her. She told me I was too smart to become a teacher. Even in my youth, that didn't make sense to me. I remember thinking, "Shouldn't teachers be the smartest people of all?" They have to know so much, and be able to share it in such a way as others are motivated to know it, too!"
My career aspirations went through the typical swings and shifts as I matured — fireman, doctor, lawyer — but when the time came to declare a major and pursue a college degree, I chose education. I couldn't imagine dedicating a lifetime to any other career. I've completed three degrees to this point, all in education. I've been a teacher, an assistant principal, a director of instruction, and a principal. I currently serve as a principal of a brand new school opened less than a year. It's a very diverse campus serving just over 1300 middle school students grades six through eight.
I believe educators are, generally, people with very big hearts. We are often maligned by the press and our legislators. Occasionally parents, too, show a lack of support for our work, but, happily, there seems to be a shift in that trend. Our efforts have been focused on building strong relationships with our students, their parents, and the greater community. I believe our staff's commitment and drive have already made a strong impression on our students as well as the adults in our community. I believe that our students know and understand that the adults within these walls care deeply about their success, and will pour heart and soul into their work to ensure that each student is given the opportunity to reach their full potential. And, I still believe that teachers should be the smartest people there are. We have to be. Our future depends on it. This, I believe."