News Archives

HPU exhibiting works of art students

student art exhibition april 2016BROWNWOOD – April 8, 2016 – Howard Payne University is exhibiting the work of art majors, minors and other students who have taken classes through HPU’s Department of Art this academic year. The exhibition is scheduled through April 16 and is housed in the Dorothy and Wendell Mayes Art Gallery inside HPU’s Doakie Day Art Center.

Student artists include Travis Adams, sophomore from Brownwood; Sierra Bennett, junior from Tuscola; Jordan Bundick, junior from Blanket; Colby Compton, junior from Early; Lydia Conrad, sophomore from Brownwood; Kaeli Goodgion, sophomore from Comanche; Don Greenwood, junior from Bangs; Julie Hart, senior from Goldthwaite; Catherine Haston, junior from Odessa; Molly Hull, senior from Brownwood; Tyler Jones, senior from Granbury; Will Locke, senior from Kerrville; Jennifer Martinez, freshman from Brownwood; Lawrence Martinez, senior from Pflugerville; Drew McNeil, freshman from Waco; Gabriel Means, sophomore from Palestine; Kinsey Nall, junior from Rising Star; Emily Peisker, senior from Cedar Park; Shawna Rains, sophomore from Cisco; Asiyel Smith, junior from Fredericksburg; Chelsea Taylor, senior from Brownwood; and Scott Turner, senior from Georgetown.

“Student art work has been curated by our faculty, choosing from the very best art projects,” said David Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art.

Represented art courses include Drawing 1 and 2, Painting 1 and 2, 3D Design, Contemporary Crafts and Ceramics.

“Many art media are represented including acrylic, charcoal, colored pencil, collage, corrugated colored board, foam board, basswood, clay and mixed media,” said Harmon.

HPU’s gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information about the exhibit, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at (325) 649-8500. The Doakie Day Art Center is located on the HPU campus, on Center Avenue, near Lipscomb Street in Brownwood.

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Photo cutline: HPU is exhibiting the work of art majors, minors and other students who have taken classes through HPU’s Department of Art this academic year.

“Kinesiology” name change better reflects HPU department’s mission

Xavier McFalls KinesiologyBROWNWOOD – April 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science recently announced that it has changed its name to the Department of Kinesiology to better reflect the department’s mission and purpose.

Dr. Graham Hatcher, head of the department and professor of exercise and sport science, said many academic departments nationwide have adopted similar name changes since the National Research Council recognized kinesiology as an academic discipline in the life sciences in 2006.

“Our focus is on the multidimensional study of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life,” he said, “so this is an especially appropriate designation for us and our bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology and athletic training as well as the Master of Education in Sport and Wellness Leadership degree.”

Dr. Hatcher mentioned the department has had several other names throughout Howard Payne’s history: elocution and physical culture (1898), physical education (1923), athletics and physical education (1934) and health and physical education (1955). It was named the Department of Exercise and Sport Science in 1994.

“In the past two-and-a-half years we have crafted our mission statement, revised both undergraduate degrees, gained national accreditation for our Athletic Training Education Program and introduced the Master of Education degree in Sport and Wellness Leadership,” said Dr. Hatcher. “Those efforts were conducted intentionally as a prelude to this name change, which better reflects our core programs focusing on physical activity and human movement.”

The mission statement for HPU’s Department of Kinesiology is “To provide a Christ-centered approach to the field of human movement through study, practice, and service.” Fall 2015 enrollment in the department was 191 majors, minors and graduate students. The department employs six full-time faculty members and 19 adjunct instructors.

Kinesiology major Xavier McFalls, senior from Amarillo, said the department has opened doors for him regarding his future career options.

“The kinesiology program not only academically challenges me but also helps me take what I learn and apply it outside the classroom,” he said.

For more information about HPU’s Department of Kinesiology, visit www.hputx.edu/kinesiology or contact Dr. Hatcher at (325) 649-8966 or via e-mail at hatcher@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: Xavier McFalls (blue mat), senior kinesiology major at HPU, leads a yoga class for fellow athletes.

HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau competes in San Diego tournament

SSB in San DiegoBROWNWOOD – April 7, 2016 – Student Speaker Bureau, Howard Payne University’s speech and debate team, recently competed at the National Christian College Forensics Association Invitational National Championships. The tournament was held in early March at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California.

Braxton Clark, junior global studies major from Southlake, was named second-place overall debate speaker at the tournament.

“I am very proud of Braxton’s performance,” said Dr. Julie Welker, team coach and chair of the Department of Communication. “This is the most difficult tournament we attend, and for Braxton to be named second top speaker is outstanding.”

The parliamentary debate team of Clark and Isaac Sommers, junior from Boerne majoring in jurisprudence, English and public policy (Academy), advanced to the quarterfinals round in open parliamentary debate.

Sophomore Reagan Grisham, communication major from Arlington, was named sixth-place speaker in novice parliamentary debate.

Sommers also advanced to semifinals in open extemporaneous speaking and teammate Christopher Freeland, freshman biochemistry major from Bangs, advanced to semifinals in novice extemporaneous speaking.

Freeland stated that Student Speaker Bureau has helped sharpen his communication skills with firsthand trial-and-error experience.

“As a freshman, I found parliamentary debate to be a valuable learning experience through which I walked out of every debate round knowing what worked and what needed improvement,” he said. “As we competed in more and more tournaments, my confidence and competence grew and showed me debate is a tool used for effective communication of ideas.”

Freeland also competes in oral interpretation events of prose and poetry, and he added that these interpretative events have taught him about different artistic points of view.

Other students competing in the tournament were Morgan Ashmore, junior communication major from Brock; Andrea Balderas, junior biology major from Lytle; and Aimee Orozco, sophomore communication major from Shepherd. Each member of HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau auditions for a spot on the team and scholarships are awarded to the individuals based on experience and level of performance.

Students competed in both debate and individuals events throughout the three-day tournament. This year, 23 universities from across the nation participated in NCCFA. All schools are members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. Almost 300 students competed in the tournament.

“Having four of the seven HPU students advance or win some type of speaker award is success by any measure,” said Dr. Welker. “We were competing against some of the largest and most prestigious schools in Christian higher education. Our HPU students did a fabulous job.”

While in San Diego, the team visited the USS Midway and went on a whale-watching boat tour to see the migrating whales.

“These trips are about more than just competing,” said Dr. Welker. “We want our students to have a well-rounded education through travel and experience the culture of each city we visit. While competition is our primary focus, getting out and about and networking is an important part, too.”

In her first year on the team, Ashmore said that her travels with Student Speaker Bureau have been an important part of her learning experience.

“This semester, I have had the amazing opportunity to travel to Colorado, California and England,” she said. “Traveling with Student Speaker Bureau has helped me develop critical-thinking skills and become more well-rounded. Getting to travel to Oxford and London with the team was easily the best experience I’ve had at HPU. I was able to make friends with students from all over the world and experience a new culture.”

Freeland agreed.

“Being a successful new member on the team means commitment, but the experience is worth the time invested,” he said. “The team members learn together, debate together and have fun at the tournaments together. Being part of the Student Speaker Bureau family is an honor and I look forward to new experiences next year with veteran and novice members.”

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2016 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s Student Speaker Bureau is pictured at Point Loma Nazarene University’s famous stoa. Pictured from left to right are Dr. Julie Welker, Braxton Clark, Aimee Orozco, Christopher Freeland, Andrea Balderas, Morgan Ashmore, Reagan Grisham and Isaac Sommers.

Three sisters share college experience at HPU

By Amy Pitman, communications assistant

BROWNWOOD – April 6, 2016 – Growing up, the Wolverton sisters each had different thoughts of where they might attend college someday. Their parents, Kelly and Susan Wolverton, taught each of them to follow God’s leading in their lives. Even though they share the same last name, Kelsan, Sharon and Spencer Wolverton have all made individual names for themselves in their majors and hobbies while following God’s lead at Howard Payne University.

Wolverton SistersKelsan, the oldest sister and senior cross-cultural studies major, wasn’t always sure that HPU was where she wanted to attend college. However, after all of the positive outreach she received from HPU faculty and staff during her senior year in high school, Kelsan felt that God was indeed leading her to the university.

“It is the best thing that the Lord could have done in my life,” said Kelsan. “Everything I prayed about wanting in college has happened at HPU, like finding Christian friends, having great professors who care about me and lots of other wonderful opportunities.”

Kelsan will graduate this May and plans to partner with a non-profit organization by traveling to Laos to teach college students for a year.

Although Kelsan may have originally doubted HPU was the place for her, Sharon, the middle sister and junior elementary education major, says she always knew that she wanted to attend HPU, especially after attending one of the university’s summer camps at a young age.

“Even in eighth grade, I already felt Howard Payne was my home,” said Sharon. “One thing that I prayed was that I would make godly friends at HPU who would challenge me and love me for who I am, and that has happened during my time here.”

Youngest sister Spencer, a freshman kinesiology major, was a bit apprehensive about coming to HPU and being in the shadows of her sisters’ accomplishments. Like them, she wanted to be her own person. Coming to HPU confirmed that she could indeed do that while attending the same university.

“The good thing about HPU is that each person has the opportunity to be involved in so many different things and you can really be yourself,” said Spencer. “The three of us all do different things on campus and HPU encourages us to use our talents in areas such as student government, social clubs and mission opportunities, just to name a few. Everyone can make a difference here in their own ways.”

The Wolverton sisters each have individual personalities, talents and goals, but they do enjoy spending time together when they can by watching movies, eating out and encouraging each other during tough times.

“We watch out for each other even though we may not see each other that much,” said Sharon. “We love each other and enjoy being close.”

Kelly, 1996 HPU graduate and pastor of Hampton Road Baptist Church in DeSoto, is very happy that all three of his daughters chose his alma mater.

“I like that they chose to go to HPU because I knew they would excel in the Christian family environment that the school offers,” said Kelly. “I appreciate the faculty and staff at HPU because you aren’t just a number. At HPU, you are a person who is loved like family.”

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Photo cutline: (From left) Sharon, Kelsan and Spencer Wolverton enjoy their time as students as HPU.

Husband-and-wife HPU faculty members exhibit artwork at UMHB

David HarmonBROWNWOOD – April 1, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s David Harmon, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art, and his wife, Susan Harmon, adjunct instructor of art, recently returned from exhibiting 70 pieces of their artwork by invitation from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton.

David Harmon also gave a lecture during the exhibition at UMHB with more than 200 people in attendance. The theme of the lecture was “Our Modernist Mentors: Architecture, Artists, Design and TV.”

“Our works entail abstract painting,” said David Harmon. “My work is on the mark-making process and my wife’s work is based on the content of shattered lives, especially those of women in international countries.”

David Harmon hails from St. Louis, Missouri. Growing up, he was surrounded by teachers and coaches who were artists and encouraged him to be a painter. He received his undergraduate degree from Webster University in St. Louis and his Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from Pennsylvania State University in University Park. He always loved to draw and felt that God was using his art and his desire to teach as a calling in his life. David Harmon came to HPU as an art professor and department chair in 2012.

Susan HarmonSusan Harmon is from Chicago, Illinois, and received her MFA degree from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and two Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was recently honored to create a large public art commission mural for the convention center in San Marcos.

The couple have both taught in schools across the country and enjoy being in Texas. They are well traveled and well rounded in their areas of visual art. Their work has been featured in exhibitions around the world and includes many different styles.

In the summer, the couple will exhibit their artwork at Angelo State University in San Angelo with another show scheduled this fall at Sul Ross State University in Alpine.

For more information about HPU’s Department of Art, call 325-649-8500.

Applications are still being accepted for the fall 2016 semester at Howard Payne University. HPU offers a variety of financial aid options including the Heart of Texas Scholarship, which awards $60,000 to students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at (325) 649-8020 or by e-mail at enroll@hputx.edu.

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HPU’s Symphonic Band and Concert Choir to present concert tours

BROWNWOOD – March 31, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Symphonic Band and Concert Choir will each tour select schools and churches in western and central Texas in April. The band will travel Sunday, April 3, through Tuesday, April 5, on its spring concert tour and the choir will travel Friday, April 8, through Monday, April 11.

“We are always excited to be able to take the name of Howard Payne University and our Lord Jesus on tour through the musical talent of our students,” said Corey Ash, associate professor of music and director of bands. “We get to connect with prospective students, friends and HPU alumni, and we are proud to get to represent the university in this way.”

The band will present concerts at First Baptist Church in Brady, Taylor’s Valley Baptist Church in Temple, Llano High School, Burnet High School and Gatesville High School. Musical selections will include works by composers Frank Ticheli, Alfred Reed, James Swearingen and Camp Kirkland, as well as “Jesus Loves Me, It is Well” by Gene Currie.

“Music is the universal language,” said Ash. “It’s a blessing to be able to share it everywhere we go.”

This year’s tour will take the Concert Choir to Ballinger High School, Colonial Baptist Church in Snyder, Second Baptist Church in Lubbock, First Baptist Church in Stanton and Trinity Christian School in Midland. The program for the choir tour, titled “Lord, I Believe…,” will include works by Mary MacDonald, Thomas Tallis, Larry Shackley and Morton Lauridsen as well as spiritual arrangements by Jester Hairston, William L. Dawson and the team of Alice Parker and Robert Shaw. Additionally, the choir will sing a number of compositions by Sir John Rutter including movements from his famous “Requiem.”

According to Dr. Gregory Church, associate professor of music and director and conductor of the Concert Choir, the concert is loosely based on the five sections of the Catholic Mass: “Kyrie,” “Gloria,” “Credo,” “Sanctus” and “Agnus Dei.”

“We are looking forward to the tour very much,” he said. “These types of choir tours accomplish a number of goals such as recruiting for the university and the music department, connecting with alumni and friends around the state and sharing wonderful music.”

On tour with the Concert Choir will be the Heritage Singers, conducted and directed by Dr. Celeste Church, associate professor of music and dean of institutional research and effectiveness.

After the groups return, a final choir tour concert will be presented on Tuesday, April 12, at First Baptist Church in Brownwood. The free concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. and the public is encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Music and Fine Arts at 325-649-8500.

TSHOF inductee Ken Gray reflects on life at HPU, in the NFL and beyond

By Abram Choate, assistant athletic director for sports information and game administration

A version of this article originally appeared in HPU’s Link magazine.

BROWNWOOD – March 31, 2016 – Recent Texas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Ken Gray had great success on the football field for Howard Payne University and the National Football League, but he says what he went through at Howard Payne really made him who he is.

Grays at exhibitGray and seven others comprised the Class of 2016 inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on February 2. The Waco institution houses displays of more than 300 Texas sports legends.

“It’s one thing to make all-district, all-conference, all-pro or all-anything,” says Gray. “But to receive recognition from your peers – to be inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame – it’s icing on the cake.”

Gray says he’s very sincere in being appreciative of everything Howard Payne has meant in his life.

“I know how indebted I am to Howard Payne for the university’s share of the recognition,” he says.

Grays with HPU representativesBorn in San Saba County to a father who was a heavy-equipment operator during World War II, the Gray family moved around central and west Texas before finally settling in the Llano area. There, Gray became an outstanding high school player.

At a basketball practice during his senior year, 1954, Gray was introduced to Jack Brewer, who was an assistant football coach at HPU. Coach Brewer asked if Gray liked to play football and if he would like to play at Howard Payne.

“‘Yes, sir, I sure would,’” Gray remembers replying. “‘Do you understand I am married and have a child?’”

Not only did Brewer understand, HPU had an opportunity for a job for Gray and a home for the young family.

In the fall of 1954, Gray played his first game as a Yellow Jacket. Howard Payne was handily beating the other team and Gray was put in on defense. Coach Brewer did not like the way he was lining up and asked him what he was doing.

“I guess he thought I was being lazy,” Gray says. “It broke my heart. I thought I would just get on the bus and go back to Llano.”

Coach Brewer then came over to the bench and put his arm around Gray.

Gray at HPU“He said, ‘Ken, I’m sorry. It will never happen again,’” Gray recalls. “From then on, I would die for him. That was my introduction to Howard Payne football.

“Coach Brewer was a great, great man. He got the most out of everybody, he was fair and he made men out of a lot of us. I still tear up when I think about him.”

The Howard Payne coaching staff made practices very tough. At that time, the team included several veterans of the Korean War.

“So when an 18-year-old went against a 25-, 26- or even a 29-year-old, you had to battle,” he says. “The things I went through at Howard Payne really made me who I am.”

As a husband and father at HPU, Gray did not have time for much beyond family, football and work. However, he found support among the team’s other married players.

“There were other players who were married with families, so there were others going through the same things,” he says. “All the older guys kind of put an arm around you to take care of you and teach you. Jack Browning and Joe James were older players. Harold Garms was a former service guy.”

Gray graduated from Howard Payne in 1958 with a degree in history and education. He finished Howard Payne as a four-year letterman (1954-1957), where he was All-Lone Star Conference and named to the Little All-American team.

He went on to be drafted in the sixth round (as the 62nd overall pick) of the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers in 1958 before earning a spot with the Chicago Cardinals. The team eventually moved to St. Louis.

Gray is one of 17 players in Howard Payne history to be drafted into the NFL and one of approximately 30 Yellow Jackets to have played in the NFL or Canadian Football League.

“When I went from Howard Payne to Green Bay, I really could not believe it. This is pro football,” he says.

However, after his experiences playing at Howard Payne, he was prepared.

“The practices were not really that hard. I found making that jump was really easy.”

In an NFL career that spanned 13 seasons, Gray was named an NFL Pro Bowl guard for the St. Louis Cardinals seven times. He would be named consensus All-Pro six times (1963, 1965-1969) and was honored as a First-Team selection twice during that time. He finished his professional career as a Houston Oiler in 1970.

Gray returned to Llano High School as head football coach from 1973 to 1975.

“That turned out to be the most fun I ever had,” he says. “I got to coach my son who turned out to be an All-State player.”

He then spent the 1977-1978 seasons as the Denver Broncos’ offensive line coach. Since then, Gray has become a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and Howard Payne University Sports Halls of Fame.

Gray now lives in Kingsland, Texas, with Shirley, his wife of 62 years. He has fond recollections of his days as a student-athlete at HPU.

“The memories are not so much of what happened on the field but the relationships I had with all the players,” he says. “Howard Payne is the kind of place where you can get a good education along with a dose of character building.”

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Photo cutlines: Ken and Shirley Gray stand in front of Ken’s display at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco.

The Grays are pictured with HPU representatives following Ken’s induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Left to right: Abram Choate, HPU’s assistant athletic director for sports information and game administration; Ken Gray; Shirley Gray; and Stephen Sullivan, HPU’s director of development and alumni relations.

Ken Gray is pictured as a football player at HPU.

HPU’s Sigma Beta Delta honor society inducts 12 new members

Sigma Beta Delta 2016BROWNWOOD – March 30, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s chapter of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society recently inducted 12 new members into its organization. Jonathan Snow, member of HPU’s Board of Trustees and 2006 graduate, was the keynote speaker for the event.

Inductees included Taylor Armstrong, senior from Coleman; Katie Ash, junior from Brownwood; Hannah Ball, junior from Justin; Blake Biessener, senior from Brownwood; Michael Hazard, junior from Sweetwater; Zachary Eller, senior from Temple; Regina Fleming, senior from Brownwood; Thomas Givan, senior from Early; Jody Loudamy, senior from Goldthwaite; Ely Self, senior from Ballinger; and Austin Throckmorton, junior from Early. Additionally, Dr. Jim Finch, HPU professor of business administration, was inducted as the chapter’s next president.

Snow, who graduated from HPU with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, spoke to the inductees and audience about the power of self-affirmation and its benefits through confidence and professionalism. He is a professional clothier for Tom James Company in Dallas.

“We’re very grateful that Mr. Snow took time out of his busy schedule to speak at our event,” said Dr. Trissa Cox, outgoing chapter president. “His presentation was very powerful and a good reminder for all of us in attendance.”

Sigma Beta Delta was founded as a national organization in 1994 for NCAA Division III universities and is accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. HPU’s chapter received its charter in 1999.

In addition to Dr. Cox and Dr. Finch, chapter officers include Dr. Debra Powell, assistant professor of business and vice president, and Mike Dillard, assistant professor of business administration and secretary/treasurer.

For more information, contact HPU’s School of Business at (325) 649-8704.

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Photo cutline: HPU’s chapter of the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society recently inducted 12 new members. The inductees are pictured with faculty from HPU’s School of Business who serve as chapter officers. Standing, left to right: Dr. Trissa Cox, Mike Dillard, Ely Self, Katie Ash, Hannah Ball, Michael Hazard, Caleb Throckmorton, Dr. Debra Powell and Dr. Jim Finch.

Seated, left to right: Taylor Armstrong, Blake Biessener, Regina Fleming, Thomas Givan and Jody Loudamy. Not pictured: Zachary Eller.

Christian-music artists to headline HPU Fest 2016

HPU Fest 2016BROWNWOOD – March 30, 2016 – HPU Fest, Howard Payne University’s annual outdoor music festival, will kick off Saturday, April 9, at 3 p.m. with a full day’s worth of music, food and activities. This year’s headliners are Josh Wilson and Jason Gray with special guest JJ Heller. The lineup also includes Love and War, Atlas Mason and Sun City. HPU students James King, freshman from McGregor, and Joshua Varnes, freshman from Universal City, will also perform.

In addition to HPU students and personnel, the community is welcome to attend. HPU Fest will take place at the university’s Old Main Park, the grassy area along Austin Avenue. There is no charge for admission.

HPU’s Student Activities Council and various organizations on campus will put together a number of booths and activities including inflatables, cotton candy and the annual HPU Fest Chili Cook-Off. Prizes will be awarded for hottest chili and tastiest chili.

Sodexo, HPU’s food service provider, will also serve a meal that can be purchased with a student ID card, cash or check.

“HPU Fest is one of the most popular student events on campus,” said Francie Clark, director of student activities. “The community is welcome to join us for this free and fun event.”

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HPU alumna named Teacher of the Year at Duncanville’s Central Elementary

Amanda TaylorBROWNWOOD – March 29, 2016 – Howard Payne University alumna Amanda (Hendrix) Taylor was recently named Teacher of the Year at Central Elementary School in Duncanville. Taylor, who teaches visual arts, graduated from HPU in 2012 with a degree in art education.

Taylor has taught for three years, with all three of those years spent at Central Elementary. She piloted the art program for the school and teaches approximately 600 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. In addition to a busy teaching schedule, she volunteers with after-school tutoring, assists with organizing fundraisers and helps decorate the school for special events.

“I am truly honored and humbled to have been chosen by our faculty as Teacher of the Year,” said Taylor. “It means the world to me that they see what I do as important and essential to the life of a child. I love to see my students blossom as they discover new things about themselves and their abilities in the art room.”

Dr. Daresa Voss, interim dean of HPU’s School of Education, was delighted to learn of Taylor’s award.

“Amanda has accomplished so much in just three short years of teaching,” she said. “I’m excited to see the directions in which her career will lead her.”

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Photo cutline: HPU alumna Amanda Taylor was recently named Teacher of the Year at Central Elementary School in Duncanville.