COLLEGE STATION, Aug. 2, 2007 – Wesley Jarvis, a retired chemistry and computer science teacher at Borger High School, will be presented the Texas A&M University Inspiration Award for Exceptional Education during summer commencement ceremonies Friday, Aug. 10, in Reed Arena.
Teachers selected to receive this unusual award – believed to be the first of its type by any university in Texas – are nominated by one of their former students who are about to graduate from Texas A&M.
Recipients of the award are recognized during commencement ceremonies at the university where they are presented a check for $2,000. Their high school receives $1,000.
As a university known for valuing excellence, leadership and service, the Office of the President sponsors the award as a way of recognizing those values in the teachers who have inspired and challenged their students to excel.
“I have never met another teacher who cared more about students than Mr. Jarvis,” said Laura Cummings, who nominated Jarvis for the award. Cummings, who will graduate with both a bachelor of arts in accounting and a master’s degree in finance, said she will be the first in her family to graduate from college. Jarvis, an Aggie from the Class of 1967, encouraged her to go to Texas A&M.
“He is the one who talked me into coming down here for Aggieland Saturday (a program that offers prospective students a chance to learn more about life at Texas A&M) and in a large part is responsible for me attending Texas A&M. He even kept in touch with me my freshman year to ensure everything was going well,” she added.
"It is a very humbling and rewarding thing for a teacher to be honored in this way," Jarvis said when asked how he felt about the award.
"It doesn't surprise me at all but it does please me that this student has done so well. Laura has excelled in all her academic pursuits," he added.
Cummings said she wants Jarvis to know that he was an inspiration to all of his students. “I would love for him to know that all of his hard work and dedication to us as high school students did not go unnoticed, unappreciated or unrewarded,” she said.
Jarvis certainly knows that now and, because award recipients are given the opportunity to present Texas A&M diplomas to the former student who nominated them – an honor normally retained by the university president – Cummings’ wish will come true.
Jarvis taught for 14 years at Spearman High School and also taught for two years at Frank Phillips College before moving to Borger High School, where he taught for six years before retiring in 2002.