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Spring 2009
First teachHouston Grad to Soon Command Own Classroom
His friends call him Ricky, but in a few months he will be known as Mr. Garcia.

Ricky Garcia will become teachHouston’s first graduate when he receives his math degree from the University of Houston in May and in the fall he will begin his career as a high school math teacher in Fort Bend County.

Explaining algebra equations to ninth-graders may not sound like a dream job, but for Ricky, teaching math is a dream come true. A Santa Fe High School valedictorian with vast opportunities before him, he knew early on that he wanted to leave his mark through the students he educated.

Eager to get a head start on his teaching career, Ricky joined teachHouston’s inaugural class in spring 2007.

"I knew I wanted to teach, so why not start now?" he said.

Thanks to teachHouston’s integrated degree plan, Ricky was able to begin his teacher training and get hands-on classroom experience at local schools while completing his math degree.

Ricky knows he will make tens of thousands of dollars less than most of his math department classmates, so he understands how precious each scholarship dollar is. Thanks to financial assistance from teachHouston as well as other scholarships, he will graduate from UH debt-free.

Ricky is currently a student teacher at Clements High School in Sugar Land. Standing in front of a class to teach a lesson was a little intimidating at first, but now he looks forward to taking charge of his own classroom.

"It gets easier the more you do it, and teachHouston is a unique opportunity to get real teaching experience," Garcia said.

To learn more about teachHOUSTON, visit www.nsm.uh.edu/teachhouston
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