Tara Bordeaux was named 2018 Teacher of the Year by the state of Texas. She built a nationally recognized media arts program at Lanier High School in Austin, and her students’ work has been featured in national advertising campaigns.
However, Bordeaux’s path to Teacher of the Year is unique. Bordeaux says she went through some very hard times during her junior year and dropped out of school.
“I couldn’t, as a teenager, really deal with it. And I wasn’t really getting along with my parents, we were fighting,” says Bordeaux. We didn’t see eye-to-eye, so nothing felt right, so I dropped out of school. I felt invisible to most of the world.”
But Bordeaux’s 11th-grade chemistry teacher, Mary Kay Canon, wasn’t going to let her disappear that quickly.
“I was working at a McDonald’s at the time and she [Ms. Canon] came to my job and she sat there for two hours until I got to work that night, to try and convince me to come back to school,” says Bordeaux
Bordeaux didn’t return to school the next day because she didn’t want to face her mistakes. But she says what Ms. Canon said and stuck with her for her whole life.
“The fact that someone, especially a teacher, took the time to come to my job and to wait for me just to tell me how important I was and that I should come back to school. She’s the reason that I’m here today. She saved my life.”
To hear more about how Bordeaux and Canon’s life-changing conversation listen to the Episode 25.