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Altus Teacher of the Month Robert Garrison – Presented by Jackson County Memorial Hospital

Everyone has a path that they take in life. Some people take the path that they had planned for many years, while others had plans but due to circumstances, had to change them. That is what happened to Robert Garrison and led to him entering the educational field.

“I became a teacher totally by accident and/or fate,” he said. “When I left to go to Oklahoma State University, I wanted to enter their School of Architecture, but I didn’t qualify. I sat there in a panic in the advisor’s office as he asked me, ‘What are you going to do now?’ followed by me saying that I had no clue. He then asked me what subject I liked in high school, and I told him history. He sent me to the College of Education, and I became a teacher. I promise you, being a teacher was the last thing on my mind heading into college, but I love what I do and couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

Garrison teaches A.P. United States History and American History to juniors at Altus High School. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Rhonda, for thirty-one years. They have three kids, Nick, Chase, and Bethany, all of whom have graduated high school.

There are many things that come along with teaching, but Robert says that watching his students grow to become adults is one thing that he cherishes.

“One thing that I enjoy most about being a teacher is the relationships I have made with my students,” he said. “I enjoy watching what my students become. It can be heartbreaking watching how they have changed as they get older or how some of their choices have impacted them as they’ve gotten older. But the thing I’ll miss the most when I finally get out of education is the relationships I have with my students. They have brought me joy, pain, laughter, and tears. I hope they all knew that they made a much bigger impact on me than I ever made on them.”

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