Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Texas History Day at Region 10

"Lone Star Historian 2" is a blog about the travels and activities of the State Historian of Texas during his second year. Bill O'Neal was appointed to a two-year term by Gov. Rick Perry on August 22, 2012, at an impressive ceremony in the State Capitol. Bill is headquartered at Panola College (www.panola.edu) in Carthage, where he has taught since 1970. For more than 20 years Bill conducted the state's first Traveling Texas History class, a three-hour credit course which featured a 2,100-mile itinerary. In 2000 he was awarded a Piper Professorship, and in 2012 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wild West Historical Association. Bill has published over 40 books, almost half about Texas history subjects, and in 2007 he was named Best Living Non-Fiction Writer by True West Magazine. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree by his alma mater, Texas A&M University - Commerce. 

Region 10 Education Service Center
Several months ago I provided a leadoff program for a TSHA Texas History program at the Region 10 Education Center in Richardson. While there I met Ben Reed, Social Studies Consultant for Region 10. He told me that early in the summer he planned to stage a “Texas History Day” for teachers, and asked if I might provide a keynote program for the group. I was delighted at the prospect, and we quickly agreed on a program about Sam Houston. Ben contacted me when he solidified a date, Monday, June 20, 2016.

After my conversation with Ben my book on Houston was released, Sam Houston: A Study in Leadership. I developed three programs about Houston, and Ben informed me that he wanted a full hour on this important Texas figure.

Karon and I drove to Richardson after church on Sunday, June 19. The next morning we arrived at Region 10 and saw Ben Reed, checking on a few minor details. Soon we sighted our youngest daughter, Causby Henderson, who teaches at Van Alstyne Elementary School and who had signed up for “Texas History Day” to satisfy a day of professional development credit. Causby had taught for well over a decade, and she competently mounted the large posters of Sam Houston that I had brought. And when the session started, she passed around handouts I had prepared. 
Introduction by Ben Reed

While a crowd of more than 100 participants gathered, I introduced myself to as many fellow Texas history teachers as possible. With a room full of Texas history teachers as an audience, I knew that everyone – mostly fourth- and seventh-grade teachers – possessed basic knowledge of Houston and 19th-century Texas that I could build upon with my program. It was a pleasure to hold forth on Houston with such a knowledgeable audience, and I inserted historical anecdotes that I hoped some of them might share with their students. Throughout the program Causby and Karon took turns shooting photos that might be used in our blog. 

Following the presentation a number of teachers came up to talk further about Houston and to buy my book about him. Both their applause and their spoken compliments were most gratifying. Causby efficiently packed me up while I was conversing, because a break-out session was about to begin in the same room. I said goodbye to Ben Reed and to fellow presenters K.R. Wood and Buck Cole, both old friends. K.R. is a singer/guitarist/songwriter who shared music with a Texas flavor throughout the day, while Buck is the Education Coordinator for the Texas General Land Office. Both K.R. and Buck enrich every conference they attend. 

With K.R. Wood

Causby helped us load the car, and since the previous day was Father’s Day, she presented me with a gift package. It had been a fine morning for me, and I was impressed with the quality of Ben Reed’s “Texas History Day.” 
With Causby O'Neal Henderson
With Karon

No comments:

Post a Comment