Teacher Spotlight: Byrolyn McDonald

McDonald listens as the Spotlight Crew explains why they are visiting Pathways.
By: Samantha Seidel
A teacher with multiple decades of teaching knowledge was stunned when a group meeting turned into a surprise party in her honor.
Working in a group in Principal Bobbie Reeder’s office at Pathways Academic Campus, teacher Byrolyn McDonald, was not prepared when human resources, the Education Foundation and Pathways staff members made their grand entrance into the room, cheering and swinging pom-poms.
McDonald’s face was a mixture of confusion and shock as the crowd directed their attention toward the teacher.
Reeders told a brief story about the teacher and explained why she had won the Teacher Spotlight for the Month Award. A Pathways staff member hugs a stunned McDonald.
“She is the backbone of this campus,” the principal said. “She teaches her students to adapt and prepare for the future. She makes sure that her students always think of themselves as managers in their future careers and to exude confidence in everything that you do, wear and how to address others.”
McDonald quietly smiled as the group sung her praises and graciously accepted her certificate and goodie bag from the Spotlight Crew.
A former civil service worker, McDonald made the transition to education when her family moved to the Fort Hood area, where she realized that she wanted to maintain a similar schedule as her two young daughters.
“I figured I would do this for a few years, until my kids were older and then go back into government work,” she said with a shoulder shrug. “Now, 38 years later I am still teaching.”
McDonald had several teachers that inspired her when she was in school, and she wants to have the same impact on her students today.
“I really hold myself responsible for their successes in life,” she said. “I want them to be great and give 100 percent no matter what career path they choose for themselves.”
For McDonald, the most challenging part of teaching is when she is trying to make her students understand that careers change all the time and adapting to the future is critical.
McDonald smiles as she reads her certificate.“I want them to be able to stand on their own two feet,” she said passionately. “If they don’t get their education here, where are they going to get it?
“Times are always changing and If we don’t educate our students today, we will pay for it in the future.”
McDonald is constantly challenging her students, and loves to see her former students being successful adults.
“I love getting to know the students and talking with them,” she said. “I love it when they come back to visit and tell me that they are doing good. I love being here at Pathways. I love my job and I love the staff that I get to work with. Thank you for this.”