The Opportunity of High School

by Ariel Reynolds on Jun 29, 2016

In 1994, Thomas Goldsbury began teaching in HISD, moving into an apartment complex across the street from Mike Feinberg’s first classroom. He tutored KIPP students on Saturdays and eventually taught at KIPP for a year. Because KIPP did not have a high school at the time, Thomas taught in HISD for many years.

“Then 5 years ago, I met Lara Wheatley,” Thomas said. “She is very persistent and persuasive. I learned quickly you just don’t ever want to get in the way of something she wants to get done. “

So now Thomas teaches pre-calculus, AP calculus, calculus AB, and AP calculus BC at KIPP Houston High School.

“I love being in the kids’ lives,” Thomas said. “High school is about preparing these students for college and life beyond. It’s a privilege for me to be in their lives during these times.”

Although known for his dry sense of humor, famous classroom parrot, and coaching of soccer greats, Thomas’s impact on his students is what truly sets him apart from others.

“One of my favorite memories is when I taught an immigrant student from Bosnia. He didn’t speak English yet, but would come to my classroom every morning with an English-Bosnian dictionary and the sports page of the paper. He would go word by word, eventually learning English. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, my alma mater, with an engineering degree. Those are the moments that make the long days worth it.”

Although able to retire next year, Thomas has no plans to stop teaching anytime soon. We are thankful for his lifelong impact.