Retiring Fort Bend ISD Language Coordinator to Begin New Career

This article was published
in the April 2003 issue of
the LOTE CED Lowdown.

Bobette Dunn recently retired from the Fort Bend ISD (Sugar Land, TX) after having served there for some nineteen years, first as a Spanish teacher and then as Foreign Language Coordinator K-12 since 1996. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and French, an M.Ed. in Bilingual/ESL, and a Ph.D. in Administration and Supervision. As Coordinator, Bobette supervised a district foreign language program which includes seven languages and over 110 teachers.

The tireless Dr. Dunn has served her district and state well. She is a long-time facilitator for the LOTE CED and is active in numerous professional organizations including the Texas Foreign Language Association and the Houston Area Teachers of Foreign Languages, both of which she served as President. Carl Johnson, Director of LOTE at the Texas Education Agency states, "Bobette's intelligence, dedication, honor, creativity, perseverance, and humanity are, in my mind, unmatched in the state of Texas among foreign language and other educators. Having sat with her for several years on the TFLA Board, I've had the opportunity to observe and appreciate first-hand her true leadership."

Teachers in her district consistently praise her for her support of LOTE teachers and students. Dorothy Cox, who worked closely with Bobette for several years as her training partner and on numerous projects and presentations, says, "She has been supportive of the teachers in the district by encouraging all of us to step out and find creative ways to spark learning in our students." Other teachers echo the sentiment: "Her support has been paramount in [my professional] ventures, and without it, I would never have been able to fulfill many of my goals." "Bobette took me under her wing and supported me as a new teacher. She really cares about our growth as professionals and people." "I particularly appreciated the special efforts she made to attend most of our German NHS induction ceremonies and several state German competitions over the years." "I knew Bobette for a very short period of time, but in that short period she demonstrated a character that was a great model for me. Her obvious passion made me want to follow in her footsteps."

Bobette’s administrative support for LOTE programs is also recognized by French teacher Cox: "She has been a tremendous help in many ways, from budgeting money to support our high school/elementary LIAISON program to inviting professional speakers for staff development who are knowledgeable and inspiring." Teacher Denise Tanner says, "I'd hate to think of the many programs that would have fallen to the side without her intervention." Crystal Chu commends Bobette’s support for the Chinese program that was quite new when she was first hired: "She finds all possible resources for our Chinese classes including buying books and sends me to seminars to get trained. She always goes the extra mile with me. She is not only a good supervisor but also a good friend. Her leaving is a great loss to me and to our district." (Teachers' full comments available here.)

Dr. Dunn leave her coordinator’s position to begin a new career as co-Program Director of ACT Houston, which provides alternative certification for teachers in South West Houston. ACT’s mission is "to initiate the developmental process of preparation for a career in teaching by providing the beginning teacher with the essential knowledge and skills in instructional strategies, curriculum planning, and reading instruction vital for a successful first year of teaching and for the beginning teacher's students." Although she will no longer focus exclusively on LOTE, Bobette intends to remain active in the foreign language field. She will miss interacting closely with those in her district but looks forward to the assistance she can provide new teachers in preparing for the careers on which they embark. We look forward to her continued participation in the profession and offer her best wishes on her new career path and a heartfelt thanks for her considerable contributions to LOTE education in Texas!