In less than four months, Michael James, senior at Nimitz High School, will walk across Globe Life Field with a diploma in hand and a bright future ahead of him. 

James just recently signed with Texas Wesleyan University to play football. He’ll join the Rams as their center and begin taking education classes to fulfill his dream of becoming a teacher and coach.

Thanks to James’s father, who teaches history at de Zavala Middle School, and the district’s career and technical education initiative, James is prepared for Texas Wesleyan’s School of Education.  

Lavonne Carpenter, James’ education pathway teacher at Nimitz, is incredibly proud of his accomplishments and excited about his future.

“Michael James has been such a pleasure to have in the Education & Training/Coaching Program at Nimitz High School for the past four years,” says Carpenter. “He is respected in the classroom by his teachers and peers as well as on the field by his coaches where he received the Mike Farda award for his performance and leadership skills on and off the field. Michael will be an amazing teacher and coach one day.”

We recently sat down with James to learn more about the education pathway at Irving ISD and why he chose this career path. 

What made you join the education pathway at Nimitz High School? I want to be a coach. If I’m going to coach, I’ll need to teach. I need to get my teaching certificate and the education program at Nimitz is helping me prepare for that. 

How are your education classes preparing you for a career in teaching? If you want to teach, you need to be in this program. It shows you what to expect and what work teachers do behind the scenes. For example, I’ve already created lesson plans and taught them to the students at Stipes Elementary School. 

What’s your favorite education class? My practicum class. I go to Stipes Elementary School every day except Wednesday. I work with teachers and get to interact with students. It’s more than just class work. 

Who is one of your favorite teachers? One of my favorite teachers is Ms. Carpenter, who teaches in the education pathway. I have been able to form a good relationship with her. I’ll stop by and say hi. She was at all the football games. Ms. Carpenter is more than just a first and second period teacher. 

What are you most excited about teaching? Interacting with the students. I’m excited to see them grow and help them become men and women. That’s why I want to coach. As a coach, you are with them for four years and see them develop.