It’s back to school season, which means teachers across the District are preparing for the first day of class, Monday, August 14. For Irving native, Henry Guzman, this upcoming school year is more of a homecoming since he’s returning to the District in which he grew up. Guzman will join the Johnson Middle School team as an 8th grade science teacher, but his history in Irving ISD started long ago. He attended Barton Elementary, de Zavala Middle and Irving High schools, and he credits his experience in Irving ISD for making him want to become an educator.
“I’ve wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in kindergarten. My parents didn’t speak English, so my siblings and I relied a lot on our teachers to get accustomed to things here. We looked up to them a lot, and that inspired me to want to help other kids like me,” he says.
Guzman is entering his eighth year in education, which started in Irving ISD. But for the past four years, he taught students in Hawaii. After his fiancé received a job offer from the University of Hawaii, they decided it was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up. For Guzman, it was a chance to grow and gain exposure to new people and things.
“I had been in Irving my whole life, so I was excited for something new,” says Guzman.
During his time in Hawaii, Guzman taught AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) and social studies at Jarrett Middle School and earned his masters degree from the University of Hawaii. Although living in Hawaii was a dream experience, he longed for his family…and Texas food.
“My mom was always asking when I’d return home, and I felt like now was a good time,” he adds.
Guzman’s mother, Carmen, is also an Irving ISD employee and has worked in the District since 2011. Having her work in the same District was a huge selling point when making the decision to return. The two are extremely close, and he credits her for being a strong motivator while he pursued his dreams of becoming a teacher.
“She’s always pushed me to do my best. There were times when school got hard, but she was always there to support me and remind me of my end goal,” he added. “I see how much she’s respected and loves coming to work. Everyone is so kind to her, and that made me want to be a part of Irving ISD.”
Guzman says he’s excited to start this new chapter at Johnson Middle School under the leadership of Principal Trent Nickerson and looks forward to building new relationships with friends and colleagues.
Welcome home, Mr. Guzman.