The Texas Wesleyan Alumni Board of Directors is a select group of alumni who support the university’s initiatives, mission, current students and alumni through leadership and volunteerism. The Alumni Board includes a diverse membership, designed to truly represent all TXWES alumni.
We are excited to welcome Eric Montoya as incoming president of the board. Eric has served on the alumni board for the last four years and is an avid supporter of all things Texas Wesleyan! Hear more about Eric and why he chooses to give back to his alma mater.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born, raised and educated in the public schools in Fort Worth. After high school, I began a job working a before and after school program, which placed me in the school setting. From there, I moved into a job as a bilingual teacher assistant for a program with FWISD called Spanish Conversational Classes. During this time, I observed and learned from the various teachers and classrooms I would visit. Those teachers also saw something in me and encouraged me to get my teaching certificate. So, I did. I began classes at Tarrant County College, and in the fall of 2005, I transferred to Texas Wesleyan where I earned my bachelor's degree in education in 2007. I began a job teaching second grade at Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center for FWISD. I loved teaching! I also loved to learn, so I returned to TXWES to enroll in the master's program. I chose education administration as my concentration and completed graduate school all while continuing to teach my students. In the fall of 2017, I began my career as a school administrator at J. T. Stevens Elementary School. I am currently the assistant principal at Rosemont Elementary School. I love my city! I enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially my three-year-old niece Gabriella. I have had a few full circle moments in my life. My ultimate full circle moment will be to return as a professor of education at Texas Wesleyan University. The goal has been set. Now it's time to work!
What are some of your best memories from your time at Texas Wesleyan?
During my time at Texas Wesleyan, I had the opportunity to work on campus at the West Library. I met many people as they checked out or returned books. I began a friendship with a fellow alumna, Monica Ortiz. Monica and I began our respective graduate programs at the same time in January 2014 and graduated on the same day in December of 2015! I also recall the interactions with everyone on campus, most especially in Dan Waggoner Hall, where I spent much of my time. I had my favorite chair in the foyer area where I would sit to study, visit with classmates or just wait for class to begin. Many times Dr. Carlos Martinez would rib me about owning that chair! Those memories of witty banter with the dean of education are some of my fondest.
Why do you think it is important to give back to the university as an alumnus?
Since joining the board of the Texas Wesleyan Alumni Association, I have discovered that there are many ways to give back. Some are very fortunate to be able to give back with monetary contributions, others with time commitments. To me, the most important way to give back is participation. Participation in alumni events helps promote the Alumni Association and provides the opportunity to discover all the amazing accomplishments of Texas Wesleyan alums and reconnect with friends and classmates. Participating in the Wesleyan 5K jump-started my activity with the alumni association as well as my induction as a board member.
What is your favorite alumni event?
During alumni reunion, I look forward to the reunion at the School of Education. I enjoy seeing the growth in the department since my time as a student. I am delighted to reconnect with professors and classmates, and have Dr. Martinez recall the story of me and my favorite chair! As a board member of the alumni association, I also love pinning the new graduates as they exit the stage after receiving their diploma. We welcome them to the alumni association and affix their alumni pin to their regalia. Of course, during a pandemic, this changed a bit, but the meaning is still the same!
Stepping into the alumni board president role, what are you most excited about? What are your goals?
I am excited and hopeful that I can fill the shoes of those that have held the position before me. I have been fortunate to have met and worked with some great leaders during my time as a board member. A goal that I have is to increase participation in alumni events, especially with our recent graduates and to inform new members of the network and connections available to them. I would also like to see an increase in participation from alumni of the School of Education. As a teacher, I understand that time is precious, but participating in alumni events and reconnecting with fellow educators is also essential for professional and personal growth. One of my favorite committees is the Alumni Scholarship Committee. I would like to increase amounts for this scholarship and encourage eligible students to apply for this scholarship opportunity.