Booker T. Washington High School Principal Mark Bedell was honored April 24 as an “Outstanding Educator” by Texas A & M University.
Bedell was honored for his service in the field of education by Kay and Jerry Cox at the Dean’s Roundtable hosted by the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A & M. Dean’s Roundtable members at Texas A & M recognize educators who have made a difference in the lives of students.
Bedell believes that a mindset to empower others to reach their full potential is paramount in the field of education. Born to a 16-year old high school sophomore, he grew up in a drug-infested home with seven siblings and an abusive step father. Bedell was the only one among all his siblings to graduate from high school. He has worked for HISD for the past eight years, three as a teacher, four as an assistant principal and two as principal. He received teacher of the year honors in various categories two years in a row and also the feeder pattern principal of the year award this year.
Bedell credits his love of basketball as a factor that motivated him to stay in school and keep up his grades. After becoming ineligible to play once, he told himself he would never let it happen again and began attending summer and night school, which resulted in his making the honor roll. He graduated from high school with a 3.12 GPA and was accepted at Fisk University. Bedell made the honor roll at Fisk and also lead the nation in scoring for Division III basketball. After meeting his wife Robyn at Fisk, he made the decision to focus on academics first and athletics second.
Bedell graduated from Fisk with a degree in History and Education and accepted a job there as a basketball coach while continuing to work on his master’s in Educational Leadership from Tennessee State University. Bedell has presented at several national and state conferences on best practices in education and is currently writing his doctoral dissertation on drop out prevention for ethnic minority students from low economic strata. This topic is close to his heart as he has lived through and witnessed how students drop out when there is no one to advocate for them.