(RED OAK, Texas) – An alumnus of Texas State Technical College’s North Texas campus recently returned to become an instructor following his graduation.
Jarrod Tawney graduated from TSTC’s North Texas’ HVAC program in September 2022 and returned to become an instructor the following semester.
“I enjoy helping someone that is actually trying to better themselves and help them get to their goals,” Tawney said.
After beginning work with Midlothian ISD as an HVAC technician, Tawney decided to return to school to learn more about kitchen equipment and troubleshooting. This led him to TSTC’s HVAC program.
Douglas McCuen, lead instructor for the HVAC program, said that because of Tawney’s past experience he was able to do well in the program.
“Fortunately Jarrod already had a job in the industry,” McCuen said. “He kind of had a very good idea of what he was expecting. So when Jarrod came in as a student, he really excelled … he took his time, he did all the labs and everything, but he was really a very bright student.”
With his extra experience, Tawney was able to assist other students, even before becoming an instructor.
“Even as a student he would help some of the lower-level students,” McCuen said. “That was one reason that we interviewed him. Because he was very forthcoming and outgoing, he would try to help anybody he could.”
Tawney had considered coming back to be an instructor, but said he thought it would be later in his career. When McCuen informed Tawney of the job opening, however, Tawney decided on sooner rather than later.
“There was a point where I really just wasn’t loving what I was doing and I dreaded going into work,” Tawney said. “Here I’ll wake up every day and I’m ready to go to work and do the best that I can.”
Second-semester student James Hamill talked about how Tawney’s work as an instructor has helped him.
“Him telling me the stories of coming here as a student and then graduating and becoming a teacher (influenced me),” Hamill said. “It showed me that I can do it as well.”
For more information on TSTC, go to tstc.edu.