Category Archives: Sweetwater

TSTC Alumnus Moves On to Start Welding Career

(SWEETWATER) – One of Texas State Technical College’s recent alumni from the Welding Technology program has left a high mark for future students to attain.

Luis Rueda, 20, of Colorado City took dual credit classes while a student at Colorado High School and received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Welding Technology in August. He also earned two other graduating honors.

“Luis has continually proven that he is willing to do whatever it takes to make a great hand,” said Taylor Elston, a TSTC Welding Technology instructor.

Elston awarded Rueda the Outstanding Graduate Award, a recognition putting him at the top of his Welding Technology classes.

“He is constantly asking knowledgeable questions, diligently checking his work, and he focuses hard on perfecting his craft with great efficiency,” Elston said.

Rueda also earned the Provost Award from TSTC in West Texas Provost Rick Denbow. Denbow chooses one student each semester to receive the award from those who have received the Outstanding Graduate Award in their program.

“I am so proud of Luis,” said Elston. “I’m glad he got the Provost Award too. He worked hard to earn it.”

According to Elston, Rueda was a consistent leader in the classroom.

“Luis never stops working,” said Elston. “He can work circles around everyone else and still always seems to be the happiest and the least tired.”

In between welding sessions, Rueda found time to enjoy himself and make friends on campus.

“(My favorite memory is) the day we had at the cook-off at the lake,” said Rueda. “It was pretty fun.”

Rueda has always shown promise.

He has been a student at TSTC in Sweetwater since 2015, when he enrolled as a Welding Technology dual credit student through Colorado High School. He first entered Elston’s class as a timid junior but quickly began to show signs of a talented craftsman.

“His junior year he mostly kept to himself,” said Elston. “However, as a senior he was in a fabrication course during the same hours they were juniors in an intro welding course. After he had all his own assignments in, he would hang out with the younger guys and watch them weld and give them pointers.”

Rueda decided to go into the dual credit program after his brother told him how fun and interesting welding was.

“It was a great opportunity that not all schools offer you,” said Rueda. “I just thought it was a great opportunity that my school was offering and that it was gonna help me in my future since I decided that I wanted to be a welder.”

After graduating high school in 2017, Rueda continued his education at TSTC with 15 college credit hours on his transcript, saving him time and money. Rueda was already in the know about  how college worked and what his instructors expected of him, putting him ahead of the game from his first semester as a college student.

“I already knew how to weld by the time I graduated high school, so I didn’t have to worry about that and already knew my instructors well and how they worked,” Rueda said.

Since Rueda’s graduation in August, he has recently been hired to build pressure vessels at Tri-Point LLC in Midland.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Automotive Technology Program Poised to Fill Area Positions

(SWEETWATER) – Ivan Covarrubias, 19, of Perryton became interested in automotive repair by working on cars with his uncle.

Covarrubias, a certificate student in the Automotive Technology program at Texas State Technical College, has a goal of returning to Ochiltree County after graduation to help others get back to driving.

“Once I’m done, I hope to work at O’Reilly Auto Parts in my hometown and then work at Chevrolet,” he said.

TSTC offers the Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology and two certificates. TSTC in Sweetwater is the only one among the four West Texas campuses to offer the technical program.

Mike Myers, a TSTC Automotive Technology instructor, said some students typically have part-time jobs in the automotive field while in college. He said other students search for employment upon graduation.

“Some look at dealerships,” Myers said. “It’s a good way to get better knowledge of a brand and further yourself in the field. Others go to independent shops that work on all makes and models. Those graduates try to find a mentorn and they are the apprentice. They follow and learn from that person for a certain amount of time before they are put out on their own.”

Texas had more than 47,200 automotive service technicians and mechanics as of May 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. West Texas and the Panhandle had more than 1,600 jobs.

Nolan County’s only major automotive dealership, Stanley Ford Sweetwater, uses TSTC as a resource to fill automotive technician jobs. Kevin Atwater, the dealership’s fixed operations manager, said a TSTC graduate has recently been hired.

“We definitely need more automotive technicians. As we grow, we need more,” Atwater said.

This year, TSTC’s Automotive Technology program has more than 20 dual credit students from school districts in Big Spring, Bronte, Colorado City and other West Texas locations.

The need for automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow nationally to more than 795,000 through 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Holds Summer 2018 Commencement

(ABILENE) – More than 130 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Summer 2018 Commencement held Friday, Aug. 17, at the Abilene Convention Center.

Rick Denbow, provost of TSTC in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater, said the night was a time to celebrate.

“For the graduates, tonight is an achievement,” Denbow said. “The sacrifices you made to get homework and tests done and being experts at time management was all worth it.”

Guest speaker Samuel Garcia, owner and operator of Samuel Garcia State Farm Insurance and a board member at Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas, said he was a fan of TSTC’s mission.

Garcia told graduates to think about others who have not experienced higher education. He told them to value the certificates and associate degrees they were receiving.

“Tonight is about you,” Garcia said. “Tomorrow is about you talking about what education can do for a person.”

Some graduates will continue on with their education.

Devan Moore, 30, of Abilene is a U.S. Army veteran who received a certificate in Wind Energy Technology from TSTC in Sweetwater.

“I want to say that it is a sense of accomplishment,” he said. “The best times were when I was up-tower in a wind turbine and applying what I learned.”

Moore will be one of the first students in the new Industrial Maintenance Technology program starting this fall at TSTC in Abilene.

Some graduates already have jobs.

Pamela Hermosillo, 21, of Breckenridge earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling from TSTC in Breckenridge.

She has been hired to work at the Walker Sayle Unit, part of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Hermosillo also did her practicum at the prison.

“You learn a lot from the inmates,” she said. “You understand what they are doing in their addictions to drugs and alcohol.”

Some graduates are continuing their job hunt.

Robert Wiley, 24, of Abilene received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Networking and Systems Administration from TSTC in Abilene.

“I enjoyed being around other students pursuing their career goals,” he said.

Wiley had several people in attendance at the graduation ceremony, including his parents and members of his church congregation.

Luis Rueda, 20, of Colorado City received a certificate in Welding Technology from TSTC in Sweetwater. He earned dual credit through TSTC when he was a student at Colorado High School in Colorado City.

“My brother started welding a lot,” Rueda said. “When he talked to me about it and said it was cool, that caught my attention and I just got into it.”

Rueda said he wants to get a welding job in the Midland-Odessa area.

Caydon Vara, 19, of Brownwood received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Emergency Medical Technology from TSTC in Brownwood.

“I want to go to the fire side of it,” Vara said. “It runs in the family. It’s a calling.”

Earlier in the day, the Associate Degree in Nursing Pinning Ceremony for TSTC in Sweetwater nursing graduates took place at an Abilene church.

For more information, log on to tstc.edu.

TSTC Wind Energy Technology Program Contributing to Area Economy

(SWEETWATER) — A summer breeze floating through Texas brings a moment of relief for some residents, but thousands of Texans are taking advantage of each gust as a clean energy source.

Texas State Technical College and Nolan County are working together to lead the charge in the nation’s number one renewable energy source: wind energy.

“In Nolan County alone we’ve seen more than 250 jobs emerge because of wind energy,” said Ken Becker, executive director of Sweetwater Economic Development. “Whether it’s maintenance, manufacturing or installation there’s an opportunity in multiple fields and that’s feeding back into the community.”

With no intention of slowing down, the industry is clamoring for more and more people.

“Wind energy is growing,” said Billie Jones, a TSTC Wind Energy Technology instructor. “It’s a renewable energy source, so it’s it going to be here when we run out of other fuel sources which means there is definitely job security.”

Locally, wind energy helps rural communities like Sweetwater with new sources of income and tax revenue. Globally, it provides an opportunity for the more adventurous to travel and work in various locations.

“I accepted a job with KBA and after I graduate in December they will be flying me to Germany for a year of training,” said Kaitlin Sullivan, a TSTC Wind Energy Technology student. “I’m so excited because I get to travel but also because my job options are pretty much limitless in this industry.”

Sullivan grew up watching wind turbines pop up in her hometown of Dumas, but assures that the industry is accepting of anyone willing to learn and interested in clean energy.

“I had already earned a bachelor’s degree in English but couldn’t find a job I liked, so I went back to school at TSTC and found my calling,” said Sullivan.

The wind energy industry has evolved from many field technicians learning as they worked to having specific industry standards, training and certification requirements for all wind turbine technicians.

“Back in 2007 when I entered the wind industry there were no wind turbine training programs and very few experienced wind turbine technicians,” said Tony Robinette, field operations and recruiting manager at SystemOne, which has locations in Amarillo, Dallas and Houston. “Now, training programs like TSTC have created clear paths for entry into the wind industry to meet the rising demand and create more opportunities for wind technicians.”

As global populations grow, so does the demand for energy.

“This industry is here to stay,” Becker said. “We use energy everyday and we need to pursue something sustainable like wind energy because it is renewable and it gives back in a positive way to the surrounding communities.”

TSTC offers the Wind Energy Technician certificate and the Associate of Applied Science degree in Wind Energy Technology.

For more information about Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Visionary Murray Watson Jr. Remembered for Service

(WACO) – Texas State Technical College mourned Wednesday the loss of former Texas legislator Murray Watson Jr., who filed legislation in 1969 to separate what was an arm of the Texas A&M University system into a stand-alone institution for technical education that would become TSTC.

“If there was ever a Mr. TSTC, it would be Murray Watson,” said Elton Stuckly Jr., TSTC’s executive vice chancellor and chief strategic relations officer.

Watson died Tuesday at age 86.

Watson was a state senator when he filed legislation to make the James Connally Technical Institute independent and rename it Texas State Technical Institute (now TSTC). Gov. Preston Smith signed the bill’s final version in May 1969 in Austin.

At TSTC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in April 2015 in Austin, Watson was honored with a Founder’s Award.

Watson’s name is on TSTC’s student recreation center on Campus Drive. That factored into his wife, Greta, having been honored with the nearby Culinary Arts building being named for her.

“Murray and I walked out of the old (TSTC) system’s building, and we were about a million dollars short to build the new Culinary Arts Center,” Stuckly said. “I said, ‘Mr. Watson, I want you to think about something. Your name is on that (the recreation center) building. Wouldn’t it be nice for it (the new building) to be called the Greta W. Watson Culinary Arts Center? If you give us a million dollars, you could look at each other forever.’ It wasn’t a couple of weeks later that he called and said he was going to do it.”

Stuckly said Watson was a mentor who would give him advice.

“He always stayed in contact with me by email,” Stuckly said. “He was always looking for ways and ideas of how to make TSTC a better college.”

Stuckly said he and Watson always found much to talk about.

“He grew up in Mart, and I was raised in Penelope,” Stuckly said. “He always wanted to ask about TSTC first, then talk about farm cattle and his feed store and what I used to do on the farm. He said, ‘Elton, there aren’t many people that I can talk to who relate to those times.’”

Verna Lastrapes, a TSTC college outreach specialist, grew up knowing the Watson family in Mart. She said Watson’s family owned the local feed store, which she would visit as a four-year-old with her father at least twice a week to catch up with residents.

“Murray Jr. was a senior at Mart High School then,” she said. “I knew him well because he and my sister, Barbara, were friends.”

Pete Rowe, TSTC’s vice president for institutional development, hauled hay for Watson when he was a teenager in Mart. Rowe also graduated from Mart High School.

“It’s a personal loss for me because I loved him so much,” Rowe said. “He was a great mentor to me. He and Mrs. Watson have always been very kind to me and have done a lot for me in my life and career.”

Lastrapes said residents in Mart thought Watson would be president one day.

“He did not become president, but he did become our state representative and our state senator,” she said. “As a teenager, I remember helping campaign for him. Just about everyone in Mart campaigned for him.”

The feed store factored into Watson’s law career.

“When he lost the campaign for U.S. representative and went into private law practice, he had his office in Waco and one in Mart above the feed store,” Lastrapes said. “For years that is where he conducted all legal transactions with my daddy and other rural area farmers and businessmen.”

Rowe said Watson raised cattle andis sure he must have encountered on his ranch some of what TSTC teaches today.

“Murray was a highly intelligent person,” he said. “He was way ahead of the curve in the education field. He really studied education. He knew what to do.”

Lastrapes worked several years at the Brazos Higher Education Service Corp. Inc., which financed student loans. Watson was one of the organization’s founders.

“He had his own time schedule,” she said. “We began to say, ‘The starting time is when Murray Watson gets there.’ That was for everything!”

John K. Hatchel, chair of the TSTC Board of Regents, worked with Watson as a member of the Brazos Higher Education Service’s board of directors.

“He was very quiet, but he was consistent,” Hatchel said. “If there was a person who needed something or help, he was the first in line to do his part. He did it not expecting any accolades or thank-you’s. He just did it as a person.”

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

 

TSTC in Sweetwater to Host Registration Events This Summer

(SWEETWATER) – Texas State Technical College will have two Registration Rally events this summer in Sweetwater.

The events will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 12 and July 26 in the Sears Building on Homer K. Taylor Drive. The events are part of an effort to make the registration process as easy as possible for incoming students planning to take classes in the fall semester.

“We make it fun,” said Devin Crenshaw, a TSTC college outreach representative. “They can come and do every single thing in one day. It’s easier for people that don’t want to deal with the lengthy process and do a lot of back and forth. They can just come and get it done and not wait until the first class day.”

Visitors can take campus and housing tours and talk to faculty members about the seven technical programs offered at TSTC in Sweetwater, including Automotive Technology, Electromechanical Technology and Wind Energy Technology.

People interested in enrolling should bring a copy of their driver’s license, high school transcript or GED, any college transcripts, proof of bacterial meningitis vaccination, housing application and TSI scores.

TSTC is having registration events at its 10 campuses throughout the state this summer. For information on the closest Registration Rally, log on to tstc.edu/rally.

For more information, contact TSTC in Sweetwater at 325-235-7300 or visit tstc.edu.

TSTC and Nolan County Companies Celebrate TWC Skills Development Grant

(SWEETWATER) – Leaders from Texas State Technical College, the Texas Workforce Commission, Buzzi Unicem USA and United States Gypsum Corp. gathered Wednesday to commemorate a $419,590 Skills Development Fund grant aimed at improving workers’ skills.

The grant will create or upgrade 185 jobs and provide mechanical training in bearings, lubricants and other components, operator assessment care and specialized emergency response training. Both Buzzi Unicem and United States Gypsum Corp. will receive more than a combined 7,000 hours of business technical training.

The regional economic impact of the grant is expected to be $4.2 million, said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez III, who presented the check.

TSTC in West Texas Provost Rick Denbow said it is critical for local industries to be able to access workforce training through TSTC. He said the technical college must communicate with industries to see what changes there are to ensure that students who graduate are employable.

Alvarez commended TSTC for its involvement in economic development.

“It’s the college of Texas,” said Alvarez. “They listen to you and ask you what they can do to serve constituents.”

Ken Becker, executive director of the Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development, said some of Nolan County’s blue-collar industries are changing colors.

“You have to have a lot of technical training to do their jobs,” Becker said.

United States Gypsum Corp. in Sweetwater has more than 230 employees who produce gypsum wallboard. Jeff Grimland, plant manager, said the company has expanded the range of training that workers can receive and given raises sooner because of the Skills Development Fund grant.

He said employees can discover more problems to repair on routine maintenance days because of the training. And, he said, employees can see that the company is investing in them.

“USG has received much-needed training that improves efficiency and the bottom line,” said Grimland.

Buzzi Unicem USA in Maryneal has more than 120 employees working with cement manufacturing.

The Skills Development Fund has been used since 1996 to localize workforce training for companies. This enables companies to work directly with local partners to develop training tailored to employees’ needs. The competitive grant has assisted more than 4,200 employers statewide, according to the TWC.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

Longtime TSTC in Sweetwater Employee Recognized with Statewide Award

(SWEETWATER) – Patricia Carpio is one of the first people prospective students meet when they start the registration process at Texas State Technical College.

Carpio, 46, is a support services specialist who administers the Texas Success Initiative Assessment to determine students are ready to start regular classes. She also proctors nursing and automotive technology tests, along with midterm and final exams.

“I am the contact for all four West Texas campuses for testing issues,” Carpio said.

She also works with new student orientations and open house activities.

“I love coming to work each day because I feel like I play a small part in so many students’ lives by getting them started on their paths to their future,” Carpio said. “I get to know the students in the beginning, and when I see them at the end when they are graduating, it gives me happiness knowing that they have accomplished something so important to them.”

Carpio was recently named a TSTC Chancellor’s Excellence Award recipient for her contributions to the technical college. She was the only employee from TSTC’s four West Texas campuses to receive the honor. She and 15 other TSTC employees statewide will be honored later this month at the National Institute for Staff and Organization Development awards dinner and celebration in Austin.

“I was like ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve never gotten an award like this,’” Carpio said of her first reaction to learning she was a recipient. “I was in shock. I am so blessed to work with such great people.”

Some of the people in the Sears Building where Carpio works commended her helpfulness, caring and outgoing personality.

“I need to learn pointers from her because she is so friendly with everyone,” said Irma Ortiz, TSTC’s curriculum specialist. “She gets along well with anybody. She can always strike up a conversation with any student to make them feel at home.”

Mandy Rhoades, a TSTC success coach and substitute testing administrator, said Carpio has a way with students.

“She is the best,” Rhoades said. “She is really good at talking to them. She has a great way of putting a positive spin on things when students may not have done well on the tests. She is good with positive reinforcement.”

Carpio began her work at TSTC in work-study in 2003 and was hired full-time in 2005.

“TSTC gives so many people the opportunity to further their education and to achieve a goal that some think is not within their reach, but what they don’t realize is that TSTC is the portal to their future career,” she said.

The Chancellor’s Excellence Award began in 2001 and has been given to about 300 statewide TSTC employees. Recipients are nominated by their peers for their work toward advancing the technical college’s mission.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.

TSTC Holds Spring 2018 Commencement in Abilene

(ABILENE) – More than 80 graduates received certificates and associate degrees at Texas State Technical College’s Spring 2018 Commencement held Friday, April 27, at the Abilene Convention Center.

Rick Denbow, provost of TSTC in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood and Sweetwater, began the ceremony with a tribute to TSTC President Emeritus Homer K. Taylor of Sweetwater, who died earlier in the day at age 83.

“He would be extremely happy for you to celebrate the success of the students,” Denbow told the audience.

Texas Rep. Stan Lambert, R-Abilene, was the keynote speaker. He told those gathered about his first job as a 9-year-old washing windshields at his father’s full-service filling station. He said it was a great experience in public relations.

“You can’t replace kindness in the world,” Lambert said.

Lambert said for graduates to be successful, they need to do four things: have something to do, someone to love, something to believe in and something to hope for.

“What do you hope is the next chapter in life?” Lambert asked the graduates.

Lambert advised graduates to be honest, read the Bible, do the right things in life, have a good attitude and not to hold grudges.

“It’s important at this time to have a positive attitude,” he said.

Lambert said he admired how West Texas residents came together for the TSTC in Sweetwater students affected by the Bluebonnet Inn dormitory fire earlier this year.

Several of Friday’s graduates already have jobs.

Johnathan McCarthy, 28, of Abilene graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Wind Energy Technology. He is already working as a wind technician at Invenergy LLC in Nolan.

“I got out of the Marine Corps and needed an exciting job that is stable,” McCarthy said. “Wind Energy Technology was new and different, but I knew I could do it.”

Some graduates are job searching.

Cameron Hartgraves, 26, of Abilene was a Phi Theta Kappa graduate who earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Networking and Systems Administration. He wants to stay in the area for employment.

But, this was not Hartgraves’ first college graduation. He already has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hardin-Simmons University.

“I more or less figured out that I could fix computers better than people,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the ADN Pinning Ceremony for TSTC in Sweetwater nursing graduates took place at an Abilene church.

For more information, log on to tstc.edu.

 

Taylor Remembered for Bringing Higher Education to Nolan County

(SWEETWATER) – Homer K. Taylor of Sweetwater left a legacy not only at Texas State Technical College, but also throughout Nolan County.

Taylor, who died today at age 83, is being remembered for his lasting contributions and many years of service to TSTC.

TSTC Chancellor Mike Reeser commented on Taylor’s enduring importance to the college.

“Homer Taylor served our college for close to 30 years, and it’s impossible to overstate the impact he had on our successes. We owe much of our prosperity to his leadership,” Reeser said. “On behalf of the entire TSTC family, I offer our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Beth, his children, and the Taylor family.”

Glen Bedgood, a professional development officer at TSTC in Sweetwater, noted Taylor’s foresight when it came to matching education with industry needs.

“Homer was a visionary in many respects,” Bedgood said. “He was well ahead of the wind industry in West Texas, implementing a wind energy technician program at TSTC in concert with the construction of the first turbines in the area. Graduates of the training program have enjoyed a high placement rate for years.”

Taylor worked for TSTC from 1970 until his retirement in 2005. During that time, he was an assistant campus manager, manager of instruction, dean of instruction, manager of development, college president and vice chancellor of the TSTC system. The TSTC Board of Regents later gave him the elite distinction of naming him president emeritus.

“Homer was always thinking about growing the impact of TSTC,” Bedgood said. “Any time that I traveled with him, he would leave his business card with everyone he met, telling them that they owed it to themselves or their kids or friends to look into TSTC as a life-changing investment.”

Bedgood recalled that some of his earliest memories of Taylor were of greeting him at church on Sunday mornings.

“I listened to him pray and teach Sunday school,” he said. “He was investing in me. Years later, he hired me, or at least suggested that I apply for an opening at the college, and continued to invest in me as an employee. When I started my family and was trying to make a little extra money on the side, he would buy my artwork.”

Among the many people on whom Taylor made a positive impact is Maria Aguirre, TSTC interim senior executive director of Communication and Creative Services.

“I met Mr. Taylor in early summer 1984,” said Aguirre. “I attended what was then TSTI, and shortly after I arrived, Mr. Taylor hired me as a PBX operator. After graduation, he encouraged me to apply for a Student Recruitment position, and through the years he promoted me to other positions within the college. Long story short, nearly 34 years later, I am still very proud to be part of TSTC. He was a true mentor, teacher and friend. I will miss him dearly.”

Taylor taught high school in Jayton and Sweetwater for 11 years.

“Homer was my high school English teacher,” said J.V. Martin, a former member of the TSTC Board of Regents and a founding board member of the Nolan County Foundation. “Homer was very close to me. He was a student’s ideal teacher as far as his personality. He was young enough at that time. He was not much older than the students. It was like having a student-teacher teaching you.”

Taylor was public relations director for Sweetwater Public Schools (now Sweetwater Independent School District) when he was asked to serve on the Sweetwater Study and Survey Committee for the Utilization of Air Base Facilities, which formed when the Sweetwater Air Force Radar Station was deactivated in fall 1969, according to TSTC historical accounts.

A group of committee members met with Dr. Roy Dugger, then vice president of Texas A&M University and director of the James Connally Technical Institute (now TSTC) in Waco, about opening a technical campus on the grounds of the former radar station.

Taylor’s first role at the Sweetwater facility of the Texas State Technical Institute was as an assistant manager starting in 1970. He, along with D.A. Pevehouse, facility manager, and two office employees, worked in the old Texas Bank Building in Sweetwater. Taylor saw the campus later become the Rolling Plains Campus of TSTI and Texas State Technical College West Texas.

“He was always so friendly and talking to everybody and anybody that was here on campus,” said Lupe Deloera, a human resources senior specialist at TSTC in Sweetwater. “He was such a smart guy and always had his door open if we had any questions. We felt like we could ask him anything. We felt so comfortable around him.”

TSTC in Sweetwater honored Taylor in 2006 by renaming College Drive as Homer K. Taylor Drive.

“He followed my career and has been an encouragement to me long after his retirement,” Bedgood said. “I get to remember him every day as I turn onto Homer K. Taylor Drive heading to my office at TSTC.”

After his retirement, Taylor helped create the Nolan County Foundation, which has given about $300,000 to Nolan County students attending Texas colleges. The foundation has also supported Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital and Sweetwater Municipal Auditorium, Martin said.

Taylor earned an associate degree from Cisco Junior College, as well as a bachelor’s degree in education and English and a Master of Education degree from Hardin-Simmons University.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities by Hardin-Simmons University in 2011.