Each month, Pasadena ISD’s Leaders in Learning feature will recognize employees whose exemplary performance improves the quality of students’ educational experiences in our schools. This month, the district is proud to share with you the story of Pasadena High School special education paraprofessional, Albert “Al” Bledsoe and how this All-State Insurance retiree found a new passion in inspiring students.
These are the faces of Pasadena ISD. These are the individuals who pave the way for student success. These are our Leaders in Learning.
Leader in Learning – Albert Bledsoe
“Look, you can do this. There is nobody stopping you from doing this. If you want it bad enough and put forth the effort, it will happen.”
~ Albert Bledsoe
Meet Albert Bledsoe, a Pasadena High School special education paraprofessional, who has been inspiring Pasadena ISD students for 10 years.
Bledsoe, 72, grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas and attended Corpus Christi Academy. During his formative years, he was an active member in the Boy Scouts. At age 13, Bledsoe was the first black Boy Scout in the U.S. to receive the Ad Altare Dei, a prestigious award, given to him by the bishop of Corpus Christi. Considered one of the highest honors boy scouts can receive, the medal recognizes deserving students who show spiritual growth and contribute to the betterment of the community.
Bledsoe was well liked by his peers and was elected president of the freshman class, and later, Most Popular Senior before he graduated in 1961. He was also a star athlete and played football all four years, in addition to several years of baseball, basketball and track and field. At one point in his high school football career, he was inducted into the All-District and All-State football teams.
His days out on the gridiron impressed college football recruiters throughout the country including Notre Dame, Purdue, Kansas, Colorado, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. In fact, famous football player, coach, broadcaster and politician, Bud Wilkinson, personally invited Bledsoe to play for Oklahoma. But he chose to stay in his hometown and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Corpus Christi, now A&M in 1966.
That same year, he joined the All-State Insurance family as an agent. He dedicated 34 years to the company before retiring. It was then that he found a new calling – making a difference in the lives of children.
His mission began one day after he witnessed a child on a bicycle nearly hit by a driver. To prevent, protect and help reduce the number of child bicycle accidents, Bledsoe created a prototype of a reflecting device that warns drivers about approaching bikers.
The reflector rod attaches to the back of a bicycle and extends up to six feet tall. The reflector spins in the wind and reveals a hologram.
Bledsoe worked with NASA on several phases of the invention which was patented in 1995.
His passion to make an impact on students is evident in his many years of service as a Pasadena ISD employee. As a special education and Outcome-based Measures Educating Growing Adults (OMEGA) employee, Bledsoe has made it his mission to “help students reach their highest potential in life.”
As a paraprofessional, he works collaboratively with teachers and school leaders to carry out the individualized educational program. His first year at PHS, he joined the Pasadena Association of Educational Office Personnel and has been a member ever since. He is now serves as an officer of the organization.
He explained that one of the ways he helps students achieve their highest potential is by providing personalized attention to each student.
“Everyone functions differently and that carries over into one’s learning abilities,” he said. “As educators, we have a responsibility to each student to embrace those different qualities, characteristics and learning abilities and turn them into strengths that students can use every day.”
From his days as a Boy Scout to life as a paraprofessional, he has left a positive footprint to inspire others to follow in his footprint.
For these reasons and more, we recognize Albert Bledsoe as a Pasadena ISD Leader in Learning.
Al Bledsoe was elected Junior Class Officer while attending Corpus Christi University.
He was the first black boy scout to receive the prestigious Ad Altare Dei by the then bishop of Corpus Christi.
Bledsoe was elected Most Popular Senior in 1961.
An all-around athlete, the high school football star scored 168 points and gained 1,631 yards in school.
In an effort to prevent child bicycle accidents, Bledsoe created a prototype of a reflecting device that warns drivers about approaching bikers. His invention was patented in 1995.
Is there an employee you would like to feature in the Leaders in Learning spotlight? If so, contact the communications office at (713) 740-0186 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.