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Coon, Gauthier, Neal Selected for SHHS Teacher Hall of Honor Induction

Coon, Gauthier, Neal Selected for SHHS Teacher Hall of Honor Induction
Posted on 07/01/2015
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South Houston High’s Teacher Hall of Honor inductees for 2015 are Barbara Coon, Ella Gauthier and George Neal.
boxerTwo math teachers whose rapport with students led to counseling positions, and a Houston police officer who reinvented himself into a teacher and coach, make up the roll of former South Houston High educators chosen for induction this fall in the school’s Faculty and Staff Hall of Honor.

The three teachers to be honored are Barbara Coon, who retired as South Houston’s lead counselor in 2010; Ella Gauthier, who retired in 2004 as the school’s success coordinator; and George Neal, a former Houston Police Department officer who taught 21 years at South Houston.

Neal was also a key contributor to the coaching staff at South Houston. From 1993 to his retirement in 1997, he served as the Trojans’ head baseball coach.

The three inductees will be honored during the school’s annual homecoming open house on Oct. 16. The open house agenda will also include the grand opening of the South Houston High School Hall of History, a museum preserving the academic, athletic and social history of the school and surrounding communities.

The three will also be honored during on-the-field ceremonies before the kickoff of South Houston’s homecoming football game that same night.

Their induction will bring to 26 the number of former teachers included in the school’s Hall of Honor since its inception in 2013. Selections are made each spring by a committee of current and former faculty members at the school.

Coon is the second former lead counselor at South Houston to be honored. The late John Lyday, inducted two years ago, served as South Houston’s lead counselor for nearly two decades until his retirement in 1987.

Coon taught math and physics at South Houston for 13 years and served another 22 years as counselor, the final six as lead counselor.

She joined the South Houston faculty in 1974 as a math teacher. After taking a year off for the birth of her son, she returned in 1977 ready to double up in physics and math while assuming sponsorship of JETS and Mu Alpha Theta.

She retired after 40 years in education, the final 35 at South Houston.

Gauthier spent 32 years in education, the last 26 at South Houston, where she taught math and earned two important promotions – to math department chairman and later to success coordinator, where she applied her life experiences to helping students make the most out of their learning experience at South Houston.

A native of Baton Rouge, Gauthier joined the South Houston faculty in 1976. During her teaching career, she served on several state committees dealing with such matters as standardized test content, curriculum development and teacher training. She helped develop Pasadena ISD curriculum guidelines for honors math programs.

A past president of the Theta Sigma Chapter of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International – a society of women educators – Gautier has been at the forefront of that organization’s endeavors. She is currently a co-chairman for the 2017 state convention to be held in Houston. She is also a member of the steering committee for Texas Retired Teachers Association’s 2016 state convention.

Gauthier left South Houston and retired from full-time teaching in 2004 -- only to take on a new assignment. In recent years, she has taught part-time at Beverly Hills Intermediate.

Neal joined the South Houston faculty in 1977 while still a member of the Houston Police Department. During his 21 years on campus, he taught law enforcement and criminal justice. His classes ranked among the most popular on campus.

Along the way, Neal traded in the “officer” title for “coach.” He guided the golf team and coached freshman football and junior varsity baseball before taking the varsity baseball reins in 1993.

In 2012, nearly two decades after his retirement from HPD, Neal was named the recipient of the Blue Heart Award in recognition of the courage he demonstrated during a 1969 vice incident in which he was shot in the chest.

His teaching legacy can be found in the personnel rolls of dozens of law enforcement agencies. His students have gone on to careers in numerous police departments across Texas, as well as county sheriff departments, the Texas Department of Corrections and the Secret Service.

Coon is a resident of the South Belt area. Gauthier resides in Manvel and Neal in Bacliff.