When Linda Jobe Middle School Principal Liz Hostin and Coach Troy Harvey applied for an Education Foundation grant to teach their students about character, they didn’t realize that Harvey would be their first role model.Next month Harvey will trade in his tennis shoes for combat boots when he heads to Afghanistan as a tech sergeant with the 301st Fighter Wing. Harvey, who has been coaching in the Mansfield district for the past seven years, has been in the Air Force Reserve for the past decade after serving active duty for eight years before that.His former profession came calling Nov. 15, when he reported for active duty to give others a chance to come home for the holidays, he said. But before his unit deploys Dec. 8, the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation presented him with a going-away gift Thursday -- a check for $2,140 to fund the “I Am Your Future” program.Hostin and Harvey’s grant was part of the $95,225.57 the Mansfield ISD Education Foundation passed out this fall to fund innovative projects in the classroom. “In leadership, it’s about developing the person’s overall character, integrity and respect,” said Harvey, who teaches leadership and athletics. “The program does a lot of assessments. It’s a great guide, so they can read it, see it and apply it.”The grant also will pay for movies like The Blind Side and Rudy that show character, said Hostin, who said the school was given “a snippet of the curriculum and fell in love with it.”“If we hadn’t gotten the grant, we were going to the PTA,” she said. “We were that committed. “They learn what kind of person you need to be,” Hostin said. “It’s takes more than academics to make a quality person.”She sees that kind of character in Harvey.“He’s very humble, but he’s an amazing man,” Hostin said. “We think the world of him.”After his three-month deployment, Harvey will return to his classroom at Jobe, Hostin said. While he is away a substitute will take over his classes.Jobe’s students had going-away gifts for Harvey, too. “Every student in English wrote a letter to Coach Harvey about what his service means to them,” Hostin said. The letters ranged from “come back safe” to “kick butt,” Harvey said.“Some of them have family members in the military so they were able to understand,” he said.
Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451 Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM