Hugo Munoz knew from a young age that he wanted to become a teacher one day. After high school, he attended TCC South, but due to lack of money and motivation, he decided to take a break from education and enter the workforce full time. For many years, he worked in railroad construction and as a jujitsu instructor.
One day while teaching jujitsu, he shared with the father of one of his students his desire to go back to school to become an elementary school teacher. The conversation opened the door to making Munoz’s dream a reality. “He told me about the Men of Color Mentoring program at TCC and how being involved in the program could help me get back into the swing of going to school; I knew I had to check it out,” Munoz said.
After meeting with mentors from the program, he promptly signed up for classes. As a nontraditional student at TCC, he felt very comfortable assimilating. “There is a mixed age range at TCC; I looked around and I saw young and older students; I didn’t feel out of place,” he said.
As Munoz continued to pursue his degree in Early Childhood Education, he learned about a fast-track program offered to TCC students transferring to Texas Tech University. After graduating from TCC, he immediately transferred to Texas Tech and within a year and a half, he completed a bachelor’s degree in education.
Currently, he teaches fourth grade at Diamond Hill Elementary School. He takes great pride in showing his students how easy math and science can be. “I want to remove the misconception that math is hard; math can be easy since it is not open to interpretation—there is always an answer,” said Munoz. He attributes his educational success to the help and support he received while at Tarrant County College. His approach to teaching is to motivate and energize his students as his professors at TCC did for him.
When he is not teaching at Diamond Hill Elementary School or coaching the wrestling team at Fort Worth Country Day, he enjoys spending time with his daughter, Sophia, and his wife, Valarie, who is currently a TCC student, studying accounting. “I want my wife and daughter to know that education can open a world for you, and I am an example of that,” Munoz said.