Celine Markart gifts Jay Quinney

Celine Markert stands inside Yoakum Junior High School with her former teacher, Jay Quinney. Markert is a senior at Texas A&M and chose Quinney as a recipient of a $10,000 scholarship to be used toward the purchase of classroom supplies and materials. Quinney left an impression on Markert when he taught her algebra during her sophomore and senior years at Yoakum High School. Since then, Quinney has become the assistant principal of the junior high school.

YOAKUM – Jay Quinney knows algebra may not be the most exciting subject.

But during his eight years at Yoakum High School, Quinney tried to keep his students motivated.

“We talked a lot in my class,” Quinney said. “I talked to them and they talked to me and we conversed back and forth quite a bit. I wasn’t the type of teacher who had a quiet class. There were lots of talking and lots of laughter going on.”

Celine Markert was a student in Quinney’s class during her sophomore and senior years, and it impacted her future.

“He was the one teacher at Yoakum who I felt like just really cared about us as students,” Markert said. “I enjoyed his class a lot because it was fun. But he made us work hard and get our stuff done. I learned a lot from it. The way he ran his class is similar to the way I would like to run my class.”

Markert will graduate from Texas A&M, where she was a member of the track and field team in December with a degree in kinesiology.

She is currently doing her student teaching in Goliad and hopes to begin a career in education after receiving her diploma.

“I think just athletics kind of helped me realize I wanted to be a coach, and teaching comes with that,” said Markert, whose father, David, coached her at Yoakum. “I always kind of felt natural at it and then in high school whenever I was able to work with summer track and upwards basketball, I just kind of felt natural at that.”

Markert hasn’t forgotten her experience in high school and has been given the opportunity to reward Quinney and Yoakum by representing Texas A&M and the Southeastern Conference in the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers platform.

Markert will be recognized with a video tribute on Saturday’s SEC Nation pregame show before the Aggies play Auburn at Kyle Field in College Station.

In addition, Yoakum will receive a $10,000 grant from the CFP Foundation and the SEC to use toward the purchase of classroom supplies.

“When one of your ex-students recognizes you for something, it is a great honor,” said Quinney, who is currently the assistant principal at the junior high. “I feel like I was fortunate enough to have her in my class. She was a hard worker. She had great character. She always came in with a smile and did a great job. We had a lot of fun in there, but she would always get her work done and stay on task.”

Markert competed in all five throwing events at A&M, and ranks in the school’s top 12 list in the indoor shot put (No. 3), outdoor shot put (No. 6), hammer (No. 7), discus (No. 8), and weight throw (No. 11).

“I miss it a lot,” Markert said. “I miss the people. I miss the friendships and having to really go into the next step of life. A&M was really awesome for me in terms of athletics and in terms of academics. It prepared me for where I am now. It was just the time of my life.”

Markert is looking forward to becoming a teacher and coach, while cementing her legacy at Yoakum in the process.

“You kind of leave your mark on a school and once you leave, it’s kind of done,” she said. “I think it’s a really neat, awesome opportunity to give something that’s needed.”

Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or by email at mforman@vicad.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeforman21

You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.

Mike Forman is the sports editor of the Victoria Advocate. He has worked at the Advocate since 1982. He has a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from UCLA.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Transparency. Your full name is required.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. And receive photos, videos of what you see.
Don’t be a troll. Don’t be a troll. Don’t post inflammatory or off-topic messages, or personal attacks.

Thank you for Reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.

To subscribe, click here. Already a subscriber? Click here.