VC dedicates teaching center to deceased VISD educator

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

Aug. 19, 2013 at 3:19 a.m.

Betsy Mynette Wright had a firm but gentle hand.

When she was a teacher at Howell Middle School, Wright was known for her austere style of teaching.

Wright, who died June 1, 2011, at the age of 81, left $525,000 from her estate to Victoria College.

VC faculty and staff gathered Monday to dedicate their new Betsy Wright Center for Academic and Professional Excellence building to the deceased language arts teacher.

The new center is the product of a building renovation project. Previously, the building housed the offices of several top-ranking VC administrators.

Offices belonging to President Tom Butler, Vice President of Instruction Patricia Vandervoort and Vice President of College Advancement and External Affairs Jennifer Yancey were moved to the Student Services Building.

Tom Maroney, former Howell Middle School assistant principal, worked alongside Wright as a Texas history teacher before her retirement from the district in 1988.

"She was old school, very firm but got along with the kids fine," Maroney said. "She expected results out of them."

Wright would have been delighted to see the opening of the college's new teaching center in her name, Maroney said.

"She was a social lady," Maroney said. "She loved going to meetings and joining clubs. She would have loved it."

The center has teaching and learning space for instructors and students to enhance their learning experience outside the classroom.

Babette Lowe, VC's dean of academic foundation, said the center will also be a place for professional development training, interactive labs and lesson planning.

The center also falls in line with the college's Quality Enhancement Plan aimed at creating a more engaged learning environment, Lowe said.

Charles Gyamera-Acheampong, a VC anatomy, physiology and chemistry professor, said he thinks he will grow as an instructor with help from the center's resources.

"This will be a new place to improve ourselves as teachers," Gyamera-Acheampong said. "We're always looking for new ways of teaching."

And for instructors with online courses, a padded audio recording room within the building is designed to ease the recording process for lectures.

"More than anything, I want you to own this building," Butler said to faculty present at Monday's ribbon-cutting ceremony. "I want it to be your building; you create the programs that are in here; you use it; you make it work for you."



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