CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's every teacher's dream to see their students succeed.
But imagine the satisfaction you would receive if more than a dozen of your students become your colleagues.
This is the case for Robert Stoner, a teacher at West Oso Junior High School.
Twenty-eight faculty and staff members at West Oso share one thing in common: they are all alumni of the school. Fifteen of these teachers once sat in the classroom of Stoner, a West Oso ISD teacher for 28 years.
“We have a saying here, once a bear always a bear,” says Stoner, who was happy to share his secret to connecting with his students. “Show them the love that your family showed you and that your teachers showed you. What you put out, comes right back to you, and if you live your life that way, this is how it turns out.”
Cheryl Fillmore and her son, Chantze Avery, both work for the school district and look to Stoner as a mentor.
“I saw the relationship he had with the students and I said ‘man, those kids love him, I wonder if kids will love me like that,'” Fillmore said.
The alumni work in just about every department of the school from history, athletics, food services and more.
The teachers say they hope to see this trend continue.
“A lot of them aspire to be teachers, and I tell them, ‘Well when I’m a principal, I’ll hire you, because that’s what we do around her.’ So we definitely want to give back to the community and keep the love in the family,” says Donato Avila, the world history teacher for West Oso Junior High School.