Educator at Saint Paul Harding High School, Faculty at Concordia University, St. Paul - Mathematics Department
Michael Houston ’04 earned his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education 5-12 with an emphasis in Mathematics. Now, Houston plays various roles as an educator at Saint Paul Harding High School, and has returned to CSP as a mathematics department faculty member. Some of his titles include Mathematics Teacher, Mathematic Department Chair, Learning Team Facilitator, Union Steward, and Senior Class Advisor. Having so many responsibilities allows Houston to help his students holistically, not just in the classroom. Houston says, “I found that I am more than just a teacher. I am a parental figure, a role model, a mentor, an advisor, and coach.”
Houston has been nominated as a finalist, and won, the Minnesota Teacher of the Year Award for the second time over the course of his career. “It’s surreal to think about my journey as a young man who barely graduated high school, who grew into a veteran teacher, who is now being considered for one of the most prestigious awards in teaching. I believe my dedication in the classroom, service to my students in and out of the classroom, professional relationships, and leadership have led me to this point in my career.”
As a CSP alum, Houston believes that his time at Concordia helped him realize his career goals and aspirations “by giving me the tools, and most importantly, the confidence to know that I could have an impact not only on the youth in East Saint Paul, but on the larger community of East Saint Paul as a whole. The small environment that Concordia offers allowed me to connect intimately with professors and classmates, which I feel spear-headed my personal and professional development.”
The close-knit community was one of the most impressionable aspects of CSP for Houston. He felt a sense of belonging, camaraderie, and growth among his peers. Houston decided to return to CSP as a faculty member to support the CSP community the same way his professors supported him as a student.