Liberty High School teacher Gary Mumford was named the Tom Norris Texas Academic Decathlon Coach of the Year for medium-sized schools at the annual Texas Academic Decathlon State Meet.
Mumford teaches AP Human Geography and AP Economics and is a shining example of a master educator to both students and his peers.
The Liberty AcDec team is renowned and has competed at the state competition every year since the school opened in 2006. Mumford was an assistant coach when the program started and has been the lead coach since 2012.
Mumford has dedicated 14 years of his career to Academic Decathlon and his contribution to the growth and success of the Liberty High School team is admirable. He has inspired countless students to learn and given them the tools they need to become better speakers, thinkers, writers and citizens.
“Mr. Mumford comes in year in and year out, helping the team form bonds with one another, encouraging us not only to push ourselves academically, but as people, as we grow to form friendships and interpersonal skills,” said a current AcDec student. “Medals or no medals, Mr. Mumford is always there cheering us on from the sidelines and providing us countless resources to not only do better but be better students overall.”
Academic Decathlon teams spend hours working with their coaches, and the coaches become mentors to their students. His students recognize Mumford as the cornerstone of their AcDec team.
“Mumford knows his curriculum inside and out and will work with kids to model concepts so they understand the materials,” said Liberty High School Principal Ashley Rainwater. “He is a valuable member of our staff who never hesitates to go above and beyond.”
Mumford was honored with a trophy and cash prize as part of the Texas Academic Decathlon State Meet after being nominated by current and former students and colleagues. During the nomination process, there were several personal testimonials to the impact Mumford has on those around him.
“It’s really impossible to be in a bad mood around such a cheery and wonderful person like Mr. Mumford,” said a current AcDec student. “A coach should be motivational, have the ability to make people think they can do everything, make sure they're okay, and be on top of all the work; Mr. Mumford has all these qualities which makes him one of the best coaches AcDec has ever had.”
Congratulations to Mumford for his recognition as the Texas AcDec Coach of the Year!