When she was growing up, Relda Comer always knew education would be a part of her life. Both her grandmother and her mother were educators, and she planned to be one, too.

Comer was sidetracked on the way to her teaching career, however. She began working right out of high school and met her husband soon after. They were married and had two children. After years of not pursuing her dream, she decided to return to school to obtain her degree. She started as a student at Austin Community College and is now a senior at Southwestern.

Comer will be graduating in May with a major in education specializing in secondary math and all levels of special education. After graduating, she will be certified to teach grade levels 7-12 and she hopes to land a job in the Austin area so she can stay close to her family in Round Rock.

Comer’s potential as a teacher was acknowledged this year when she was one of the three students selected to receive a scholarship from the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) for the 2014-2015 academic year. The scholarships are given each year to the three students TASPA identifies as the best teacher candidates in the state.

“I put a tremendous amount of myself into my work at Southwestern, so being recognized for it is very meaningful,” Comer said. “Being a non-traditional student has not been an easy adventure, but it has definitely been a good one.”

Even though she hasn’t been employed in a classroom, Comer has always taken on roles in teaching. She has volunteered in many child-centered-activities such as her son’s Cubmaster and her daughter’s Girl Scout leader.

This is the 15th year in a row that a Southwestern student has received one of the three TASPA scholarships.

“I am honored to know that I am the 15th consecutive Southwestern candidate to receive this recognition,” Comer said.

− Daniella A. Barrera