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Chávez HS teacher has secret history of distinction

2013 June 26
by HISD Communications

Dr. Mary Patten

This week’s Shout Out goes to Dr. Mary Patten, a ninth-grade biomedical sciences teacher at Chávez High School, from former principal, Dan De Leon, for her “pioneering spirit and willingness to give of herself to students.”

De Leon noted that Dr. Patten has an unusual distinction, but it’s something she generally doesn’t publicize—she was the first African American female to graduate with a degree in dentistry from the University of Texas’ Dental Branch in 1978.

“Pioneers, on occasion, are loud, boisterous, and self-serving,” wrote former Chávez Principal Dan De Leon. “More often, however, they are quiet, demure, and unassuming. They walk among us without seeking recognition, and they go through life working hard, doing what is right, and putting others first. We have one such individual among us.”

Dr. Patten joined Team HISD in 2002 after retiring from private practice. She and other historically significant figures from her alma mater (now known as the UT School of Dentistry), will be highlighted in a new on-campus exhibit planned for early September. She will also be interviewed for an article expected to appear in the fall 2013 edition of Discover UTSD magazine.

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Lupe Eureste permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Dr. Patten is well deserving of this honor.

  2. Ashley Hoskins permalink
    June 27, 2013

    I love Dr. Patten, I’ve known her for years, she’s a wonderful wife, mother, friend and educator!

  3. Sherian Scott permalink
    June 27, 2013

    The article about Dr. Patten is amazing. It was so interesting to hear the outstanding information about her. Keep up the awesome work Dr Patten!!!

  4. Sue Ann Payne permalink
    June 27, 2013

    Dr. Patten is one of the Super Stars of HISD. She is bright and outgoing and loves her work. She is respected by all. The students absolutely soar because of her teaching and expectations.

  5. Steve Kujawa permalink
    June 27, 2013

    What a wonderful and deserving teacher!
    I’m proud to call Dr. Patten friend and colleague!

  6. Sherri Huggins permalink
    June 28, 2013

    Dr. Patten is a conscientious and caring co-worker. She quietly goes about her business of working with students with tremendous patience, skill, and grace. She is an asset to our school and our district as well as an example to us all. Congratulations on the much deserved recognition of your past accomplishments and current work.

  7. Susan Crawford permalink
    June 28, 2013

    As Mary’s former partner in Health Care Science, I can attest to her care and motivation of every student. Chavez students have the best teacher as Mary gives so much of herself in her lesson preparation, ensuring relevance as well as interest. She cares for each student’s success, and is a role model for both students and all teachers.

  8. SFC Michael Riggs (US Army Retired) permalink
    July 1, 2013

    As her brother, I know that she gives 100% at all times. She enjoys teaching and
    with her, HISD has a diamond that can help it’s students shine. I could not be prouder.

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