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English teacher credits 40-year career to older brother

2013 December 19
by HISD Communications

Sylvia Mastin

Sylvia Mastin has taught reading and English language arts to Marshall Middle School students for the past four decades, but she might not have worked there at all if it weren’t for her late older brother, Albert.

“I didn’t start public school until the ninth grade, back when Hogg was still a junior high,” said the Davis High School alumna. “Albert was already teaching at Davis when I was in college, and I would see him come home with such joy from what he was doing. After I graduated, he told me about an opening at Marshall, so I applied. I just thought it would be really neat to teach my students and then send them across the street to Albert.”

Mastin officially marked her 40th anniversary with the district on Dec. 18, but several other employees are also marking theirs this week (Dec. 15–21). See if you know anyone on this list:

20 years

  • Kelvin Bryan, maintenance team lead, Food Services

15 years

  • Gertrude Bailey, clerk, Benavidez Elementary  
  • Lilly Fu, senior analyst, Finance Treasury         
  • Anthony Johnson, teacher, DeAnda ES
  • Elizabeth Sanchez, senior secretary, Benefits  
  • James Sandula, teacher, Sterling High School
  • Eugene Smith, warehouser, Warehouse Operations  

10 years

  • Olga Arreguin, custodian, Construction & Facility Services   
  • Victor Carrizal, maintenance repairer, Construction & Facility Services      
  • Bertha Garcia, online/formative assessment administrator, Student Assessment
  • Edith Hillman, teacher, Bush ES 
  • Michelle Mulcahy, clerk, Westside HS    
  • Gaudencio Vivaldo, warehouser, Food Services

5 years

  • Veronica Allen, curriculum specialist, Elementary Curriculum & Instruction         
  • Mariela Arredondo, student information representative, Hobby ES  
  • Geormika Butler, teacher, Cook ES        
  • Paulette Hawkins, teaching assistant, Kennedy ES    
  • Jennifer Hernandez, teacher, Dowling MS       
  • Claudia Medellin, clerk, Construction & Facility Services       
  • Amber Orieh, teacher, Daily ES   
  • Ava Pereira, teacher, Piney Point ES     
  • Dana Pendergraft, associate teacher     
  • Beth Roman, associate teacher   
  • James Teal, bus driver, Transportation Services          
  • Tiffany Turner, teacher, Fonville Middle School           
  • Suzanne Tyrell, director, IT Business Solutions           
6 Responses leave one →
  1. Enedith Silerio permalink
    December 20, 2013

    Ms. Mastin was one of those teachers I always remembered by name. I loved her class! She was one of the few teachers at Marshall when I attended who truly cared about their students’ learning. Thank you Ms. Mastin for being such an inspirational teacher!

  2. Patricia Scott permalink
    December 20, 2013

    Congratulations, Sylvia

    I don’t know if you remember me, this is Patricia Scott. I taught Computer Literarcy at Marshall from 1988 – 1996.

    Wow, forty years, I salute you. Today, (Decemer 20, 2013) is my final day with HISD. I am retiring after only twenty-six years. HA! HA!

    I don’t know if you remember Mrs. Cecilia Jackson. I saw her at the Houston Federation of Teachers holiday celebration.

    Take care and congratulations again.

  3. Esmeralda Padrón permalink
    December 20, 2013

    It was a pleasure to have such a great teacher who was passionate about her job and ensuring that her students succeeded despite the many obstacles they faced. She was always “real” with her students and for that I will always be thankful. Congratulations on your achievement Mrs. Mastin!!!

  4. December 20, 2013

    I had the pleasure working with Al Vera at Davis High School and remember him as always taking pride in a job well done and working very hard to ensure his students left his classroom with a sense of patriotism and informed knowledge of our government.
    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
    Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

    I also had the pleasure of working with Sylvia at Marshall Middle School. Her unwavering dedication and sincere interest in helping all her students become successful were inspiring and a delight to see daily.
    “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
    Henry E. Adams

  5. Cecilia Jackson-Witt permalink
    December 20, 2013

    Congratulation Mastin on your 40th year.
    Thank you for your years of service.
    Remembering ” the good old days”.


  6. Scott Whitley permalink
    December 20, 2013

    Congrats, Mrs. Mastin it was a pleasure working with you!

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