Exactly five years ago, my wife, our two year old son, and I rolled into Bandera for what was to become one of the finest times of our life. I was the brand new high school principal reporting for work to legendary superintendent Marvin C. Schnelle.
Upon arrival I met the high school faculty – all nineteen of them. What a colorful group they turned out to be – free spirited Carolyn Edwards, goodas-gold Margie Keese, Winnie Hicks, Telvy Robbins, Tom and Doris Doebler, Kathy and Homer Stevens, John and Lonette Wilton, Ruth Hay and scholarly Robert Stein. Gerald Robison arrived that year too. Soon we were joined by Jeanna Price (outstanding government teacher who later became a lawyer), English teacher Patty Hundley and superstar Band Director Marian Allert. Then there was Barbara Mansfield Mazurek, a Bandera native, daughter of Bandera pioneer citizens Ruth and Bob Mansfield, and a master teacher and coach. Barbara knew how to “make the trains run on time.” She believed that when a teacher expects a lot, a student will perform at a high level. She excelled as a classroom teacher and was one of the most highly respected coaches in the hill county.
How Barbara accomplished what she did daily is still a mystery to me: teaching and coaching, rancher’s wife, mother of three small children, and making a round trip daily commute to Bandera and back to Utopia. No one is indispensable. But
No one is indispensable. But Barbara’s recent passing leaves a big gap on the horizon. Her Christian character and integrity, her influence as a teacher, wife and mother were exceptional.
I eventually spent 38 years as a school superintendent. I loved each and every one of them. But looking back at many outstanding teachers with whom I worked, teachers who represented the highest standards, Barbara would be at the top of the list.
May Barbara Mazurek’s influence continue through her children, her grandchildren, and her former students. May others of her high caliber come along.
- Charles Hundley Marble Falls