Robert Green’s entire career has been about service – first to his nation as an officer in the U.S. Army, and now to the children of Langley Elementary, where he’s a third grade teacher and Chess Club sponsor.
The beloved – and highly respected teacher – was surprised at school earlier this week with the ExCEL award, presented to outstanding teachers in San Antonio by KENS5-TV and the San Antonio Federal Credit Union.
Green thought he was attending an assembly Tuesday morning to hear attorney Jim Lowry from Langley & Banack give a motivational talk to third, fourth, and fifth graders. Instead, KENS Anchor Deborah Knapp and representatives from SACU interrupted the assembly and presented Green with a golden apple and a $1,000 check.
“This is a great honor,” Green said. “I didn’t expect it. I just came to school today wanting to teach the children.”
Green spent 26 years in the U.S. Army, including overseas tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia, before retiring as command sergeant major. In 2004, he took a job as assistant head custodian at Ott ES, working the evening shift so that he could take college classes during the day. He finished his degree and was hired as a teacher at Ott in 2007. He moved to Langley when the school opened in 2009.
Langley Principal Brenda Farias said Green is one of the most involved staff members on the campus. He’s constantly applying for grants from the Northside Education Foundation, started the school’s Chess Club, and has been a PTA officer since the school opened.
Whether it’s planting a garden or helping with a school activity, “Mr. Green is on it, no questions asked, no strings attached,” Farias said. “Mr. Green works with everybody, not just his third graders. He’s vested in the entire community.”
Superintendent Brian Woods said Green exemplifies the Spirit of Northside, which is the District’s theme this year.
“It’s people like Mr. Green who make a difference in the lives of students every single day and make Northside the best school district in the state,” Woods said.
Green, who has three sons and three grandchildren with his wife Dawn, was featured on KENS-TV Thursday night. His story will be rebroadcast Saturday morning and is posted on the KENS website.