Walter Brooks

On August 27, 1947, I was born in rural south Georgia where I remain today. I grew up on a small farm helping my dad and also working for several neighboring farmers with the growing and harvesting of tobacco. My mother was an elementary teacher and strived to provide as much of an academic environment as possible at home. With the help of my parents, I had a very successful educational experience through those public school days and made my goal to matriculate at the Georgia Institute of Technology although I knew little about engineering careers. I became a student at Ga Tech in the summer of 1965 and soon discovered that I was far from prepared to participate in all that was required in those days. During that first quarter, my parents agreed that I should choose a college closer to home and better prepare myself for my chosen career. While participating in a pre-engineering program at Middle Georgia College during the next quarter, I became inspired to become a high school mathematics teacher and help rural students better prepare themselves for college. For the remainder of my undergraduate experience, I was a Math Ed major at Georgia Southern College. In the fall of 1969, I began teaching mathematics at Irwin Co. High in Ocilla, Georgia and began seriously learning mathematics and physics. In 1972, my wife (also a mathematics teacher whom I met in a math class at Ga Southern) and I accepted teaching positions at Fitzgerald High in Fitzgerald, Ga. We both successfully completed Masters' programs at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus in 1977. In the early 80's, I visited with several of my former professors from both colleges at a NCTM conference and expressed an interest in continuing with another college program. Those Ga Southern professors contributed some insight into their Specialist program but the Ga Southwestern professors were bubbling over with enthusiasm about a new division of Computer Science just beginning at their Americus location. I soon joined the excitement of those dedicated educators at Ga Southwestern and spent several years communting to Americus and spending many hours in the computer lab. Finally, in 1986, I completed the requirements for an undergraduate degree in Computer Science. My paycheck remained the same and I had spent many hours and dollars over those years. In recent years, I have worked on a vocational certification at Ga Southern and experienced some of the type of enthusiasm that Ga Southwestern demonstrated at that NCTM conference. My wife and I both continue to teach a Fitzgerald High School and are now beginning to realize what it means to be true facilitators of education and are learning many exciting and useful things at this Geometry Forum/Internet workshop.

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A. Fetter
June 30, 1994