Profile: Jim HertwigAs a teacher, Jim Hertwig strives to not only inspire good math students but also to produce responsible, well-rounded future citizens.Jim was born in Memphis, TN.
was four years old, his
parents and his
younger sister Nancy moved to Dallas.
...Jim graduated from Stephen F. Austin University in three and a half years with a double major in math and English.
At mid-term he
began teaching math at Nimitz, which was brand new and included seventh and eighth grades.When those grades were moved to junior high, Jim
transferred to Bowie.
In 1974, Jim
converted to Catholicism.The next summer, he sold most of his possessions, moved to Bell Flower, CA, and started teaching at St. John Bosco High School, which was run by the Salesian Brothers.
After one year there, he
returned to Irving and applied for admission to Holy Trinity Seminary
to become a priest.Advised to wait a year, he taught at Bishop Dunne High School in Dallas.He
entered seminary in the fall of '77.
Through UD, he
had the opportunity to spend a month in Rome studying early Christian art and architecture.It was thrilling to him to be able to see the ancient sights in much more depth than most tourists do.The students were taken behind the scenes in many churches; for example, they got to see the 1st century Roman cemetery upon which St. Peter's Basilica
After much thought and prayer, Jim
decided that he
did not have the vocation for the priesthood and really should be in teaching.
and Jan had met six years before when they were both teaching summer school.
They had a great friendship, and after Jim
left seminary, a rather unorthodox courtship.Jan recalls a couple of non-proposals from Jim
: "You don't think we'll ever get married, do you?"
When they were expecting their first baby, Jim
decided that he
should look for a move lucrative job.He took a position with Sperry Univac, a computer company in Dallas.
John was born in '81 and Julie came along 361 days later.Sperry's great benefits had completely paid for two babies, but Jim
really missed teaching.He
went back to the classroom, this time at Lincoln High in Dallas, where he
taught algebra and computer math.After six years there, he
returned to Irving to teach at Travis Middle School
.He serves as math department chairman (4 years) and teaches all the Gifted & Talented math classes, plus a math competition class.Jim
has discovered that his
math competition students are eager but inexperienced at contests, where they go up against kids who have been competing for several years.Therefore, he
has started a voluntary after-school class for elementary students who will attend Travis in the future.He
hopes that this will make them enthusiastic about math and perhaps produce some good competitors for the coming years.Jim
continually marvels at how numbers work and apply to every aspect of life.He
loves the chance to share that interest and show other people what's exciting about math.He received his master's degree from UTD in '92 and has also completed certification in teaching the gifted and talented.Besides teaching at Travis, Jim also teaches two classes at North Lake College.
In addition, as a College Board consultant, he
has conducted weekend sessions in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas; in the past two summers he
has taught week-long institutes at several universities in Texas.He
time three ways: teaching, preparing to teach, and resting so that he
can teach the next day.
Jim's teaching has another dimension: influencing youth to be responsible to themselves and to others."Too many times," he
says, "young people are denied the limits they need to grow into mature, responsible adults."The chance to provide limits as well as opportunities that they may not get elsewhere motivated him to start Central's Boy Scout Troop 775 in the summer of '91.He served as scoutmaster for six years.
The group experienced the ultimate Boy Scout challenge when they made their two-week trek through the mountains of Philmont Ranch in 1996.John says that that was the most memorable experience of his
life.Jim became a member of Central in 1985.
liked many of the aspects of the Catholic Church, he
loved the fellowship at Central
, and most important, wanted his
family to worship together.Besides founding the Scout troop, he has served as a deacon, worked on the worship committee, and participated in musical programs.
Jim's love of music is perhaps his
legacy from his
grandfather, who played at Carnegie Hall.He
is intrigued by the Mozart Effect, the theory that listening to classical music, particularly baroque, has a positive impact on learning.He
plays classical music constantly in his
loves the outdoors, whether he's
camping out or just sitting in the backyard reading a book.He
is an omnivorous reader, but his
favorite read is historical fiction.Right now, he's
perusing several books on Paris in preparation for the family's vacation there in December.He
is also looking forward to taking a group of students and adults to Italy and Greece this summer; this will be the second time he
has done this.