After serving the nation for 15 years with the Army, Mark Verdin began a teaching career that has brought him joy and taught him patience for about 12 years.

Verdin is a sixth grade at Dubose Intermediate teaching special education classes.

He never thought about becoming a teacher until much later in life. Using his military experience, has helped him with students who can be overlooked and challenging at times.

On Wednesday, Verdin was presented with the Amazing Teacher of the Month award for November. The award is sponsored by the Alice Echo and Bowden Ford of Alice. Each month a teacher is chosen based on the nominations of the community.

"It's a good feeling especially when you come across students who really need help. They are at a point where they need a lot of attention...," Verdin said. "The thing is that when I'm doing this I'm doing it for the children. I don't do for myself, its all for the children. I never think of what I'm getting for myself."

Patricia Alexander, a parent of one of Verdin's student, nominated Verdin for the award.

"Mr. Verdin not only reaches out to students during class time, but also to students who are misunderstood and makes it his priority to get to know them. He organized Dubose Coyote Team to help the students enhance their skills in leadership and discipline so that they may learn to be great citizens starting now," Alexander stated. "He has made a huge impact on my son, not only on class and in campus, but in his behavior at home and in public. He is a tremendous role model and mentor."

The AENJ will continue to surprise a teacher each month until May. To nominate a teacher whose made a difference in your child's life, you can click on the nomination Amazing Teacher button on our website at