Attracted to the idea of imparting knowledge, Maria Elvira Sumpter felt education was the perfect career for her. She worked hard to achieve her goal, first earning a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Woman’s University and then earning a Master of Arts from Texas A&M University. She also completed postgraduate coursework at Sul Ross State University and obtained certifications in history, Spanish, and principalship. These degrees propelled Ms. Sumpter to her first professional position as a high school teacher. She stayed in that role for 14 years before making the switch to administration. Her subsequent positions include secondary curriculum coordinator at Eagle Pass Independent School District, assistant principal, and principal. Ms. Sumpter also developed the Summer School Now! Program and an in-school JTPA. She retired in 2017.
The highlight of Ms. Sumpter’s journey was working with the kids. She felt she learned as much from them as they did from her, and she always put them first. Ms. Sumpter liked seeing her students succeed so much that she even went to all of their events, including sporting matches and band concerts. Her efforts led her to be featured in numerous editions of Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who of American Women.
Over the years, Ms. Sumpter sought to be more engaged with her professional community. She enjoyed getting to know her peers, and felt the best way to do that was to join prominent organizations in the field. She thus became affiliated with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Education Association, the Texas State Teachers Association, Phi Sigma Iota, and the Principals Association. Additionally, she presented at conferences like the Hispanic Conference in 1993.
Looking to the future, Ms. Sumpter hopes to publish more about her experiences. She would also like to spend more time pursuing her hobbies, including writing short stories and poems and reading the news. Ms. Sumpter is already an active contributor to many local journals and poetry guilds. Notably, she speaks French, German, and Italian.