By: Gabby Palacios
Though most PHS students have heard the name “Mrs. Hardy,” unless you are a student with the last name beginning with the letters N through Z, you may have never gotten the privilege of speaking with or even seeing her in person. Still, Mrs. Hardy’s hard work and dedication to our campus and students does not go unnoticed.
Mrs. Hardy attended Jourdanton High School which has proven to be a very different experience from PHS. She explained, ¨Of course, attending high school and being able to look back on it afterward is very different, but Jourdanton is much much smaller than Pleasanton… Growing up, Pleasanton was almost kind of our rival so it was kind of weird to come work here but it’s been a lot of fun,” she explained.
After graduating high school in 1992, she decided to apply to Texas A&M University. She was, unfortunately, rejected. “…At the time I was very embarrassed about [it] but now I’m really kind of proud of and open about it… I applied for A&M and I did not get in… So I kinda had to figure out things because I always thought that was where I wanted to go.”
It was this that allowed her to make the life-changing decision to attend Palo Alto. She stated, “The best thing that happened to me was that I went to Palo Alto. The absolute best thing I did was going there. I went there and it was nice and small. I was able to just commute from home. Which was really nice because we saved a ton of money… My parents were both educators in Jourdanton so that helped us a ton… Palo Alto was never intimidating to me, I was always comfortable there. I had friends that were there. It was kind of just like a continuation of high school.” Even though her plans dramatically changed, Mrs. Hardy stayed positive throughout this time, made the absolute best of her situation, and, in the end, grew from and enjoyed her time at Palo Alto.
After a year spent at Palo Alto, she then transferred to Texas State University for one year. Two years after she first applied to TAMU, she decided she wanted to give it another shot. “After I finished at Palo Alto I decided to go to what is now called Texas State, at the time it was called Southwest Texas. I went there for a year and then I decided that If I never tried A&M again I would always regret it… I applied and got in… and finished the rest of my time at A&M.”
After graduating from A&M College Station in 1996 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, now referred to as Education, she took her first job here at PHS as an Aerie Lab teacher. Her next job came a short year later at McDowell (Hondo) Middle School where she ran a computer lab. Though she did enjoy the school, she wanted to be able to work hand in hand with students and be able to build the connection with those she was teaching. She remained in Hondo for two years before an opening at PJH came up and she excitedly applied.
It was here (2000) that she worked with students who struggled academically with English and mathematics. Mrs. Hardy enjoyed being able to work with and learn alongside her students. “The first time I ever bought a car, my class helped me. We had a lesson on it. We talked about interest rates and we talked about taxes and all of those things so being able to incorporate real life into the things the kids were learning helped them so much and kept me inspired and wanting to go and do more for them,” she expressed. While she taught at the junior high school, she studied for her Master’s Degree with A&M Kingsville.
At this point, she decided she was ready to take on the job of a counselor and worked at Somerset High School. She spent a short year and a half here when she realized her heart was here at PHS. In the middle of the school year, she applied for a position as a councilor and has been here ever since.
Despite the many jobs and wild rides she has experienced in her lifetime, Mrs. Hardy has enjoyed her time at PHS and hopes to stay right where she is for years to come. She enjoys the unpredictability of the job and the fact that she still gets to work hands-on with students. After her time to retire has come, she hopes to continue to help others as part of a crisis response team.
Though most of her work is done behind the scenes, Mrs. Hardy has a huge impact on our campus life. She has a true passion for helping others and educating students, shown by her years of experience and her goals for the future. Thank you, Mrs. Hardy, for all of your hard work and support for PHS.