City of Houston Honors Alum for Work in Schools

Posted in GUMC Stories

MAY 8, 2014 — A Georgetown alumnus and physics teacher at Kashmere High School (new window) in Houston has been honored by the mayor and City Council for his students’ success on a district-wide assessment last fall.

Adeeb Barqawi (G’12), who obtained his master’s in physiology and biophysics with a concentration in complementary and alternative medicine (new window) from Georgetown University, received a mayoral proclamation from Mayor Annise Parker and Council Member Jerry Davis on April 15, declaring that date “Kashmere Junior and Senior Day” in Houston.

The proclamation recognizes Barqawi’s 11th- and 12th-grade students for outperforming 37 other high schools and receiving the highest passage rate on the physics benchmark exam in the Houston Independent School District. More than 85 percent of his students passed at the 70-percentile mastery level.

‘Anything is Possible’

“Receiving this recognition says that is possible,” says Barqawi, known as Mr. B by his students and fellow teachers. “It took so much hard work to reach such successes within my classroom.”

Kashmere High School students face plenty of challenges; the school is ranked as the third-worst high school in Texas and last in the city in terms of test scores, student attendance and other factors, according to Children at Risk, a Houston-based research and advocacy nonprofit.

“This accomplishment means that my students’ abilities are not fixed quantities and this shows them they have options after graduation,” Barqawi says.

Watching his students become well-educated individuals who are committed to ending educational inequality for them and their community is immensely gratifying, he added.

Serving Through Education and Medicine

Barqawi is finishing his second year with Teach For America, a national organization aiming to grow the movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty receive an excellent education. This proclamation is not his first honor of this kind; in 2013 he was named Teacher of the Year (new window) by the Texas Alternative Certification Association.

In addition to touching young lives through teaching, Barqawi hopes to one day touch lives through medicine. As he winds down his time in Houston, he is also completing his master’s degree in education at Johns Hopkins School of Education, and plans to attend medical school in the fall of 2015.

“I aim to be heavily involved in providing excellent health care to the underserved as well as continuously being involved in some way when it comes to positively impacting schools in low socioeconomic neighborhoods,” Barqawi says.

His time in Houston has helped him better connect with students and parents from underserved communities—an invaluable skill set for practicing medicine, he says.

“Education and medicine are intertwined entities and go hand in hand,” Barqawi says. “I am heavily invested and deeply connected to a cause now, and that is to end the educational and health inequality that exist in this great nation.”

To view a video of the proclamation presentation, click here (new window). The presentation begins at minute 10:00.

By Sarah Reik
GUMC Communications