Every morning one Waxahachie Global High School teacher shakes the hand of every student heading to class.
History teacher William “Bill” Covington knows every student, parent, sibling and pet’s name that drives by the front of the school. He welcomes them to kick start their day regardless of the weather.
However, his reach extends well beyond any classroom or front door greeting, which is why Covington was chosen as the first-ever Ellis County Hero in the field of education. The recognition awards those who go above their daily tasks and expectations as educators to make Ellis County better.
On a rainy gray Thursday, he stands alone waiting for the next car to show up. He wears a green sweater and ignores the cold with a smile.
The students return the smile and eagerly accept his hand as they scurry into the brick building.
Councilmember Melissa Olson, who nominated Covington, drops off her teenagers at the front of the school and waves to Covington. Her youngest daughter sits in her car seat as her older siblings are greeted. She knows her turn is next.
Covington reaches his hand into the car, shakes that toddler’s hand and wishes her a good day with her mom. She always replies the same, “you too.”
It’s become a routine of theirs, Olson said.
“Everybody loves Mr. Covington,” she added.
As long as students are showing up, Covington stays outside to greet them. Several minutes after the 8:25 a.m. tardy bell rings, Covington waits until the cars have cleared then heads to his classroom. His first period is free for moments like this.
Covington makes an impact on every student that attends to Global. Mornings can be rough on students and their families and seeing a welcome wagon for Covington brightens their day, Olson said.
School principal Ken Lynch said it makes the students feel valued.
On top of welcoming students every day into school, Covington continues his work beyond the classroom. He presents historical reenactments and presentations at organizations in the area, including during meetings of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
He was awarded the Texas State Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding American History Teacher of the Year in 2017.
To qualify for that award, Covington had to showcase a spirit of patriotism, relate history to modern life and be committed to his students while maintaining a good rapport with them.
During the presentations, he brings artifacts and dresses up to fully tell the story of America’s history. All of history is a story to Covington.
His presentation, “Bad Girls of the American Revolution,” is popular among the DAR chapters.
On top of teaching full-time at Global High School, he also teaches at Navarro College.
His work does not go unnoticed though. The students appreciate Covington so much that they created a day in his honor, Lynch said. Every April 1, is Mr. Covington Day. On that day, students dress as the history and government teacher, hang up posters and celebrate Covington.
He builds relationships with everyone at school, and he is the unofficial face of Global, Lynch said about Covington.
Jennifer Fryar, Waxahachie Global High School attendance assistant, said Covington always has time to talk. No matter what he has going on, he makes time for his students.
He has this great memory that he uses to help all the students. He isn’t remembering the names of just his student, but every student in the school.
“I love him to pieces,” she said.
All of those who the Daily Light spoke to agreed: When people think of Global High School, they think of Mr. Covington.
Samantha Douty, @SamanthaDouty