Robert Paxton

#MNPSVoices: Robert Paxton, teacher, J.T. Moore
Posted on 05/13/2021
Robert Paxton
MNPS thanks Staff Sergeant Robert Paxton, a teacher in the district, for his service in the United States military. January of next year will mark his 20th year of honorable service in the Tennessee Army National Guard.

Some might be surprised to learn that Paxton credits his military training with helping him be a better teacher.
"Being a teacher helps me be a better soldier because of the skills needed in the classroom, and my military training has helped me be a better leader in my classroom and a better administrator,” he said.

Paxton, who helped secure President Joe Biden's inauguration in January, started working with MNPS five years ago as a middle school teacher at Jere Baxter. Robert PaxtonHe is currently in his fourth year teaching STEAM at J.T. Moore Middle School. As a child, he had a fascination with planes and wanted to be an Air Force fighter pilot, though his height – he’s 6’10” – extinguished those hopes. Yet he always knew he wanted to be a teacher.

Military service was in Paxton’s “DNA,” because his father’s service careerwas with the Navy and his brother was in the Navy, too. A close friend had recommended the U.S. National Guard as an option to serve. The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, confirmed his decision. He enlisted in 2002 as a truck driver hauling heavy equipment, like Abrams tanks and big pieces of machinery.

Paxton’s military experience has provided him the opportunity to engage in a significant part of world history twice. His unit provided security for Iraq’s first free election in 2005. For President Biden's inauguration, Paxton's role was securing the entry control points for access to the event, and he was in place to witness the motorcades of President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Barack Obama, and former Vice President Mike Pence.

“It was a cool experience and proud moment doing my part to ensure a peaceful and safe transition of power,” said Paxton.

Overall, Paxton’s unit has been mobilized for civilian events at least 7 times.

Although he may soon be eligible to retire from the military, Paxton is ramping up his goals with MNPS. He recently completed his instructional specialist degree in instructional leadership administration.

“I am looking forward to moving my career into an administrative role with MNPS,” he said. “Teaching and instruction are where I feel at home.”
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