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Alumni Spotlight Matt Day (’07)

Alumni Spotlight Matt Day (’07)

A headshot of a man in front of grey background in a black suit.

Mr. Matt Day (’07) currently serves as an Assistant Principal at Cobb Sixth Grade Campus in Galena Park ISD and was recently awarded Assistant Principal of the Year by his district. In addition, he serves as the Director of Christian Education and Youth Pastor for Bethel Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, TX. The following are Matt’s reflections on his journey to ETBU and beyond.

I found out about ETBU through football. I was recruited in high school and visited by one of the coaches during my senior year. I visited ETBU on a recruiting trip, and there, I learned that football was returning to ETBU and that I would be a part of a first-year football program on campus for many years. Something that stood out to me about ETBU was the family feeling and the pretty campus. ETBU felt like home when I got there to visit. I’ll never forget when the Holy Spirit spoke to me while working at KFC in high school, leading me to accept the offer to join the ETBU student body and football program! 

Dr. Jim Webb, Dr. Danny Essary, and Mr. Randy Pringle were a few faculty members who really made a great impression on me during my years at ETBU. Dr. Webb spoke very candidly about his life and experience and never tried to sugarcoat anything he talked about. He let us know what it would take to be successful and to work hard for the things we wanted. Dr. Danny Essary was more reserved than Dr. Webb but was very passionate about his studies and students. He made you feel like you belonged there and the importance of working hard to be successful. Mr. Randy Pringle, on the other hand, was a funny guy but had a way with words. He didn’t hold back and would tell you like it was. He asked tough questions and demanded truthful answers. All three were completely different, but they had one common goal: to teach and share the truth about life. And I really appreciate who they were as educators and human beings. 

I met people from every walk of life at ETBU and learned something from each one. I spent time around different types of people from different backgrounds, but I realized we had more in common than I had thought. ETBU had a family feel … like a community within a community and had an identity of its own. The cafeteria staff, the custodians, and the yard crew (which I worked with) were some really nice people with whom I gained personal relationships. When I moved into an apartment off campus, my next-door neighbor was the head cook, and she taught me how to cook and barbecue. She would tell me when she was cooking soul food and to get something to eat. I also worked with the trash crew, picking up trash from the dorms, and that experience still sticks with me to this day. The people on campus, whether faculty or staff, took pride in their work, which rubbed off on me and still is a part of who I am today. 

I studied education and became a teacher, but my student teaching was an eye-opening experience for me. It was a great insight into learning what it meant to be a teacher and how to build positive relationships with my students. I learned always to be prepared, never look for shortcuts, and only expect the results of the work I put in. There are some things that schools cannot teach, but the foundation I received at ETBU gave me the stability to grow into the leader I am today. Chapel taught me the importance of attending regular worship services and never to overlook the role that biblical truths play in our decaying society. The word of God is living, breathing, and active in today’s world and can never be replaced. I learned that life is about choices and decisions and to always make the best decisions if I want the best outcomes. 

I was a two-sport athlete, playing football and basketball, but my academics were the most important part of my academic career. The hard work that went into being a successful athlete, paired with the hard work and dedication that went into my academics, has prepared and propelled me into the position I find myself in as a husband, father, youth minister, and school administrator, can all be attributed to the life lessons I learned while at ETBU.