Published on Sunday, September 26, 2010 by Cecelia Mata
Hearing “Football Tickeeets!” brings one thing to mind for faculty members, students and former students of Bryan High: Lester Banks.
He is as much a part of Viking life as senior overalls, pep-rallies and Thor.
Banks has worked at Bryan High for the past 22 years and currently serves as the head campus monitor for Bryan High and as the Director of Campus Monitors for all high schools in Bryan ISD.
Banks also graduated from Bryan High and teachers fondly remember his time as a student.
“Lester was just like he is now,” coach Rose Gregg said. “He was always full of energy; he was always helping someone and he did everything he could to be successful in school.”
Through his time as a student and faculty member, Banks has experienced almost three decades of Viking life and how it has changed over the years.
“In the past, we had a little more privileges for doing things,” Banks said. “When I was going to school, we had an open campus. We had students who took things very seriously, and were always hustling to class. Now we’re struggling a little bit. Kids don’t seem to make school fun like it used to be.”
Banks leaves an impression on everyone who passes through the doors of BHS. Not only does he help to administer the rules, but he also fosters spirit throughout the school.
“In many ways he provides the spirit for Bryan High,” teacher Nina Wright said. “I think if you went back and asked people what they remember about BHS; nine out of ten times the kids will say that they remember Lester selling football tickets.”
Banks is not a person who just wants to change a student’s view of school spirit though; he wants to change their view of the world.
“If I can make a difference in one person’s life, by encouraging him or her to receive their high school education and to go on to college to be successful, then I’ve accomplished my goal,” Banks said.
His goal of helping to change a student’s future is reflected in how he views his time here as a student.
“BHS is basically a school that’s influenced me. I’ve looked back on the old days, and looked at teachers’ lives. Coach Gregg really influenced me and made a difference in my life,” Banks said. “People like that encourage me and make me stay here.”
Banks’ dedication to the students does not go unnoticed. He is frequently found at the school far past the work-day and is always focused on doing what is best for the students.
“Lester is always here. I come early and he beats me here, and I am probably one of the first teachers here, and if I stay late for something at night he is still here,” Wright said. “Saturday mornings you can see him directing the kids to clean the stadium and then you see him at every function we have at Bryan High.”
For Banks, everything is about the students.
“My job is to make a difference in someone’s life and help them be successful,” Banks said. “Because, if I can make a difference and influence one person’s life, then I have done my job.”