Victoria Advocate 4-4-03
Students, readers benefited from teacher's enthusiasm
Friday, April 4th, 2003 His name is synonymous with history in Lavaca County.
It is his love of history, in particular his devotion to the history of Lavaca County and the state of Texas, and his abilities as a teacher of history that has resulted in Doug Kubicek being named Educator of the Year by the Sons of the Republic of Texas.
The coveted award will be presented during the annual Summerfield G. Roberts Award Luncheon on Saturday at the Hilton Hotel in Arlington, recognizing Kubicek for his efforts in promoting the study of Texas history and the heritage of Texas.
Each of more than 40 Sons of the Republic chapters had an opportunity to nominate a candidate.
Kubicek was selected by an awards committee that considered the background of the nominees, their teaching experience and credentials, their contributions to the preservation of Texas history, and the comments contained in at least three letters of endorsement from persons with personal knowledge of their qualifications for the award. Kubicek is a Texas and world history teacher in the sixth and seventh grades of the Hallettsville Independent School District and has also taught in Moulton and Cuero.
Three years ago, Kubicek was presented the Lucy Posey History Teacher Award by the Captain Augustus Jones Chapter of the U.S. Daughters of 1812. In a column at that time, I mentioned that if Kubicek could have been my teacher it might not have taken me as many years as it did to become interested in Texas history.
As a teacher of history, he brings to his classroom an intense feeling for the subject.
In the years that I have known Kubicek, about two decades now since the early beginnings of this column, he has impressed me with his knowledge and interest in all that has happened in the past in Lavaca County and how it relates to the history of Texas.
As chairman of the Lavaca County Historical Commission, a position he inherited from the late longtime historian Paul C. Boethel of Hallettsville, Kubicek has involved his students in many local projects to inspire their interest in Texas history. For instance, there was the search for monuments placed in Lavaca County at air crash sites during World War II and, as noted in an article in the Advocate on March 22, an on-going project in which his students select famous figures from Texas history to portray.
In this way, his students become more directly involved with history.
As with his students, this column has benefited over the years from Kubicek's knowledge and it has been a privilege to accompany him to quite a number of historical sites in Lavaca County. For instance, we visited one of the previously mentioned crash sites where a cadet from Victoria's Foster Field, D. F. Sample of Dallas, lost his life on Nov. 2, 1942, when his AT-6 nosed into a pasture between Mossy Grove and Ezzell.
Once we went to Moulton to see where the Fishbeck boys, Raymond, Louis and Joe, had found Tucker Foley's bones, Foley having been killed by Indians during the last Great Comanche Raid toward the coast in 1840 following the Council House Fight in San Antonio.
Another time we went to the old Wallace Bridge near Somer's Thicket southeast of Ezzell on the Lavaca River to get a last look at the structure before it was torn down after being replaced with a new bridge. Somer's Thicket is where draft dodgers from the Confederacy and various outlaw types hid out.
These are just some examples, there having been many occasions where this column and the readers of the Advocate have benefited from Kubicek sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for history, just as he does regularly with his students in the classroom.
I first met Kubicek at a little livestock show at Hope but became better acquainted with him during the time that Dr. Pat Wagner was researching his "Come and Take It" cannon from Gonzales. Kubicek assisted Wagner and served as historical consultant on the book, "RX, Take One Cannon" by Jane Bradfield, which detailed the research on the little weapon that fired the first shot for Texas independence.
Kubicek has long been associated with restoration of the Lavaca County Courthouse and is author of "Grand, Complete and Perfect: The Lavaca County Courthouse." With Brenda Lincke Fisseler, vice chair of the historical commission, he has co-authored "Cattle Brands: Your Family's Other Signature," and, from 1982 to 1989, was editor and publisher of "Nase Dejiny: the Magazine of Czech Genealogy and Culture."
In addition to serving as chairman of the county historical commission, Kubicek is vice chairman of the Mossy Grove Cemetery Association, a member of the Hallettsville Downtown Beautification Committee, and serves on several school district committees.
His is the name that comes to mind when history is mentioned in Lavaca County.
In or out of the classroom, Douglas Joseph Kubicek is a historian and a teacher.
Write to Henry c/o The Victoria Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria 77902.
I thought this was an interesting article on Mr. Kubicek. I am going to have to look him up.