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Combat to classroom: Educating 1 student at a time

Former Navy sailor and law enforcement teacher Travis Mouser applies experience to students’ learning

Former+Navy+sailor+and+law+enforcement+teacher+Travis+Mouser+sits+with+a+K-9+while+in+Afghanistan.+Courtesy+of+Travis+Mouser.+
Former Navy sailor and law enforcement teacher Travis Mouser sits with a K-9 while in Afghanistan. Courtesy of Travis Mouser.

Former Navy sailor and law enforcement teacher Travis Mouser sits with a K-9 while in Afghanistan. Courtesy of Travis Mouser.

Former Navy sailor and law enforcement teacher Travis Mouser sits with a K-9 while in Afghanistan. Courtesy of Travis Mouser.

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As he walks toward his car, he notices the window has been shattered into millions of pieces. With confusion, he realizes his vehicle has been broken into. Rage fills up his body. Thousands of dollars worth of tools and electronics have been taken. It was on this day when principles of law and law enforcement teacher Travis Mouser developed a passion for catching criminals.

As Mouser aged, he realized he wanted to follow his uncle’s footsteps by joining the Navy, but he also wanted to follow his dream of becoming a police officer.

“I chose [the Navy] because I wanted to join the military, but also be a police officer,” Mouser said. “The Navy offered both and [it] offered more opportunities within the Master-at-Arms rating. Both of my uncles were in the Navy, [so] to me [it] seemed more interesting than the other branches.”

During his time serving in the Navy from March 2004 to March 2009, Mouser experienced unfortunate events, including injuries that led to surgery.

“While training our K9’s, one of our dogs jumped up and latched onto my left armpit leaving four holes,” Mouser said. “In addition to that, being a K9 decoy, it caused so much damage to my lower back that I was almost paralyzed and needed surgery to remove some of my vertebrae and discs.”

After his time in the Navy, he became a private security contractor in Afghanistan. Due to the expansive amount of time required by being a contractor, it was interfering with his marriage. After his contract ended, he decided to become a law enforcement teacher at Career Center East.

“I could tell [my wife] was getting more and more stressed about my job,” Mouser said. “I couldn’t give her any details about where or what we were doing, and if something happened to me, it could take weeks for her to find out.”

Mouser has been teaching for roughly six years. He began teaching in Mansfield ISD and moved onto Plano West Senior High School before starting at Career Center East.

Mouser contributes to his students’ learning by incorporating his first-hand knowledge and experiences from being in the law enforcement field.

Alabama State college freshman Rae Hamilton found support and encouragement in Mouser to continue learning about criminal justice and is now studying to become a forensic psychologist.

“He nurtured not only my love for criminal justice, but my love for psychology as well,” Hamilton said. “He believed in me in a way no other teacher has, supporting me even after my graduation last year.”

During his time in the Navy, Mouser met Brian Jordan and became close friends. They have known each other for 14 years and Jordan admires Mouser for the dedication toward his job and family. Jordan noticed the similarity in dedication Mouser had for both the Navy and his teaching career.

“One of the qualities that makes Mr. Mouser a good teacher is his dedication to his students [and] his pride,” Jordan said. “In the Navy, Mr. Mouser was always prideful of his country and the people that he served with. Outside of the military, [he] demonstrates that same prideful attitude with his job and students.”

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Combat to classroom: Educating 1 student at a time