Trenton Jarred Carlton III
What is your job at CFBISD?
Head Band Director
What do you like most about your job?
The opportunity to interact and learn from so many kids across CFBISD. From our Elementary schools to Barbara Bush Middle School and, of course, my home school of Ranchview.
There are so many diverse cultures inside of the Ranchview Cluster Pattern that it allows me to learn and grow as a person, learning about my students.
What do you think about when you hear "Black History Month?"
I think about a myriad of things... how so many people before me wouldn't have been able to get my job. It is amazing to see how far we have come, even from when my parents were in school. I also think about the fact that Black History is our history as a country. Every year, I challenge myself to learn a new black history fact to share with my students.
Is there a specific black person from history who inspires you?
Many inspire me, but I will have to go with the most recent one I have discussed. Mike Tomlin, most people don't consider him iconic, but he inspires me to my core. Most people don't know that Mike Tomlin was least likely to be considered for the Head Coaching Job for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007; he was only granted an interview from the notorious "Rooney Rule."
Ken Whisenhunt was the favorite to get the job. All of the media reported that Whisenhunt would be the next head coach of Steelers until Mike Tomlin Interviewed; the Steelers shocked the football world by announcing that they would name Tomlin their next Head Football Coach.
What is so inspirational about this to me is: Mike Tomlin, KNEW he was only being interviewed as a formality. He KNEW the job was all but promised to someone else and that he was a longshot to be the next Head Football Coach, but he still interviewed anyway. He prepared so well that he changed convinced minds. He interviewed so well that the Steelers were put in an awkward position to pass on Tomlin and stay true to their word with Whisenhunt or go with Tomlin and move on with Whisenhunt.
Mike Tomlin had NO chance of being the next Head Football Coach of the Steelers, and he KNEW all of this... and still prepared with grace, tenacity, and passion. He took his chance and impressed the Steelers organization enough to take a chance on him, and won a Superbowl.
To me, that is my inspiration and motivation. When I interviewed places, I would get nervous and would tell myself.... "Be Like Mike Tomlin, All I need is a chance."
Any last words that you'd like to share about Black History Month?
Black History Month is an opportunity to come together and learn about different cultures and the history of America's black culture. This month is not supposed to be divisive but an opportunity to come together, heal, learn and grow.
It's okay to be awkward, but try to push yourself to learn one interesting fact about Black History Month, from Black Wall Street to Seneca Village. Black History is American History, and as the philosopher George Santayana infamously said, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."
Why is it important to take the time of BHM to reflect, think back, and celebrate Blackness in all of its forms?
It is SOO important to take time to reflect on Black history month. To see how far Black Americans have come, to see the struggle that we have gone through and currently going through.
It sometimes helps take the pain off a bad day to see in the grand scheme of things that we are making progress, we are our ancestors' wildest dreams, and that a student of color is watching us and inspired by our thoughts, actions, drive, and demeanor.
Lastly, and I can't stress this enough, we need to celebrate Blackness in all its forms because it is incredibly awkward to be Black/Brown and educated. The names/teasing that we endure from all sides will almost break someone. There are students out there who may not like the typical norms, and that is GREAT. They are Black in their way. There is no defined way to be Black or Black enough, and I think we, as a whole, miss those opportunities to celebrate Blackness in ALL of its forms so that more history can be made and keep inspiring the next generation.
It's always wild to think and reflect on the history that I have been blessed and fortunate to make, from being CFB's First African American Head Band Director to being the first African American Band Director in previous districts.
Blackness comes in all shapes, sizes, and shades; each deserved to be celebrated and appreciated so that more young children of color can feel encouraged to be themselves and push to be great.