By Joshua Winata

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE – For Bobby Payne, a retired Army drill sergeant, the goal in the military and in the classroom are the same: to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Hailing from Tifton, Ga., Payne received an associate degree from Georgia Military College and a bachelor's degree in communications from Central Texas College. He served in the military for almost 30 years and was the command sergeant major for the 3rd Signal Brigade.

It was his experience leading soldiers in the military that ultimately led him to the field of education.

"I liked young people, so I decided to continue teaching young people after I retired from the military," Payne said. "It's something I enjoy."

After working five years at Copperas Cove High School assisting students with content mastery, Payne is now a fifth-grade U.S. history teacher at C.R. Clements Intermediate School.

Payne engages his students with a variety of educational tools, ranging from audio books and streaming video to movies and computer-generated lessons. He also is known for encouraging his students to attend local sporting and cultural events.

"I allow myself to have fun with them. If you can't have fun, they're not going to learn," Payne said.

In addition to working with students, Payne also mentors young teachers and works with them to learn daily processes and understand the growing role of technology in education. He serves as the social studies chair at the school and is also a team leader in charge of five other teachers.

Contact Joshua Winata at or call (254) 547-6481

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