The Journey Continues: Bobby Dupree
My journey this week takes me to Bobby Dupree, whose memories of the San Marcos Academy cover over 50 years. A graduate of San Marcos High School in 1956 and of Southwest Texas State Teachers College in 1960, with a degree in secondary education and P.E., Dupree played baseball for both schools and was recruited for professional baseball but turned it down in order to continue his desire to teach and coach.
In 1967 he joined the administration at the Academy as assistant principal. Later, Dupree became involved in Admissions and Recruitment. His forte was concern and care for the individuals he recruited, and he did not categorize or stereotype any students. The recruitment position required extensive travel within Texas, to major United States cities and all over the world — Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, Europe, South America and Mexico — often alone.
Dupree was very articulate about sharing the role of the Academy in developing/ molding individual students. Life at the Academy offered students an education but also gave them a sense of home, stability, security and self-confidence.
During his tenure at the San Marcos Academy ending in 2018, Dupree served under six presidents, including a good friend, Jimmie Scott. Dupree and Scott were the last members of the staff/faculty serving at the present-day location on Ranch Road 12 who also had served at the old downtown location before it moved in the school year of 1982-83.
He recalls when the Academy stood “on top of the hill above the town which is now occupied by Texas State. At that location, all the boys were enrolled in JROTC and wore uniforms every day. Memorable students were Don Mooney who is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, and Chris Canales who was paralyzed while playing football in a Bears game and went on to found the Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation to help other injured players.
His final assignment was vice president for development which allowed him to contact generations of SMA graduates and friends to encourage support for the school.
Diagnosed 4 years ago with cancer, Dupree has faced the challenge with support from his family and doctors and remains today a fighter against this disease.
His life verses are:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not one to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
He and his wife, Duane Smith, high school sweetheart and a former schoolteacher, have two children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. During one 5-year period, the Dupree’s were foster parents for eight children under the age of 2.
When visiting with Dupree, his spirit lifts one up and makes one feel important.