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Tomball Independent School District

Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Goar (THS, '09)

Ashley Goar is a 2009 graduate of Tomball High School and currently serves as Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education at Linfield University.

Ashley Goar

ASHLEY GOAR, Tomball High School, 2009
Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education at Linfield University

Ashley Goar credits her passion for nursing along with building a successful career from the opportunities she was given during her time as a Tomball ISD student. 

A 2009 graduate of Tomball High School, Goar now gives back as an educator at Linfield University’s School of Nursing in Portland, Oregon as an Assistant Professor and the Director of Clinical Education. 

Raised in Tomball, she attended Tomball Intermediate, Willow Wood Junior High and Tomball High School. Pursuing many passions while in high school, Goar was a member of the basketball team, played in the marching band all four years, while serving as Drum Major her senior year. She also dedicated time to HOSA-Future Health Professionals and earned her CNA certification upon graduation.

She found immediate interest while in HOSA, and through that organization, Goar made lasting friendships and memories that provided an avenue for success in her nursing career.

“HOSA allowed me to understand the hard work and compassion it would take to be a nurse,” she said. “We would talk about different areas of healthcare and not just about the ‘cool’ stuff. I really enjoyed the friendships and learning about the human body. It was super interesting to me how the medical field truly helps people heal.”

Goar acknowledges that being in activities like HOSA and band at THS gave her the discipline and time management skills needed to be successful. She also reflects on how her teachers made a difference in her educational journey.

“Mr. Easton and Mr. Downey kept high standards, but we had a blast and learned so much.”

After graduating from Tomball High School, Goar attended Stephen F. Austin State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her first job was at Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston Medical Center in a hepatology (liver) unit. From there, she decided to pursue school nursing in Cy-Fair ISD where she enjoyed working with middle school students.

Her career opportunities expanded to the pulmonology/cardiac (lung/heart) unit at CHI Baylor St. Lukes, Houston Medical Center for a short time as well. 

After experiencing several areas within healthcare, Goar made the decision to return to school to pursue a Masters in Science of Nursing - Adult/Gerontology Primary Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She earned her degree in 2019, and then in late 2019, she received her Post-Masters Certificate in Nursing Education.

Goar dedicated time as a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner in long-term care and assisted living facilities across the west Houston area for a few years during the COVID pandemic. Following that stint, Goar decided it was time to begin using her education degree.

“I went to work at Stephen F. Austin State University teaching in their nursing program,” she said. “It was great to be back where I started my college education. To further my teaching and leadership skills, I went back to get my doctorate.”

Goar is nearing completion of her Doctor of Nursing Practice in Leadership from the University of Texas at Tyler. She is scheduled to earn that degree in May 2024. 

As a healthcare professional, Goar has continued to make a significant impact in the world, whether it is through nursing or teaching. And for her, they go hand-in-hand.

“When you are a nurse, you are always teaching,” she said. “You’re teaching patients, their families, and each other. I even taught students and teachers at the middle school I worked at. It was a lot of fun to me and neat to share my passion and watch someone who doesn’t necessarily understand a concept grasp it and grow. I love working with my college students as well as they are a delight to work with. It is so much fun to watch them go from knowing very little about healthcare to being some of the best nurses out there.”

For Goar, embracing opportunities has been her forte. She uses her love for helping others and her passion for healthcare to influence, grow and then foster an educated crop of new healthcare talent.

“I pursued healthcare because I really wanted to do something that would make a difference in the world,” she said. “The body is fascinating and when you really start studying it, the systems make sense.”

Despite having moved to the Pacific Northwest for her newest opportunity at Linfield University, Goar is still deeply connected to Tomball, and her hometown roots. 

“My parents are still in Tomball. They’ve lived there for over 21 years. My mom has worked for Tomball ISD in the Child Nutrition Department. Even though I’ve moved to Portland, I do my best to still visit a couple of times a year. Tomball has grown quite a bit over the years, but it still holds that nostalgic small-town feel that we all love so much.”


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