I am no good at endings.
Deciding to leave Reagan was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. I love this school. I love my kids. I love teaching journalism.
I started out here six years ago to replace Cindy Mills. Assistant Principal Wanda Bingham interviewed me and at that point in my life I had only been teaching 2 1/2 years and had advised two small yearbooks. I had no idea what to expect, but after another hour long and final interview with Principal Bill Boyd, I was on my way to becoming a Rattler. Even though I have taught 14 different sections of subjects in the past six years, I have loved every second of it.
This job has been a true labor of love. I was a yearbook nerd in high school and looked up to my former yearbook adviser, Pam Smith who at that time was at East Central High School. I knew I wanted to be her some day and I eventually did become her – East Central was my first teaching job in 2006 and I rebuilt the program that she retired from six years prior. Upon being hired at Reagan, I added three classes that I had never taught before (English 1, Photojournalism, Newspaper) and everything else was a whirlwind. I swear I cried almost every day of the first nine weeks.
Things got easier, and by year five I felt like I could run the school (it was a fleeting feeling). Some of my greatest accomplishments were attending 10 Journalism Educator’s Association national conventions (St. Louis, Phoenix, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Portland, Minneapolis, Anaheim, San Antonio, Seattle and Boston), getting to see my first 4-year journalism student and eventual yearbook editor Annie Maropis graduate, earning a National Scholastic Press Association Online Pacemaker, winning our second consecutive UIL Journalism team district championship and Region 4 5A title, sending Olivia Visio, Kristina Seavers and Jaymi Morris to the state Academic UIL meet, being invited to speak at Columbia University’s CSPA journalism convention, winning Best in Show for online news websites at state convention and finishing my last Reagan yearbook with 2014 Editor in Chief Nathan Ryan. I received so many more accomplishments along the way and I owe all my success to every single Reagan Student Publications staff member I have ever taught. I couldn’t have done any of the above without the support of Reagan administration and teachers, my fellow NEISD advisers, Balfour sales representative Kathy Hopkins and my family.
Saying goodbye to what would have been my 9th yearbook and 7th news staff was the hardest. There will always be those select kids you would stay behind for in a heartbeat. I was lucky to have a hand-full of them. Girls, please know that I believe in you and am confident that you will lead the staff to further success. Being your teacher and adviser has given me the best years of my professional life and I will immensely miss you all.
Yes, leaving a job with so much success is hard. What makes it the right decision is that I will finally be with my fiancé after being apart for 5 years. I’m moving to San Angelo to be with my other half and will be teaching 8th grade English and Technology Applications. Knowing that I will be starting a new chapter of my life with him by my side (and in the same area code) has helped give this difficult decision real meaning and perspective. While I won’t be directly involved in student publications, I will be judging for scholastic journalism organizations like CSPA and ILPC, teaching some journalism workshops, judging UIL journalism contests and I hope to make my way back to advising student publications eventually.
Farewell, Reagan. Thank you for all the opportunities you have brought me. I will miss this school so much.
2008-2014 Regalia Yearbook and Recorder News Adviser