Teachers of the year honored at Chamber luncheon

Katy ISD—Community members and district officials gathered for a special luncheon May 7 to honor the Katy ISD teachers of the year at a special luncheon hosted by the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce.



A total of 59 campus nominees, including both elementary and secondary categories, got a chance to walk across the stage and be recognized at the Merrell Center. The honorees also included two district-wide teachers of the year: Jana Miller, from Katy Elementary and Jayson Hill, from Tompkins High School.



Miller, who teaches kindergarten, said she was overwhelmed by the honor.



"I feel truly blessed because there are so many good teachers here in Katy," Miller said.



Miller has learned throughout her career that students want to know about their teacher.



"I talk to my kids about my family—my boys in college, they know I play the flute, that I like to sing and make up silly songs, my favorite colors," Miller said. "I just bring myself to them so that they have that connection."



It is not uncommon for a student to slip and call her mom or grandma, but she does not mind.



"That makes me a part of their family and they are a part of mine," she said.



Teaching and living in the same community means she sees the students around town. She also sees who stays in the community—and who returns—and what they become.



A few former students are now teachers; another is an assistant principal in Clear Lake.



For Hill, who is the FFA advisor at Tompkins and teaches Agricultural Sciences, the reward is not so much becoming a member of the family, but giving his students knowledge they can apply.



"Agricultural Science lends itself to real world applications," he said.



In one of his classes he gives a broad overview of the agriculture industry and all of the segments that are in it. In



another he teaches Agricultural mechanics—welding, woodworking, plumbing, electricity.



"That's what I really like about the classes, it really opens up the world," he said.



But it also opens up a window into the students' backyard.



"We talk a lot about what Katy was and why it is here—about the railroad and about the farmers and rice farms that were here," Hill said.



Along with pragmatic education, must come humor, he said.



"If you're not smiling, something is wrong," Hill said. "We laugh, we have fun, but we're learning real-world stuff."



Katy ISD—Community members and district officials gathered for a special luncheon May 7 to honor the Katy ISD teachers of the year at a special luncheon hosted by the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce.



A total of 59 campus nominees, including both elementary and secondary categories, got a chance to walk across the stage and be recognized at the Merrell Center. The honorees also included two district-wide teachers of the year: Jana Miller, from Katy Elementary and Jayson Hill, from Tompkins High School.



Miller, who teaches kindergarten, said she was overwhelmed by the honor.



"I feel truly blessed because there are so many good teachers here in Katy," Miller said.



Miller has learned throughout her career that students want to know about their teacher.



"I talk to my kids about my family—my boys in college, they know I play the flute, that I like to sing and make up silly songs, my favorite colors," Miller said. "I just bring myself to them so that they have that connection."



It is not uncommon for a student to slip and call her mom or grandma, but she does not mind.



"That makes me a part of their family and they are a part of mine," she said.



Teaching and living in the same community means she sees the students around town. She also sees who stays in the community—and who returns—and what they become.



A few former students are now teachers; another is an assistant principal in Clear Lake.



For Hill, who is the FFA advisor at Tompkins and teaches Agricultural Sciences, the reward is not so much becoming a member of the family, but giving his students knowledge they can apply.



"Agricultural Science lends itself to real world applications," he said.



In one of his classes he gives a broad overview of the agriculture industry and all of the segments that are in it. In



another he teaches Agricultural mechanics—welding, woodworking, plumbing, electricity.



"That's what I really like about the classes, it really opens up the world," he said.



But it also opens up a window into the students' backyard.



"We talk a lot about what Katy was and why it is here—about the railroad and about the farmers and rice farms that were here," Hill said.



Along with pragmatic education, must come humor, he said.



"If you're not smiling, something is wrong," Hill said. "We laugh, we have fun, but we're learning real-world stuff."



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