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Chisum Teacher Katherine Cass is Finalist for Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year

chisum logoKatherine Cass, a fourth-grade reading and social studies teacher at Chisum Elementary School, is advancing as one of three finalists for Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year.

She learned at a recent district-wide assembly of faculty and staff she had won Region 8 Teacher of the Year. “You could have knocked me over with a feather,” said Cass of her reaction to superintendent Tommy Chalaire’s announcement. “I was so surprised.”

The last time the district had a Region 8 Teacher of the Year was in 2005. On Wednesday, she will be honored by Region 8 with a plaque presentation.

But the surprise wasn’t over for Cass. Chalaire went on to say she also is one of three finalists who will compete in Austin on Sept. 13 for the title of Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year. “I am so humbled to be chosen, because I know how hard everyone has worked,” said Cass. “Even being selected as the Elementary Teacher of the Year for the district is humbling. When you are named, it’s not just about you. On all of our campuses, extreme effort is the norm. You’re representing all the great things all the teachers in the district do.”

In her application for state competition, Cass described how a special teacher provided her with the security, attention and resources she needed to become successful, despite attending more than 30 different public schools in her academic career.

After serving in the Army, Cass began her teaching career in 2004 and said she believes it’s her duty to see that students have new experiences and opportunities to grow both academically and socially.

Earlier this year, Cass was named as Chisum ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year and later as Texas Rural Teacher of the Year.

In Austin, she will be interviewed by a panel of judges. The winner will be announced in October at a dinner honoring the 20 regional winners. If she wins the state title, Cass will compete at the national level. – with Katherine Cass at Chisum ISD.

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