Katy ISD alumna Emily Childress becomes teacher at Cimarron Elementary where she went to school!

Katie, TX (KTRK) – As the 2022-2023 school year for Katy ISD begins on Wednesday, one of the graduates will be the class president.

Instead of joining the ranks of the students, Emily Childers would lead them, going back to the same elementary school she attended as a child, but to teach.

Childress will be a fifth-grade reading teacher at Cimarron Elementary School, where she’s been wandering the halls.

Ironically, her new classroom is right across from her old one.

“This is how I present myself to my students is a picture of me in fifth grade. So I’m really excited,” Childress said.

And if the story sounds like the story of her getting the job Six Degrees of Separation, it’s kind of because it is.

Childress went to Katy ISD’s job fair in March and ran into supervisor Dr. Ken Grigorsky, who also used to be her assistant principal at Katy High School. He introduced her to Cimarron’s principal, Lindsay Chase.

“And by the end of this teacher fair, I got the job,” Childress said, recalling the joy she felt when she came home. “I kind of cried…just (because) it was my dream to be back with Katie.”

“Mrs. Chase was like, don’t cry. I was like, ‘But they are happy tears,'” Childress said. They are happy tears.”

Childress’s connection to the classroom happened long before she realized it, though, says Carol Ann Adams, a seventh-grade Texas history teacher at Childress at West Memorial Junior High School.

“She says she knew in high school. I don’t remember a time when she didn’t want to be a teacher,” Adams told ABC13, explaining that the couple kept in touch. Adams has raised Childress’ sister and brother, who is also in education.

She has the heart. She has patience. She is able to handle it from the angle of someone who puts in the work…and she is able to help her children learn,” Adams said.

This will be her fourth year of teaching Childress, but her first year at Kemaron.

But even before Katie’s party started, she left home to go to Kyiv from 2013 to 2015 after a pastor told her about a teaching job in the Ukrainian capital.

There at the Kyiv Christian Academy, she led a diverse group of students from all over the world, from South Korea to Canada and South Africa, celebrated birthdays and holidays, and brought up fond memories of Ukraine and its people.

“They’re so loving,” Childress said. “They want to show you their culture.” “I remember going to Lviv. They have the best chocolate. Oh my gosh. I can’t really eat Hershey’s anymore, oh my gosh. Lviv’s chocolate is amazing,” said Childress, smiling.

Being in Ukraine also meant experiencing the real struggle for freedom during the European Square in 2013.

At that time, protests erupted in Kyiv after the country’s then-president abandoned an agreement not to come close to joining the European Union.

While the demonstrations began peaceful, things turned violent when police snipers killed more than 100 protesters, and the president fled with most of the country’s army and money.

“I had to clear the country for a bit,” Childress said. “It was a huge blow to me because I was worried about my kids who are Ukrainian, they can’t get up and then evacuate.”

“I think it made me a stronger person when I go back to the country[because]back then I was like, ‘Okay, now I’m more confident telling these kids, hey, everything’s going to be okay. “And now I think it made me a better person and a teacher as well, to kind of (to connect) with the kids better (because) I lived through what they lived through every day in that country,”

The photos in the Childress keepsake book show the constant reminder of the revolution.

“This is the Celestial Hundred. One hundred people died during some of the deadliest riots and protests. They were very peaceful until this time. The flowers are really big in Ukraine. The flowers are wonderful. And so they put all of these flowers to kind of represent and celebrate the revolution and the European square. Murals are everywhere. I have multiple pictures of this just because it means a lot nowadays too,” Childress said, referring to recent events in the Russian invasion of the country in February.

The attack caused some of Childress’s friends to leave the country to teach elsewhere, although the school where she was taught is still being bombed.

“I have complete confidence in these Ukrainian people because they love their country. They will fight for their country. They will do everything they can to make sure that Ukraine stays in Ukraine,” Childers said.

Whether it’s 6,000 miles away or home in Katy, Childress says she doesn’t just want to fill in the shoes of her former teachers, she wants to drive with them.

“I am now 33, and they still make a lasting impression on me. And I want to be that to my students,” Childress said, adding that as a struggling student, Adams was the teacher to her, helping her feel confident in all aspects of life.

“I can count on her and ask for advice or go to her and say, ‘Hey, I’m struggling with this. What do I do? “It just means the world,” Childress said.

Adams said of Emily, “She will be a legacy to many of the returnees. They may not remember that she was their reading teacher, but they will remember that she loved them and was always there for them.”

And that’s something that will make the fifth grader proud of Emily.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.


(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)

Related posts